A Year in Beer 2017

So! Another year is drawing in and we’re looking ahead to 2018. But, before we clock off for the year and crack open a few to celebrate this New Year’s Eve hurrah, we wanted to take a look back at some of the favourite moments of the year almost gone, and tell you a little about what we have on the horizon for the next.

A stack of kegs at The Five Points Brewing Company, Hackney Downs

We got more space!

In April this year we secured Arch 440, the archway next-door to our Institute Place brewing site. This space now houses our new barrel ageing project (more details and first release coming in 2018) and has freed up space in our original brewing site, Arch 441. In October this year, we had planning permission approved for expansion in the yard, where we will be installing three new 60BBL fermentation vessels this Spring.  Each tank will be able to hold three brews from the brewhouse. This, coupled with a few changes we’re making to the set-up of our brewhouse and plans for a centrifuge next year, will double our annual capacity over 2018. We hope that this will enable us to bring all our production back in-house in Hackney. At the time of writing, we’re on course to have brewed over two million pints this year.

We did lots of #FivePointsonTour

We hosted and took part in over 120 events in 2017, spanning the length and breadth of the country. (Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow – we’re coming for you in 2018!) Thanks to all the venues, festivals, breweries and event partners for inviting us along and showing us such a good time. Particular shout-outs go to The Free Trade Inn for being spectacularly nice folks, Liverpool Craft Beer Expo for their fantastic hospitality, and The Smithfield Tavern for drinking all that Derailed Porter with us before (and after) Indy Man Beer Con. And, not forgetting the lovely Marble Brewery and The Marble Arch for those incredible cheesy chips and gravy post-Indy Man, Wylam Brewery and New Wave Distribution for the cracking beer celebration that was Craft Beer Calling, and Leeds International Beer Festival which was a whole lot of fun, too! Oh! And the Christmas party Mason & Company threw a couple weeks back with Duration Brewing and Verdant Brewing Co… Well, the list could go on.

We made a Cat Beer!

Colloquially and fondly known as ‘Cat Beer’ among Five Points staff and friends, Field Day Citrus Pale marked the second beer we have brewed for probably our favourite London festival. Featuring the (now famous) furry friends Scooby, Astrid, Noodles, Ludo and Polly, and containing loads and loads of zest from our friends over at Square Root Soda, our cat-can printed pale ale joined our permanent can-offering this year. Fun fact: in 2016, an alternatively named ‘Ten Points Extra Pale’ became the now permanent XPA.


The exterior of The Five Points Brewing Company, outside Hackney Downs station in East London

We worked with our fellow beer peers

We’re really proud to have worked with over 60 of London’s incredible independent breweries over 11 events on behalf of the London Brewer’s Market this year. Highlights of the market schedule have included the Field Day London Brewer’s Market in June and the Horniman Museum and Gardens Christmas Night Market in December. We’re looking ahead to a big year for LBM in 2018, including some out-of-London excursions, excitingly. In November, we organised a Living Wage Brewer’s Beer Festival at our bar and brewery tap, Mason & Company. The event celebrated the close of Living Wage Week with 12 different Living Wage accredited breweries pouring on the taps across the weekend, and the reception and feedback was really lovely. Cheers, everyone!

We brewed our first green-hopped beer (and celebrated cask ale!)

Visiting Hukins Hops  in August this year during the Bullion hop harvest was a special moment, as was brewing the Green Hop Bitter with kilos of wet Bullion hops just hours after harvesting from the bines. Thank you to Fuggles Beer Cafe Tonbridge for launching the Green Hop for us, and we’re pleased to say that Green Hop 2018 is definitely happening. In a year which has seen several high-profile breweries cease or scale down their cask production, we’re happy to have taken a bit of time to celebrate our cask ale, and we threw five Cask Parties across the country – in Newcastle, Kent, London, Manchester and Leeds.

We drank and enjoyed all of these…

We’d like to give some shout outs to our beer-peers for all of their cracking brews this year, although there’s far too many to mention here. But, a special mention has to go to Lost & Grounded for their stomping beers this year – and, the hospitality shown to us on our team trip to Bristol Beer Week from themselves, Moor BeerandWiper and True, too. We have wholeheartedly enjoyed many, many pints of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord each and every time we’re in Leeds at Whitelocks Ale House. Shout-outs also go to Kernel and Redemption for that tasty Victorian Mild at Pig’s Ear Festival earlier in the month, Gadd’s Green Hop enjoyed at a cosy Kentish pub this October, Wylam’s Barrel Aged Wee Heavy, Left Handed Giant’s Heavy Water and Flemish Red, so many tasty beers from Wild Beer and many, many more.

We’re going to be stocking in Ireland

We’re really pleased to be partnering with Four Corners in the New Year, and we’ll be working with this fantastic distribution arm to bring our cans and bottles over to Ireland for the very first time. Our Sales and Account manager Francesca, who has recently relocated to Dublin, will be heading up the Five Points over there. We’ll be officially launching in a couple months time, and joining their cracking portfolio which includes the likes of Stone Brewing Co, Brasserie de la Senne, Beavertown and To Ol.

Five Years of Five Points

We’re very excited to be celebrating our fifth birthday next year! To mark this milestone in our brewery’s history, we will be hosting Five Years of Five Points at our brewery in April. We will plan, brew and release five different collaboration beers with five different breweries for the occasion, with more to follow across the year. More details and announcements to come in 2018.

2018 for The Five Points Brewing Company…

Across the coming year, we will continue to commit resources to community growth and support, in both our local area and beer industry. In 2018 we’ll be partnering with two charities local to us: the Hackney Winter Night Shelter and Headway East London. We’ll also be working to raise awareness within our industry of the support offered by The Benevolent, the drinks industry charity, and we’re continuing our work on behalf of the London Brewer’s Market, to champion and encourage London’s independent brewing talent. We’ve also been involved in the imminent establishment of a brand new National Apprenticeship Standard for Brewers, a culmination of work by brewers and brewing industry professionals from around the country. More news to come in the New Year.

Over 2018, we hope to continue to grow, invest and improve; learning from our peers and industry, positively influenced by the seasons of changing tastes, while unafraid to continue to forge our own path. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has bought, drank and enjoyed our beers across 2017 and our awesome team who make it all possible.

Wishing you a Happy New Year and Many Happy Beery Returns.

The Five Points Team