i wanted to choose visuals for the brewery that were significant to me and my journey into brewing. as well as making great beer, i wanted to use the project as a medium for telling stories and building a narrative around the wonderful moments that beer can create. this is a shot of harringay green lanes, where i first learnt to brew.
it was a friend, living nearby, who convinced me to give it a go. we'd discovered a mutual love for pubs, good beer, and the moments that can flow from it, and had exercised it thoroughly throughout many of north london's drinking establishments. being the son of a brewer, and a homebrewer himself, he suggested i marry my enthusiasm for small batch, home-made produce with my passion for beer and try out an extract kit. soon i had shrugged off the starter kits and was building my own setup from scratch. we continued sharing the fruits of our labour until the lockdown hit.
i found myself isolated; cut-off from the community and support-network that had previously been an integral part of my day-to-day life. i hadn't quite realised how important the chats in the pub, and the sharing of projects, had been to me. the comforting reassurance of perspective and cathartic outlet of conversation was lost. one of the things that kept me occupied was brewing. finding myself blessed with free use of a garden shed, i made a purpose-built brewing space.
i distracted myself in learning the technique, culture, and history of it. writing recipes, honing in techniques, gaining understanding – these activities gave purpose and structure to otherwise empty hours. the excitement of developing a recipe, brewing it, and finally trying the finished product provided a therapeutic sense of productivity that my days otherwise lacked.
after being encouraged by a neighbour, i took a small amount of my homebrew to a local market. sharing my wares at the stall, i was reminded of how much my love for beer stemmed from the company and community that it can encourage. the creating and developing of recipes was one thing, but the real reward came from sharing my passion with others. listening to someone else's stories, seeing things from another's perspective, and learning from them. these were the pillars of interaction i thrived on.
coming out of the lockdown, i decided to start a project that saw good beer as a catalyst for moments and experiences with others. a tasty west coaster on cask is exciting for newer drinkers, nostalgic for the more seasoned amongst us, and can be a talking point between the two. by reconnecting with people through brewing, i wanted to start something centred around that feeling of connection...
josh the brewer x