The brewery is the brainchild of London-based friends Joon Chung and Oli Edmonds and hopes to bring the Cold IPA beer profile to UK palettes.
Their dream of starting a brewery was boosted last year when Chung won the Elusive Brewing and the Malt Miller’s West Coast IPA competition.
Chung’s prize was to release a beer with Elusive as a platform for a brewery launch, and the beer brewed by the pair, Moonrise Cold IPA, will launch on 13 May at All Good Beer in Hackney Downs, east London.
The pair, who have been friends for six years after they met at a homebrewing club, started planning the brewery in 2019. But then Covid threw a spanner in the works.
Chung’s big win was an “amazing opportunity to get the brand out there,” said Edmonds. Last autumn, the duo started to really consider giving the brewery their best shot. They brainstormed ideas, building on a mutual love for hoppy beer.
They came up with an idea for a Cold IPA, which, while popular in the USA, was not a style that had taken off in England.
Cold IPA is an IPA fermented at lower temperatures than what is normally used to ferment an ale.
The style of drink was “intriguing” to the pair, who believed it could help them carve out a story for the brand. “It felt right,” said Edmonds. “It felt like [Cold IPA] was an interesting thing people were trying to understand, and we could maybe make a contribution to that.”
They eventually decided on a beer called Moonrise IPA to launch the brewery. The drink marries the brewers’ passion and strong track record across a range of IPA and lager styles.
It’s accessible and drinkable, said Edmonds. He added: “This can be an IPA that can really excite beer geeks but should be able to translate really well to pubs to be sold in pints.”
Committing to this beer style as the business’ signature profile also set Snowmoon Brewing apart from the rest, according to its founder. He hoped getting it right could capture drinkers’ imaginations.
Looking to the future, collaborations were in the works, and Edmonds hoped to secure a space for the brewery as, at the moment, the duo were brewing beer from their homes.
He’d taken this soft approach to staring out, as was wary of diving headfirst into the “scary and difficult environment” of a sector battling soaring energy costs and inflation rates.
The pair, he added, wouldn’t be giving up their day jobs yet. While it was a “scary time”, Edmonds crossed his fingers that things would start to make more sense within the next year or two.
The Moonrise IPA was launched at a party on 13 May at All Good Beer in Hackney Downs, east London. From 3pm, guests enjoyed IPAs and one-off merch releases. The independent beer shop's operators had been supportive of the pair from the start.
“This can be an IPA that can really excite beer geeks but should be able to translate really well to pubs to be sold in pints.”
Edmond drew inspiration from other breweries. These included Five Points Brewery in Hackney: he loved their modern craft beer and admired the quality of their product. The pair also looked up to strong brands Verdant, Track and Deya, also for their quality, as well as Devon-based business Utopian Brewing who are trying to “put a British spin on things”.
Forming the brewery had been a “positive, collaborative process” for Joon and Edmonds. Having a clear idea for the business meant they often shared the same vision.
The future looks bright for the new brewery. Five years down the line, Edmonds hopes the pair will have secured a taproom and a production site. “That would be incredible,” he added.