Nestled at the base of Gipsy Hill, in South London, we brew full flavoured, moreish brews of the highest standard. Every decision we make is led by improving quality, pushing innovation and engaging with our community.
Employees: 2; Tank count: 0; Beer brewed: 0hl
Charlie and I (Sam) met at craft beer institution The Rake in Borough Market. We’d both heard from a mutual friend we had the same plans – to build a brewery. We shook hands, drank some beer, got to know each other and penned a plan to put our stake in the brewing world.
Employees: 3; Tank count: 4 (100hl total capacity); Beer brewed: 500hl
We put all our cash together and leased a unit in Gipsy Hill, Charlie’s backyard. We pulled in Simon in April, stainless steel tanks arrived in May, and we started brewing half batches in July. We started with Southpaw and were 90% cask from the start. By September we had introduced Beatnik.
It was a crazy time. We wanted to make the best beer we could and learned the hard way how difficult it is. Every day we pushed ourselves, we changed how we brewed and we listened to our loyal customers. Every day we got better. Quality became one of the daily mantras we built into how we operate.
Employees: 4; Tank count: 4 (100hl total capacity); Beer brewed: 1,200hl
We opened our brewery taproom and started welcoming people into our brewing home. Community began to build itself into the fabric of what we do at Gipsy Hill.
We started to hit our brewing stride. Dissident and Hepcat were introduced. Hepcat proved to be a hit and remained our bestselling beer for (at least) the next 3 years. We got a bigger bottling machine and began to move into small-pack, getting Gipsy Hill bottles out far and wide.
Employees: 10; Tank count: 11 (580hl total capacity); Beer brewed: 2,500hl
2016 was a rollercoaster. We opened our first bar, The Douglas Fir; we got our second unit and moved warehousing out of the brewery. Then we were struck by crisis – our original brewery floor gave way and began to rot. In the face of new tanks arriving we made a bold decision to pull out our entire brewery, stop brewing for 7 weeks, and re-lay a new production floor. One that would stand the test of time.
This decision really hurt our finances at the brewery, but it paved the way for a new era. One of investment in quality, in staff, in good machinery that would ensure that we were brewing and packaging beer in the best possible way we could. It was an inflection point from us, a moment where we choose the harder path of quality, and putting, instead of efficiency and scale, the beer, first. We have never looked back.
Employees: 14; Tank count: 19 (@1,240hl capacity); Beer brewed: 4,550hl
We more than doubled our brewing capacity this year, giving us the potential to get up to 12,000hl in our Gipsy Hill home. We got 2 more warehouses. We built a separate packaging hall from the brewery and invested in a canning line. We stopped producing bottles and moved entirely to cans. We bought a new brewhouse that was double the size, allowing us to keep a smaller, better trained and nimble team. Instead of shift brewing through the day and night, we still only brew once a day. We built a proper lab to analyse our beer. We built one of the largest cold stores for packaged beer in South London.
2018... so far
Employees: 19 (est.); Tank count: 21 (@1,420hl capacity); Beer brewed: 8,000hl
In the first 4 months of 2018, we’ve opened a fully accessible tap room, so our customers and community can enjoy our beers on site, getting the freshest Gipsy Hill beer you can get anywhere. We’ve released 12 special beers outside of our core range. We built a pilot brew kit so that we can trial small batches of beer onsite before putting them through the big brewhouse. We started a barrel-ageing program with 4 beers so far racked into a variety of barrels.
At Gipsy Hill we’ve refocused our vision to focus on three core principles: 1) Quality, 2) Innovation, 3) Community. Everything we do here bears those three elements in mind in the purest way we can. We’re going to be collaborating with interesting and different partners who will help us emphasis these goals.
There lots more to come in 2018 alone, and we’re really excited to see where it’ll take us.