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 Rahul Mulchandani from Enfield Brewery
Who are you and what do you brew?
I’m Rahul Mulchandani, founder of the Enfield Brewery. We brew the Enefeld Range of beers, inspired by the ancient Saxon name for Enfield.
Where is your brewery?
We’re in Enfield in North London, a short stone’s throw away from the North Circular road.
How big is your kit?
We currently have a 20bbl DME brew house with six 40bbl fermentation vassals and an onsite bottling line capable of outputting 2800 bottles an hour. We are based in a 5,000sq ft unit with room to expand into the adjacent units.
How & when did the brewery get started?
The idea of starting a brewery was initially thought up while having a few beers in university with a few friends. After leaving university and spending several years in the distribution industry for beers, wines and spirits I found myself frustrated at the limited supply of high quality craft beer available in my sector targeting the off trade. After some thought we decided to launch a contract bottling line to open up the off trade to more small brewers.
After a few months of planning and discussion with brewers it became apparent that we needed to start our own brewery to demonstrate to other brewers that we could produce and look after beer. I then got in touch with my friend from university Shadaan who I had the initial idea of starting a brewery with and invited him to join me to help me run the brewery. Now after one year we contract brew and bottle for over 8 breweries as well as brewing over 7 beers under our own Enefeld brand in keg, cask and bottle.
We’ve heard you have your own on-site well. How does that work?
Yes we have our very own borehole. Whilst building the brewery we became aware that there are actually several boreholes on our industrial estate. These are predominantly used to provide water for soft drinks. The benefit of having a borehole is that we minimise treating our water since we don’t need to worry about the chemicals that are added to mains water. We instead have designed our beers around our water profile.
How did you get into brewing?
Although I am passionate about brewing and have dabbled in home brewing I believe it’s important to have experience to produce the best quality and most consistent beers. Due to this we took on a head brewer Stuart Robson. Stuart has had over 30 years brewing experience and has run his own brewery in South Africa.
What are your brewing influences?
We are influenced and passionate about local and fresh. This has influenced our core range beers which are made with 100% English ingredients. We are so passionate about supporting local we even source our glass bottles from within 20 miles of our brewery.
How do you go about developing a new beer?
We start by deciding the style of beer we want to produce. The next stage is to decide what profile we are looking for in the beer. We then go about picking the flavours and aromas we like. Then we check availability and flavour profiles of hops that will match what we are trying to achieve.
Our minimum batch size is 20bbl so a lot of thought goes into deciding exactly how we want the beer to taste and what kind of beer we want to produce. From idea to finished brew it may take up to three months.
What’s your favourite type of beer to drink and to brew?
My favourite beer to drink is a nice pint of Porter. Something malty and complex but not too bitter, current favourite is our Enefeld London Porter.
My favourite beer to brew is our seasonal special American Rye Lager. The rye malt smells amazing and makes the brewery smell like a giant digestive biscuit. The aroma of the beer with the rye malt and the American hops really made us all smile.
What’s the best beer you’ve ever made?
This is a bit of a debatable one in the brewery. I would say our London Porter, but the London Pilsner and London Pale Ale are others choices.
What’s the best beer (not your own!) you’ve ever tasted?
I have a soft spot for lots of beers but if I had to pick just one I would choose Fellowship, a 5.1% London Porter brewed by Redemption. [Check out our interview with Redemption Brewing Co!]
What advice would you give to people just getting into craft beer?
If you have never had a craft beer before, start with something easy going and not too hoppy. I recommend something like our London Pilsner. Slightly more challenging than the standard lager but not overly bitter. Then slowly built up towards pale ales and then IPAs. There are so many beers out there. Don’t be put off if you don’t like a particular craft beer as there are thousands more that you may like.
Have you ever completely screwed up a beer, either homebrewing or commercially?
I haven’t messed up a beer yet but my first homebrew was quite awful. Not awful because I messed up but just an awful homebrew kit!
What’s next for the brewery, and are you working on anything exciting right now?
Without giving too much away, we have an exciting range of seasonal specials coming up using exciting ingredients. We have also just installed our own cold room and introduced a range of cask beers.
What do you think the next big beer style will be?
At the moment lager and pilsner style beers are making a splash on the craft beer scene. Looking forward I feel there will be an increase towards this trend with easier drinking more session beer styles growing in popularity.
Use code ILOVELONDON at hoppist to get £10 off your first box of London craft beer
You can find out more about Enefeld Beers at enefeld.com