Pressure Drop (external link) is a small independent brewery, owned and operated by Ben, Graham and Sam.We met with Ben and Graham to find out more about the brewery and how the Opportunity Investment Fund has helped them.
Why the name?
(Graham) “Pressure Drop is a reggae song by Toots and the Maytals. It’s a great tune and we usually have music on when we’re working in our production space.”
(Ben) “And then you can read into it other, more technical stuff, about pumping water through pipes and the pressure dropping if you put pressure in one end etc. But that bit’s a bit boring!”
(Ben) “It was important for us to find somewhere relatively close to where we live and somewhere where we could get a secure lease, so we hope to be here for many years to come. And there is a buzz about this area with the other breweries moving up here and such places as Five Miles, Loven bakery, the Stronghold climbing centre and Craving Coffee. Having a ready-made model such as Beavertown, on the same industrial estate as us, making a great success of things is inspiring. There is a nice community around here.”
(Graham) “And it helps that Haringey Council is supportive and has literally been so by giving us a loan.”
So how has the Opportunity Investment Fund benefitted you?
(Ben) “The money was crucial and was used to get this place up and running. It was for the refurbishment of this unit and structural works for the brewery. So we are now able to employ five full-time and two part-time staff and some casual staff for Saturdays. We will also be taking on an apprentice later in the year.”
(Graham) “We’ve also opened a tap room and sell directly to customers every Saturday between 2pm and 8pm. And every week there’s a different food trader.”
(Ben) “It’s all very positive and we’ve been getting some great feedback about our beer. We are now doing about 14,000 pints a week and hundreds of people come through our doors on Saturdays for the tap room. We normally have ten beers on tap and if there’s some nice weather we put the tables out front and it makes for a lovely atmosphere.”
How did you find working with the council on the loan and wider business support?
(Ben) “Haringey Council was very helpful and very efficient. There was not the bureaucracy which you might find in some places. The application process was quite straightforward and we were told we were one of the quickest in turning the application around! Not only do you get financial support but there’s a lot of business support and it’s good to know there are people out there who are willing to listen and help if you’re having trouble with something. You know who they are and they know who you are. Everyone we’ve come into contact with has been very approachable.
Would you recommend applying for the OIF to other businesses?
(Ben) “Definitely. And we have been recommending it already! It’s been a very good experience for us.
Tell us some more about yourselves and Pressure Drop...
(Ben) “The three of us started brewing on a 50 litre pilot kit from a shed in Graham’s garden in the summer of 2012. But, when winter came, it got a bit too cold in there so we moved to a space underneath a railway arch in Hackney in 2013. We did everything ourselves including the packaging and the hand-written white labels. It was a bit daunting at first but we soon realised we were making good beers that people were buying and we could then think about scaling upwards.”
(Graham) “Our beer now goes all over the country and all over the world. We’ve exported to Singapore, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Poland and France. If you had told me five years ago that we had now expanded to be able to open this space in Tottenham I wouldn’t have believed you, but we can now look ahead to the next few years with confidence.”
(Ben) “And we love welcoming people here on Saturdays to experience our brewery first-hand. I recommend that folk should drink local beer and fresh beer wherever they can. People forget that beer is a live product and it should be treated as such instead of leaving it in packs of 24 for months and months on end. We’re also looking into supporting some arts and community projects in some way as it’s important for us to be rooted in the Tottenham community. Graham has just started up a running club that runs 5K around Tottenham Marshes on a Saturday before finishing at our tap room where you get the first beer free!”