The ‘Big Smoke Brew Co’ is a joint investment by pub company Greene King and licensees James Morgan and Richard Craig, of the Antelope Ale & Cider House in Surbiton, Kingston-upon-Thames.
The pair, who also run the Sussex Arms in Twickenham, took over the pub at the beginning of the year following a substantial refurbishment and introduced a strong focus on cask ale and locally-sourced food and drink.
The Big Smoke, located in the pub’s garden, is used to brew a pale ale, a porter, a bitter and a milk stout twice a week.
Morgan said: “The Big Smoke is creating a real buzz and we get a lot of interest on our brewing days. We have just installed a cover in the garden area making it completely covered and heated, so it is easy for customers to see, hear and smell every part of the exciting brewing process, the best part of course being the tasting at the end!”
The Big Smoke brewers have been brewing together for four years and also undertook training at the St Edmund Brewhouse at the Greene King Brewery in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, which brews smaller batches of craft beers.
Morgan added: “There is a lot that goes into a good brew, so our brewers have taken a great deal of time to hone their craft.
“We are really pleased with the reaction from customers to the Big Smoke beers, especially the real ale enthusiasts, who know that with 10 cask ales, five real ciders and eight beers on keg, they are spoilt for choice at the Antelope.”
'Dedication to real ale'
Clive Chesser, business unit director for Greene King Pub Partners, said: “As a haven for cask ale enthusiasts, this new on-site microbrewery at the Antelope will cement the pub’s reputation for dedication to quality real ale. As well as giving James and Richard the flexibility to serve their finest brews, it gives customers the opportunity to enjoy great beer at a real-life brewery.”
As well as serving their own beer, the Antelope serves cask ale from local microbreweries, as part of the pub’s ethos to use local suppliers.