I was never much of a beer drinker – gin, vodka and wine are my main tipples. But on striking up a relationship with the lovely Mr Redding I was subjected to a crash course in beer – and when I say beer I mean real ale, a name I hate as it conjours up beardy sweater wearing folks, and that’s not me and Mr R. So, beer…with the aid of the great British Beer Guide we have visited scores of pubs over the last couple of years and I have developed my favourites. A pint of Harvey’ bitter is probably up there at the top, especially from the Royal Oak in Tabard Street, SE1. A trip to Leyton to the William IV pub allowed us to sample 14 of Brodie’s beers, which are brewed on the premises. Our local pub chain Capital Pubs sell beer from their micro-brewery at The Florence pub in Herne Hill - Weasel, Beaver and Bonobo – and we hope that this will still carry on now that the pub guzzlers Greene King have taken them over. And a special mention to a couple of other local pubs that always have a range of good beer on pump available, The Old Nuns Head and Hooper’s.
So, becoming a bit more educated about beer, and the importance of local breweries making good real beer, I was intrigued to hear about a new brewery planning to open up on Rye Lane…funnily enough called The Rye Lane Brewery. Even better, they have managed to squat at another local brewery and produce a fledgling beer, endearingly called ‘Keep Your Peckham Up’ as a rallying cry after the riots. Things got better – I heard that the beer would be on sale at the Peckham Rye Fete, slaking the thirst of the hundreds of people turning up for the world famous dog show, Punch and Judy and other fete related delights. So I felt it was incumbent upon me to slope over on a hot Saturday afternoon to sample the brew.
Unfortunately, Mr Redding was not available, so my cunning plan was to take a thermos flask with me so I could take a carry out back home with me…I was not sure how this would go down with the seller. I need not have worried. Tom, the owner and leading light behind the brewery, was at the helm and didn’t flinch when I asked if he could put a pint in my flask. I then took a pint in a glass for my own consumption as I wandered round the fete. Keep Your Peckham Up is a relatively light (3.6%) bitter, very much in the English style. Lightly but noticeably hopped with a nice flowery aroma, and a long dry finish. Perfect for lunchtime drinking with fish, salads and sandwiches. Mr Redding was equally impressed remarking at the depth of flavour and finish for a relatively light beer. Right up our street.
The Rye Lane Brewery is searching out premises on or near The Lane and I hope they manage to find something soon. Tom wants this to be a brewery that the community feels involved with producing products that our local pubs want to stock. He has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Rye-Lane-Brewery/207076782686209 and the website is at http://www.ryelanebrewery.co.uk/
Support your local brewer!!!