Another railway arch in Southwark, slightly south and east of Bermondsey underground, and not far from Southwark Park. No Maltby Street vibe, no sense of a thriving hub for good food and drink, no hipsters and yuppie couples with upmarket pushchairs grazing. Behind an anonymous roller shutter on a quiet access road, another of London's new breweries is preparing to launch beer to the capital's beer lovers.
|Andy 'Partizan' Smith|
Andy Smith will be familiar to many of London's beer lovers. For almost three years he's been working with Andy Moffat at Redemption, wowing drinkers with beers such as subtle, golden Trinity and hoppy, full-bodied Big Chief. But in the Spring of this year he decided to strike out and set up his own brewery. Along with old schoolmate, another Andy (Karran), who is still holding down a day job in the Midlands, he's taken time to find premises, design the beers and brand, untangle all of the red tape and now Partizan is finally about to launch their debut beers.
|Trust me, it's brewing kit...|
The 4 BBL brewkit was Evin O'Riordain's before he moved The Kernel to Dockley Street and quintupled his brewlength. Brodie's, Redemption and The Kernel have helped out with bits of equipment and advice, and now Partizan is brewing once a week, with all production going into bottles. Andy is pleasantly surprised by the quality of the local water, which comes from local aquifers. “It’s bloody hard, with very high levels of calcium, but it's also incredibly consistent which is very important considering we can't do analysis as regularly as we’d like. At least we know where we are with it.”
On my visit I was able to try Pale Ale, around 5.3%, amber, and hopped with Citra and Pacific Gem; and Stout, which Andy suspects is a little bigger than the target 7.5% (turns out it's 8.6%), but has a delicious mocha nose, some squishy red fruit notes and bitter chocolate in the mouth, and a pleasing long roasted bitter finish. Both beers need a little more time in the bottle, but showed great promise and were already quite drinkable a week ago. An IPA was being brewed last weekend, so the hope is to have three beers available around the festive season.
|Exclusive! Look For The Partizan Label...|
I got an exclusive sneak peek of the label artwork which I'm sharing with you, my loyal reader. Andy explains the idea behind the design “Our beers full of character so we also wanted our labels to be. I’ve been a big fan of illustrator Alec Doherty for a long time and feel really lucky to have his illustrations on our bottles. I like the way they're not always immediately obvious, they make you work a little but also make you appreciate them all the more for it, hopefully a little like our beers”. The intention is for beer to be available around London before Christmas. They also expect to be able to open the brewery for sales and tastings, so check their website for info.
There's no playing around with 'p' words like 'philosophy' and 'passion' behind Partizan, though Andy S has used the Partizan nickname through his time as both a homebrewer and at Redemption. He says, “It was originally stolen from film director Michel Gondry's YouTube account, but I have since come to enjoy its other meanings and associations, most obviously the enthusiastic and ardent support for something, obviously beer in my case”. With the sharing, collaborative scene growing up in London, I'd say Partizan are in the right place.
I'll be checking in with the New Boys as they develop their beers and find markets. Another New Boy profile soon...