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14th July 2022

Water, Rye, Hops And The Opera At The Arch: Anspach & Hobday’s The Arch House Hosting ‘Besse: Water, Rye and Hops’ as part of Tête à Tête’s ‘The Opera Festival’

Independent London craft brewery Anspach & Hobday have announced that The Arch House, their taproom on The Bermondsey Beer Mile, will play host ‘Besse: Water, Rye and Hops’, an opera about a female brewster from the middle ages who struggles with accusations of witchcraft and murder.

Produced by Infinite Opera, ‘Besse: Water, Rye and Hops’ will be showing as part of Tête à Tête’s ‘The Opera Festival’, and will take place on Wednesday 24th August at 7pm with tickets priced at £15 and available here.

To celebrate the event Anspach & Hobday have brewed a unique Pale Ale for the event. Coming in at 4%, Besse uses a combination of Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, Columbus and Loral hops. The beer is smooth, has a fruity palate and a crisp, refreshing finish.

A Spokesperson From Infinite Opera says: “We are thrilled to bring our show Besse – the first ever beer opera – to London this summer, in collaboration with the crafty Anspach & Hobday brewery on the infamous beer mile. Come and enjoy beer made into music – sometimes merrily crispy, sometimes soured with the frozen cold dagger of drama, and sometimes bitterly sweet. These are definitely two hours of refreshingly hoppy music for all.”

Paul Anspach, Co-Founder of Anspach & Hobday says: “We have always enjoyed hosting artistic and creative events, including our legendary Christmas carol concert, and more recently our comedy/charity night with Phil Wang. In this case, we are looking forward to introducing our customers to an art form they may not be overly familiar with, as well as welcoming some new faces from the world of opera. It is always a privilege to work with people from different fields who show the same level of passion, creativity and commitment for their work as we do for our beers.”


The first ever beer opera trilogy, by Infinite Opera, is being brought to London with the support of Anspach & Hobday. Besse: Water, Rye and Hops transforms Anspach & Hobday’s: The Arch House into a theater, to tell the story of a female brewster from the middle ages who struggles with accusations of witchcraft and murder, while the black death wreaks havoc around her.

Expect a black comedy involving feminist activism, rhyming couplets and the unpredictable effects that a single beer can create! The music is described as “frantic Balkan Carmina Burana”.

More About Besse: Water, Rye and Hops –


Tête à Tête is a charity which makes extraordinary performances often in extraordinary places from Cornwall to Newcastle, and helps others to do the same. They’ve produced way over 100 new operas, and supported thousands of artists to create hundreds more via Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival.

As so often, Tête à Tête paved the way for the opera sector throughout 2020, staging the only opera in the government’s DCMS pilots for the return to indoor performance in July with The Cockpit, and hosting over fifty safely-delivered productions for live audiences through the pandemic. This year’s festival continues to push the boundaries until September.

More About Tête à Tête –


Founded by childhood friends Paul Anspach & Jack Hobday, Anspach & Hobday launched in Bermondsey in 2014. Anspach & Hobday believe beer is about enjoyment and community. In 2019 Anspach & Hobday set up their Croydon Brewery following on from their 2018 crowdfund (542 investors, £525,250 raised, £3m valuation).

Following on from their 2021 crowdfund (869 investors, £661,262 raised, £4.9m valuation), Ansapch & Hobday are set to double batch volume and efficiency, with a focus on supporting the demand and growth of their popular independent nitro porter, London Black.

Inspired by traditional styles and remade for the 21st century beer drinker, Anspach & Hobday is known for its diverse range of beers. Brewing everything from historic ales and porters to experimental sours and IPAs. All of our beers are vegan friendly and made using renewable energy.

Anspach & Hobday is best known for its flagship beer and award-winning beer, The Porter. The brewery epitomises London craft beer, bringing together tradition with modernity.

More About Anspach & Hobday –


Press release from Anspach & Hobday