The shop – which includes a number of tables for drinking in – is the brain child of Tim Livesey, a local resident with a passion for brewing. He said:
“As an amateur brewer, I found it really frustrating having to plan my brews ahead and make sure I’d ordered everything online,” said Tim. “So many times I’d get to a critical stage and realise I hadn’t got enough malt or was short of some bottles, and wished that I could pop in to a shop to pick up some supplies. I’m also an avid real ale and craft beer fan, so it made sense to combine all of these together.
“It’s been a real pleasure meeting everyone who’s popped into the shop; there’s a real buzz about south London at the moment. People are really enthusiastic about trying new beers, whether that’s a bitter from Oakham or a Saison from a new brewery, like Old Kent Road. It’s a really exciting time to open, because it feels like the possibilities are endless, especially with so many new breweries opening up in London. I’m really excited to see what’s next. Who knows, maybe the next hit brewer will have started off with a kit from waterintobeer!”
Since opening at the end of August, the shop has already boosted its range of bottles and beers to well over 200, with everything from traditional ales to hot new goses among its ever-changing stock.
On the homebrew side, there are currently 45 different hops, as well as 35 malts, in stock, and all the ingredients and equipment a homebrewer could need. Starter kits and mini breweries are also available, alongside a wide range of beer and homebrewing related books, by top writers including Pete Brown, Mark Dredge, Des De Moor, Jeff Evans and Roger Protz.
Events including tastings and book readings are planned, with the first set to take place on 22 September, when Peckham's Gosnells will be visiting to talk about, and offer tastings of, their mead.
The shop itself is as DIY as Tim’s brewing. The former dry cleaners was transformed by Tim with help from friends, who are still trying to rid their hair of paint splatters. For fans of breweriana, a range of vintage brewery memorabilia is on display, sourced by his friends Kate and Ed, at Hot House Vintage, who sell antiques online and at Ely Market. “I love what’s going on in the beer world at the moment, but I also think it’s important to celebrate its history, and the story of how we got where are today. Our old beer mats have proven popular, and our customers have enjoyed sharing tales of the first Carling Black Label they enjoyed, or their trip to Samuel Smiths brewery as a kid.”