East London Brewing Company
The installation of the brewery in late August 2011 was the culmination of many months' planning and a long-felt desire by the family to leave the rat-race and do something more immediate and enjoyable. The advent of two small boys made the idea of working to their own timetable even more appealing and so at the end of 2010 Stuart handed in his notice, leaving behind over 20 years in the chemical industry. The coincidence of Claire's maternity leave gave them the freedom to sketch out the early plans for the business together.
Initially, Stu and Claire worked up various business models, vacillating between going for small, 2.5 barrel set-ups, much larger 20-barrel operations and most things in between. The search for premises also proved more difficult than anticipated: many landlords in the area only offering short-term leases while waiting to see what the post-Olympics property environment holds. As a result, the couple saw some rather weird and wonderful places and an awful lot of railway arches, before finally settling on a 1,500ft2 industrial unit on the border between Leyton and Walthamstow.
Nine months later, with the unit re-floored, re-wired and plumbed and the brand new 10-barrel brewery installed, the first brew - ELB Pale Ale - was completed. A second brew, ELB Foundation Bitter, followed shortly. The East London Brewing Company's aim is to produce honest, draught ales, with a focus on consistency and quality rather than quantity. Both the Foundation Bitter and ELB Pale Ale have been available in pubs in London since mid-September.
For more information, please visit http://www.eastlondonbrewing.com/ or follow them on twitter @eastlondonbrew
Richard Pearce East London & City (ELAC) Branch