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.
Their core range includes three stunning Porters (one of which won Gold at the International Beer Challenge), an IPA, a Pale Ale, a Smoked Brown Ale and this week’s beer, The Cream Ale.
Cream Ale is a style of beer that rose to prominence during American prohibition, mainly being brewed by Canadian breweries. Oats and malted corn are in the grain bill giving it a lighter colour, but also a lovely smooth, thicker body. The increasingly popular American Loral hop was named such because of the lemony and floral notes, and this beer showcases that beautifully. “At 4.5%, it’s dangerously drinkable. In many ways, it's a nice bridge between pale ale and lager. The beer is a perfect example of our focus on balance”, Edd at Anspach & Hobday tells us.
Unsurprisingly, there is strong overseas demand for Jack and Paul’s beers, many of which are inspired by historical London recipes and have labels celebrating quintessentially British activities and characters.
“Having successfully crowdfunded, we will be moving to a larger site in the coming months and investing in the necessary kit to have trebled capacity within three years”, says Edd. “Our future is looking bright, busy and exciting”.