Is there room for any more breweries on the famous Bermondsey Beer Mile? Well Peter Jackson thinks so. He and business partner Andy Nichol have set up the Soutwark Brewing Co on Druid St; that famous street that once hosted the then little-known Kernel and is now home to the likes of Anspach and Hobday. The operation is impressively large for a start-up; a 10 barrel kit and I was lucky enough to have a quick word with Peter on opening day. His background lies with Marstons but despite his links to that part of the world, he knew where exactly where the new brewery should be based. SBC have a slightly different approach to where they see their beer in the marketplace compared to their local rivals. Whilst admiring the craft beer movement, Peter explained that he feels that there is a gap in the market for locally brewed cask beers and, with Sean Franklin on board as consultant that is where they will be concentrating their efforts.
There was only one beer available on opening day: Bermondsey Best, a traditional English Bitter. However, they have slowly been rolling out and expanding the choice and the brewery bar now boasts four handpulls; a unique and very welcome sight on the keg dominated BBM. Beers to look out for include Bankside Blonde and King Cnut which are both brewed with Citra hops and Peter’s Stout, a powerful (8.9%) Russian Imperial Stout. Competition is fierce, albeit friendly, in the little pocket that makes up the Bermondsey beer scene but SBC have made a promising start.