Last year was a busy one for Redemption – Tottenham’s original craft brewery, and one of the pioneers of London’s resurgent beer industry.
Now the team – based on an unprepossessing industrial estate a short walk north of the Spurs stadium – is gearing up for an even busier 2017 as they welcome local visitors to their long awaited tap room.
A lot has changed since Redemption first started brewing beer in 2010. At that time, there were just a handful of fellow breweries in the whole of London.
Now beer enthusiasts talk of doing the ‘Tottenham Mile’: drinking at Redemption and neighbouring brewery One Mile End, and at Beavertown in Tottenham Hale.
Another brewer – Affinity – has opened in the area, near Craving Coffee, while Brewheadz make their beer near the Marshes. Meanwhile, Pressure Drop is preparing to move near to Beavertown.
The idea that people might journey to this end of N17 just to drink the local ale was not foremost in the mind of founder and chief brewer Andy Moffat, when he chatted to Seventhsister last year.
Redemption formed to focus on commercial brewing, not selling bottles to visitors. “But we’ve had more and more people in Tottenham say we’d like to come to the brewery and drink there,” says Moffat.
“As Tottenham has grown and developed there’s been a lot more people interested in that. Every year more breweries have started, and I’m sure there won’t be more breweries and every year I’ve been wrong.”
While London is firmly established now as a town that supports small-scale, craft brewing, “when we started there wasn’t a natural place to go”, he says.
“You associate cask ale and good beer with kind of a rural idyll, the coast or the countryside. I liked the idea of doing something a bit different in a place that was not renowned for that kind of activity.”
One reason Redemption can now open a tap room here is their beers have been a roaring success. Moffat’s creations have won awards every year since 2011.
Earlier in 2016 Redemption moved to substantially larger premises on the same industrial estate they started on, with a much larger brewing set up. The previous one produced around 1,600 litres of beer each time they brewed – now it is 5,000 litres.
But their offerings, while award winning, are markedly traditional ales.
(Photo: André Ainsworth)
While other craft brewers have courted punters with super-high alcohol contents, sour beers, chocolate stouts and other alchemy, Redemption has stayed true to their core range of slightly-old-fashioned ales.
“That’s the beer we do. It’s what we’ve got a good reputation for doing,” says Moffat, although he says he quite likes “drinking some more esoteric stuff as well sometimes”.
Redemption is not planning on moving again anytime soon though.
“Historically breweries were at the heart of the community. We were lucky that in Tottenham we had that from an early stage. When we came the estate was half empty. Now this estate is full,” says Moffat.
“We built the place bigger than we needed to grow into it. We will definitely stay in Tottenham.”
Words by Daniel Cressey
Images by André Ainsworth