“Tonight is a helluva moment for us as a brewery and as a team.”
Logan Plant, the charismatic owner and founder of London’s Beavertown Brewery, addresses 30 people seated on metal stools in the brewery’s new warehouse space in a Tottenham Hale industrial park. Everybody is there to enjoy an “exclusive and long-awaited first round of beers before anyone else.”
Fresh figs, grapes, walnuts, fancy cheeses—foods selected to “play with and accentuate the flavors of the beers” about to be poured—are carefully arranged on a long row of wooden planks placed, appropriately, on barrels. Hanging industrial lights and candles set here and there within racks of scotch, armagnac, sherry, Madeira, and other wood barrels illuminate the cavernous space.
Oskar Blues Brewing Co. head brewer Tim Matthews, Founders Brewing Co. UK Marketing Manager Tim Traynor, and Beavertown’s then-head brewer Jenn Merrick join Plant at the head of the makeshift table. “Tempus, as some of you may know, means ‘time’ in Latin,” says Plant, “and that pretty much derives everything we’re doing in this area of the brewery.”
A year has passed since Plant unveiled Beavertown’s Tempus Project, the latest growth spurt for what is today inarguably London’s leading brewery. The brewery’s ascension to the throne has been remarkably swift. Plant started things in February 2012 at Duke’s Brew & Que (RIP) in De Beauvoir Town, where he brewed in the still-buzzy barbecue joint’s kitchen and fermented in the basement. A year later Beavertown outgrew the space and moved to Hackney Wick, where the brewing schedule kicked up from once to eight times a week. More space was soon needed, so in 2014 Beavertown settled into its current digs in Tottenham Hale, where in two years the brewery went from “eight or nine” employees to 45 full-timers and a bunch of part-timers—and that was a year ago.
Plant says the Tempus Project fulfills his long-held desire to introduce barrel-aging, wood, wild yeasts, and bacteria into the Beavertown mix. There is an “amazing plethora of woods” in place for the launch, about 150 to 160 barrels in all with plenty room for more. Beavertown has released 17 Tempus beers over this first year, including a bourbon barrel-aged Berliner weisse (Moonshiner), a Belgian rye tripel aged in white-wine barrels (Uptown Monk), and a tequila barrel-aged gose (El Mariachi).
Four (and a half) beers are poured at the launch. Up first are bretted IPAs, Brux and Claussenii, which are made in collaboration with Founders and based on Beavertown’s clean Molecular Mayhem IPA. We next taste a pair of collaborations with Oskar Blues called Phobos and Deimos, which are weizendoppelbocks aged in Madeira (Phobos) or sherry (Deimos) barrels. The evening ends with tasters of a mystery Tempus beer that some of us find out, a few weeks later, turns out to be Barrel-Aged Sour Power.
The general consensus around the table is positive, with many noting that each of these beers will greatly benefit with more time. That bodes well, for at Tempus time is everything.
Beavertown’s barrel room is not open to the public, though keep an eye on the brewery’s events page. The main brewery’s taproom is open every Saturday from 2pm – 8pm. Unit 17-18, Lockwood Industrial Park, Mill Mead Road. 020 8525 9884.