22 December 2016
Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017, a.k.a. Growing Pains
2016 has been an interesting year, on a lot of levels(!), but for us here at The Five Points it’s been one that’s seen us more than double our production from 5,000 hectolitres (or around 900,000 pints), to 12,000 hectolitres – that’s 2.1 million pints, and in the process increasing our team from 10 to 23 full time staff. That rate of growth comes with a certain amount of growing pains!
As a result we are fast running out of space at our brewery in Hackney. We love every nook and cranny of our Victorian railway arch nestled here underneath Hackney Downs Railway Station, and we hope to stay here for many years to come. But realistically we are now at capacity at this site.
In order to continue to brew our beers to the standard we want, and in the quantities that you want, we need to expand. At Hackney Downs we are hemmed in on all sides, and after several months of (currently unsuccessful) negotiation with our neighbours and with Network Rail, sadly it looks like we’ve run out of expansion options at our current site.
So we are actively pursuing expansion plans – after a lot of discussion with suppliers and other brewers we have a new brewhouse manufacturer tee-ed up and we are actively looking for new premises, with a number of possibilities lined up. However this will take time, as we negotiate a new lease and then have equipment manufactured and installed, and so we’ve had to look at options to fill the gap.
After much research and deliberation, we have decided to partner with a family-owned independent brewery in Belgium, which will help us to meet demand on a temporary basis while we finalise our expansion plans. We continue to brew twice a day here in Hackney, but twice a month our Head Brewer Greg will also take the 200 mile trip to Belgium to brew some more of our beer on our partners’ kit. And that’s the important thing for us; while we continue to brew our full range of beers here in Hackney, our top up brews (which is currently some of our draught Five Points Pils) are still being brewed by our own brewers, to our own existing recipe, using our own ingredients.
While we’re a little bit sad that for now we can’t brew every single drop at our own premises, we’re also really excited about our London expansion plans, and teaming up with our new found Belgian friends is really going to help us out of a hole while we finalise those expansion plans here in the UK. Of which there will be more news very soon!
All of us here at The Five Points are hugely grateful for the support we’ve received from all of our customers in 2016. We truly value it. Thank you. And we look forward to sharing news of our development plans in 2017.