Industrial estates are not normally exciting places to be, and for most people they wouldn’t be high on the list of places to visit on a Saturday evening. However if you venture to the Walthamstow/Leyton border, there is an industrial estate that has a pleasant surprise in store for any intrepid explorers. Tucked into a corner of Argall Avenue, just of Lea Bridge Road is the Brupond brewery, and on Saturday 25th May they hosted a beer festival called the Brustival which provided the perfect excuse to pay them a visit. Argall avenue has a varied mix of tenants and the brewery is neighboured by a couple of churches, a makeup distributer and a set builder. But despite the unusual surroundings having a drink out in the sunshine made for a great afternoon. The Brustival bought together several East London brewers including Wild card who are based at the Warrent officer in Walthamstow, Brodies from Leyton and Mothers Ruin gin who have a shop in Wood Street Market.
When the weather started to cool down we headed into the brewery and before long I started chatting to Kenneth Graham who runs Brupond with David Brassfield. Both Ken and David are from the USA so the first thing I asked him was how on earth two boys from the U.S. ended up running a brewery on an industrial Estate in Leyton. He explained that when they were looking for premises, the unit on Argall Avenue was good value so that’s why they picked it. East London has since worked its magic on the boys and David now lives in Walthamstow and Ken hopes to follow soon. Ken went on to tell me that Brupond differs from many other brewers because they only brew vegan beer, if I’m being completely honest I had no idea that beer wasn’t vegan. He explained that a fish by-product is often used as a filter and as Brupond don’t use this product, their unfiltered beers remain slightly hazy. Whilst the technicalities of brewing may escape me, I can confirm that Brupond brews such as their Tip Top Hop and experimental blonde are lovely to drink.
As we chatted I was amazed to learn that much of the funding for the business was generated through a crowdfunding website. When David had the idea to set up a Brewery he pitched the idea online and attracted enough investors to set the up Brupond. I’ve heard of similar projects on sites like kickstarter but I’ve never spoken with anyone that has successfully established a business as a result of crowdfunding. I was really impressed as Ken explained the back story of the project and told me about some of the amazing plans they have the future. Many of us often have a bright idea and think about setting up a new business and I enjoyed speaking with someone who had actually done it.
Our corner of London has a long tradition of brewing, the Essex brewery once stood on St James Street and up until its closure was a major local employer. It’s good to know that companies like Brupond and the other Walthamstow/Leyton brewers are reviving that tradition. With the newly refurbished Chequers and Bell joining the Walthamstow pub scene this seems like the perfect time for local brewers to succeed and expand. As for the Brupond, they have some pretty impressive plans in the pipeline, and whilst I lost some of the finer detail in a post Brustival haze, they are definitely one to watch. There will be other events held at the brewery this year and it really is worth paying them a visit, keep an eye on their website for more information http://www.brupond.com/