As I walked into the industrial park, home to the esteemed Beavertown Brewery in Tottenham Hale (London), I had no idea what to expect. I knew I had a strong love for beer, especially craft beer over 5% ABV but besides that, my actual knowledge was minimal.
I was met with a pint of Gamma Ray, fresh from the tap and the perfect 11-am-cure for the morning after the night before. Before starting the tour of the brewery and the much-anticipated beer tasting, I sat down with Sam Millard, who is described as “Dame Judi Dench in disguise” on the Beavertown website, and explained my ideas for Teal Magazine moving forward. Being an independent magazine dedicated to supporting independent artists, I thought why not stretch that to independent establishments.
Beavertown started in 2011 when the owner and founder Logan Plant started experimenting at home with a 50-liter rice pan, a camping cool box, and a tea urn. Shortly after, Beavertown moved into the kitchen of Duke’s Brew and Que with a 650-liter brewhouse situated opposite the smokers. Three beers were brewed to compliment Duke’s menu - namely 8 Ball Rye and IPA to pair with the spice and rub used on the pork ribs and Smog Rocket for the char of the beef ribs. Neck Oil joined the ranks as a homage to West Midlands.
Key Kegs are brought into action in 2012 to condition and naturally carbonate the beer. With the help of Nick Dwyer, creative director at Beavertown, the much loved Gamma Ray was born. Fast forward a few years (all of which you can read about on their website) and here they are. Two 5500 sq ft units side by side, one across the way, a taproom open to all every Saturday and an array of craft beers that will blow your mind.
We toured the brewery, making our way through the rows of double-sized Sputniks and on to the next room where we were introduced to the kegging station. The far end of the unit houses the canning line. Starting with a machine that looks like it’s straight out of Willy Wonka and curving all the way to the other side of the room where you’re met with a group of friendly faces hand packaging each box. Across the way is a more storage-type facility; filled to the brim with aging barrels, more kegs than you’ll find at a frat house and the original brewing system for all you sentimental types.
Out of all the Beavertown beers I’ve tried, both at the brewery and elsewhere, there are 6 specific brews that really made their mark on my “not-as-refined-as-I'd-like-to-think” palette.
Starting with the notorious Gamma Ray, this 5.4% ABV American Pale Ale is available in both can and keg. Described as a “brew you can sit on and drink all day, rammed with juicy mats and huge tropical aromas of mango and grapefruit”, it is aptly known as a cult classic and the most commonly found Beavertown beer. Gamma Ray could be compared to a less bitter, more malty Punk IPA (Brewdog).
Neck Oil is a 4.3% ABV Session IPA, also available by both keg and can, and definitely, the easiest of the bunch to drink for all of you lite lager drinkers out there. A “light, crisp, punchy, go to” beer that you can “pick up and appreciate or simply get it down ya neck”. They don’t call it a Session IPA for nothing. #SESH
The newest addition to the core range and the most straight-up IPA Beavertown has to offer is Lupuloid. This 6.7% ABV India Pale Ale, available in both keg and can, was introduced after “The Invasion of The Lupuloids”, a series of IPAs where Beavertown literally handed out a feedback list and listened to what their community had to say. Golden in color with a slight haze, a citrus aroma, and a dry, crisp finish, Lupuloid is definitely the brew to enjoy during England’s week-long summer.
Black Betty - a 7.4% ABV Black IPA. Yes, that’s right. A Black India Pale Ale. Confused? Me too. According to the Beavertown website, the idea came from the Barratt sweets Black Jack and Fruit Salad. They wanted to take an IPA, lace it with “under-tones of slight roast” (Carafa malts from Germany) and combine it with ”tropical aromas of Pacific West coast hops”. I can’t lie, I probably wouldn’t order this on a night out, but it was definitely a fun one to taste. If you’re interested in curating your own beer-tasting party with a few mates, grab a can of Black Betty each (available as a keg too) and have your way with it.
Double Chin - a Double IPA with an ABV of 8.5%. First brewed to celebrate Beavertown’s fourth birthday, and each year thereafter, Double Chin is a “double version” of the highly recommended, previously mentioned Neck Oil. With a weighted average of 3.83/5 on Rate Beer, the top rated review stated, “pale, sweet malt with moderate to heavy citrus hops… body is medium, the texture is oily to watery, carbonation soft” with the flavor being “sweet and bitter with a long duration”.
Do Not Open Until 1985 is a collaborative double IPA with Manchester-based Cloudwater Brew Co. rating at 9% ABV with a balanced aroma of pine, green hops, tropical citrus and a hint of spice. Definitely, a favorite of my mine that really packs a punch with such a high ABV it turns your cheeks rosy. Not one for the light-hearted, or maybe it is… try it yourself and let’s see.
A few more brews I’d like to try are Urban Alien, Good Night, Future Boy! and the Roosters collaborative Clementine IPA By ‘Eck, so find me in their Taproom (located at Lockwood Industrial Park, Mill Mead Road, Tottenham Hale, London N17 9QP - open every Saturday 2-8PM & card only) on any given weekend until I leave this country for better weather.
Thank you to Sam Millard and Beavertown for inviting Teal Magazine to the brewery, Sam Cashmore for photographing the day whilst I babbled on for hours and Photographique in Bristol for processing our film.
Camera System: Canon A1 | Film Stock: Kodak Portra 800
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