hoppist deliver a monthly box of beer for Londoners looking to discover the amazing beer brewed in & around the city. In our ‘Meet the Brewer’ series, we take you behind the scenes to meet the people behind the beer
We caught up with Chris Martin from Seven Sisters Brewery
Who are you and what do you brew?
My name is Chris Martin and I’m a co-founder of Seven Sisters Brewery. We brew End of Thyme, a Honey and Thyme Saison and Citrus Session, a Citra led Session IPA which have featured in hoppist boxes recently.
We also brew Rousse, a hoppy red ale, and India Pale Ale, our IPA for which we change the hop profile from batch to batch. The current version which will be out at the end of March is an Enigma single hop version. We’re very excited for it.
How big is your brewery?
We’re a 5bbl brewery run by 3 part-timers so we’re not even nano. This started as a hobby but it’s all got out of control!
Where do you brew?
Seven Sisters Brewery is based in Ubrew, Bermondsey.
How did you get into brewing?
We’re all self-taught brewers. I got started when my wife got me a homebrew kit for my birthday: Woodford Wherry!
What are your brewing influences?
I don’t know how much we can claim them as influences but we all love what Cloudwater are doing.
Where do you like to drink in London?
We love the Bermondsey Beer Mile, Mother Kellys in Bethnal Green is always excellent. The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town are doing some great things too.
How do you go about developing a new beer?
We start with an idea, bounce a few recipes around and then see how it goes on a 50L or 100L brew. We sometimes brew it at home as well if we can.
What’s your favourite type of beer to drink and to brew?
Love to drink crazy out-there imperial stouts and DIPAs but to be honest most of the time I’m looking for a tasty sub 5% beer. Love brewing our IPA because we change the hops each time.
What’s the best beer you’ve ever made?
I’m most proud of End of Thyme because it’s so out there – it’s a beer recipe I came up with with my wife talking about the south of France.
What’s the best beer (not your own!) you’ve ever tasted?
Hmm…tough one, just had a Blueberry Cheesecake Imperial Stout by Omnipollo: Anagram. That was incredible and insane.
What advice would you give to people just getting into craft beer?
Try lots of different styles and lots of different breweries, ask the person in the shop to recommend something interesting and different so you can move away from the typical london big players.
What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve brewed with?
Thyme. We started with just a thyme tincture which is a vodka extraction. We found that this was getting us a lot of the thyme bitterness but could be quite abrasive. So now we use two methods to add the thyme flavour: we use a thyme tincture and a thyme tea. This gets us a nice soft mouthfeel as well as some of the herby bitterness that we wanted.
We’ve also experimented with using Gin instead of vodka for Tristan’s wedding version of the beer and are considering doing a version with lemon thyme..
Have you ever completely screwed up a beer, either homebrewing or commercially?
I’ve screwed up plenty of homebrews, currently using my brett infected stout to make chilli with!
What do you think the next big beer style will be?
I thought it was going to be Saison for a while but I’m not sure anymore. It’s possible that London will make more top Lagers this Summer.
Discover London’s craft beer with the hoppist discovery box. Use code ILOVELONDON to get £10 off your first box of London craft beer
You can see more about Seven Sisters Brewery at www.facebook.com/Sevensistersbrewery