Big Smoke Brew Co founders Rich Craig and James Morgan began their careers managing pubs in London. Their 15-year working relationship culminated in them opening their first pub, The Antelope in Surbiton in 2014.
It was in the shed of the pub’s beer garden that the duo began brewing early iterations of what would become Big Smoke beers.
“Brewing at The Antelope allowed everyone involved the chance to learn, experiment and get immediate feedback from our customers in the pub. It’s all part of the process for us, we love hearing from our customers and it’s become very useful when deciding what works, and crucially, what doesn’t.” Explains Rich.
For the five years that followed, Rich and James continued to open pubs and proceeded to fill them with Big Smoke Beers. In February 2019 Big Smoke took the next step in their journey, moving to a new purpose-built brewery in Esher, Surrey.
“Having our own estate of pubs has allowed us to grow organically over the past 6 years but the move to our new brewery has really ramped things up for us. Investing in a great sales team and focussing on delivering strong customer service has made a huge difference.”
The move to the new brewery has allowed Big Smoke to focus much more on achieving a consistent, reliable product. The purpose-built brewery has also enabled a huge jump in scale, resulting in the expansion of the beer range and team, now 12 people strong.
Tonight’s beer, Cold Spark is one the breweries original and most popular brews. We’ll let them introduce it for us;
“Cold Spark is a core beer of ours which we brewed with the aim of offering a beer low (ish) in abv but which packs a punch in terms of flavour. We add a small amount of lactose to help the body and mouthfeel and find it works really well.”
We asked Big Smoke if there was anything else they’d like to share with our subscribers;
“We would just like to say that in this time of great difficulty and uncertainty for breweries and pubs as a whole, we have been overwhelmed by the support we have had both in our local and wider communities. Craft beer is a force for good and supporting independent breweries is crucial, especially at this time. We are so lucky to have so many friends in the craft beer world and we want all of them to get through it and come out of it as well as can be realistically achieved. BeerBods and their subscribers are crucial in all of this so apart from anything else, we are proud to have our beer featured with you guys this week and we would like to say thank you and send our solidarity and support to your subscribers.”