Food & Drink

Wandsworth beer specialists turn to crowdfunding to support rapid expansion

Two Heads Beer Co, which operates as We Brought Beer at sites in Balham, Clapham Junction and Tooting, and as The Beer Boutique in Putney, Wandsworth Town and Royal Tunbridge Wells, are hoping to open four new stores over the next two years.

The stores offer a range of beers for customers to drink-in or takeaway, as well as events and a home-brew club.

We Brought Beer founder James Hickson, 34, who lives in Battersea, said: “We want to take great beer to more people.

“We think there are lots of towns around London that don’t have a dedicated beer store, where there’s a thirsty population not being catered for.”

Mr Hickson works alongside The Beer Boutique founder Jon Kaye, 42, from Putney.

The pair are over halfway towards reaching their crowdfunding target of £350,000, and are eyeing up new sites in London and the Southeast.

In 2017, the number of UK breweries rose above 2,000, thanks in part to the specialist beer boom, while craft beer accounts for around 7% of the total UK beer market and is enjoyed by 61% of 25-34 year-olds.

Mr Hickson believes this is part of the millennial trend towards quality rather than quantity when it comes to alcohol consumption.

“It fits into the whole foodie movement, which has grown a lot in the last 10-15 years,” he said.

“I think it’s part of that millennial fascination with produce being more than a simple commodity.

“It’s the passion movement.

“If you have some disposable income but you’re never going to be able to afford a house, then you might as well enjoy what you can, whether that’s craft beer or avocados on toast.”

He’s also certain that craft beer is more than just a phase.

He added:“Once you’ve tried good beer it’s really hard to go back to the bad stuff.”

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