Beer historian, beer sommelier and brewer Peter Haydon has successfully concluded the purchase of the Florence Brewery, from owners Greene King. This unique and ground breaking deal, whereby one brewery is producing in premises owned by another, will see output at the South London brewpub double over the forthcoming months.
Greene King acquired the Capital Pub Company in September 2011 complete with its own brewery, located within the Florence public house in Herne Hill, SE24.
Peter explains. “The five barrel brewery was installed in 2007, but I took it on in January 2011 and spent the year getting quality and yields up and costs down. However, my relationship was with Capital not Greene King, so the purchase cast a shadow of uncertainty over my plans that I felt was necessary to remove. In fact Greene King have been a pleasure to work with. They could not have been more supportive. They accepted my proposal to buy the brewery outright and were happy for me to become a tenant in the Florence. The deal we have agreed gives me the financial security to justify investment in the business and a trading base upon which to build and expand output.”
The Florence will continue to make the beers it has always done (Weasel, Bonobo and Beaver), which have built a solid local following. Peter says. “The Capital managers have always been very supportive of the brewery and I am keen to reward that loyalty by giving them something that is unique to them and a little bit special.”
However, there is spare capacity in the brewery and Peter plans to use this to produce a further range of beers. “If you know me you’ll know I’m usually to be found under a hat and that my origins in this industry lie in the realm of pub and beer history. Consequently my beers are all recreations of old London beers from long gone London brewers, each beer is named after a hat, all under the A Head In A Hat Brewing banner.”
So, for example, Titfer is a Dinner Ale from 1923 and Topper is a powerfully hoppy East India Porter from 1805. Discussions with publicans have revealed a keen interest in historical brews, so Peter is confident that he won’t have to hawk his beers far and wide. “Historically beers didn’t travel. Those that had to were specially brewed. Like so many brewers of old, I want to keep my beers close to home and, the odd festival aside, I want to them to be enjoyed by the people of South London, which, after all, has a great and centuries old brewing tradition we can be proud of.”
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For further information contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07973 465081.