Redchurch’s Managing Director Gary Ward and Sales Representative Carrie Fleetwood take us through the legendary craft brewer’s history and tell us why they’ll never stop making amazing beer that makes your tastebuds sing!
First, tell us a bit about how Redchurch was founded and about what inspired you to start brewing? Redchurch was founded by Gary Ward in 2011. Gary was an avid home brewer living on Redchurch Street in Bethnal Green at the time and decided to take his passion for great beer to the next level and thus Redchurch Brewery was born.
How much has changed since those early days?
When we first began it was a much smaller operation as you would expect. Gary did the vast majority of jobs himself; brewing, packaging, taking orders, deliveries etc.
Gradually, over the following years the team has grown and we now employ over 20 people. As our team grew so did the demand for our beer and we knew that we would need to start looking for a site that could accommodate us and allow us to grow further. In 2016, we achieved our crowdfunding campaign and got the keys for our new site in Harlow.
With our core production now moved out of our Bethnal arches, we started on our next project, a range of experimental beers which we named Urban Farmhouse These beers push the boundaries of fermentation and allow us to experiment with different flavour profiles. At Redchurch our approach has always been simple: exceptional beers, brewed with respect for process and flavour.
What is the main lesson you’ve learned in all these years of brewing?
That it’s always harder work than you anticipate and that the key to success is an unswerving dedication to great quality and consistency without compromise.
What are the most important values and priorities for Redchurch?
To respect the process of brewing and to never allow compromises to affect the quality and consistency of the product.
Thousands of craft breweries have popped up across the country since you launched seven years ago – what sets Redchurch apart from all those others?
We’ve always prided ourselves on producing the best quality beers that we possibly can. Our core range boasts an impressive array of seven different styles which are available year round. No matter what your tastes, we will always have a style to suit whether that be a Session IPA, an Export Stout or a Continental Blonde. Our beers are accessible enough for the craft beer novice whilst also being complex enough for the seasoned pro.
We’ve tried to set ourselves apart from the pack by keeping our branding simple and clean whilst remaining distinctive and with that all important “shelf appeal”.
Your first premises was a single archway under a rail bridge in Bethnal Green, why did you choose this location and can you tell us a bit about the latest location and the legendary taproom?
Railway arches offer fantastic premises from which to start a new business because of the flexibility of the lease terms generally available and the relatively cheap rent. Having said that, as demand for arch premises has grown over the years with the boom in artisanal makers, rents are now less attractive and vacant premises in short supply.
Our taproom on Poyser Street is open Thursday through to Sunday evenings throughout the year and is the best place to go to try our brewery fresh beers. All of our core range, Urban Farmhouse and Harlow specials can be found here to drink in or take away and our knowledgeable staff are on hand to take you through the range.
Our most recent addition is our 24 seat restaurant run and operated by Ritas, a former Hackney staple which creates modern Mexican/American comfort food paired with our in house beers, cocktails and bespoke wine list.
It’s obvious that you’ve all been working really hard over the last few years, are there any more big plans in the pipeline?
Never ones to stand still and rest on our laurels, we have plans to continue our exceptional growth by adding more fermentation vessels, upgrading our packaging line and also looking to introduce a canning facility in the near future. Our core range has picked up a few accolades in recent months and we’d like to see this continue. Our Harlow brewers are also working on hard on producing some new and exciting specials, the next of which will be launching at the end of November. We don’t sit still for long though so watch this space for our next adventure!
Finally, is there anything you want our Flavourly members to know about Redchurch and its beers?
We love beer and we love brewing our beer! Each beer has a completely different profile to the next so work your way through the range and see which ones make your tastedbuds sing.
Written by: Hannah Gunn