Join the club
Like the sound of this beer? Give our beer club a whirl for £10.
Jack Hobday and Paul Anspach were studying at London University when they started home-brewing back in 2011.
It was, however, only after they had accosted celebrity wine supremo Oz Clarke and thrust their home-brewed Porter into his hands that they realised they were on to something good. Oz loved it. That gave them the kick up the bum they needed to have a proper crack at it. The only problem was that, since graduating, they didn’t have two pennies to rub together.
They turned to Kickstarter, with the shonkiest of videos, and raised a respectable five grand to fund some professional brewing kit. When we say “professional”, we mean it in the loosest terms. It was still tiny. They plonked their 1 barrel pilot brewing kit in an empty corner of the now-defunct Bullfinch Brewery, nestled under a railway arch on Druid Street in South East London and got to work.
Still based on the same road, Anspach & Hobday have since gone on to become a permanent and well-respected member of the vibrant Bermondsey beer scene, along with the likes of Kernel, Partizan, Brew by Numbers, and Fourpure to name a few. From midday until late on a Saturday the brewery is open to the public and more often than not is packed full of local punters sampling the kind of beers that resulted in London becoming the brewing capital of the world.
A recent rebranding has seen their whole range move into 440ml cans with some new brews to boot, however, still adorned with gentrified pigeons wearing monocles and bowler hats leaves us in no doubt that these beers continue to be inspired by the illustrious brewing heritage of London.
Tonight’s beer is no different. Known as the original session beers, ordinary bitters formed a cornerstone of English drinking culture. Perfectly balanced between malt sweetness and hop bitterness, Anspach and Hobday’s interpretation is brought up to date with the use of US Chinook hops. Delicate hop aromas of pine, spice and dark fruits are followed by a smooth, full-bodied palate with notes of biscuit and caramel.
When we first met Paul in 2013 he told us of his dream to create “a cathedral of beer” in South East London. You know what? They’re not far off.