In 2012, shortly after the chance encounter, the duo discovered a shared love of beer and their South London home, Brixton, and started homebrewing, learning everything about the industry from scratch.
The brewery was then born a year later, launching with three core beers, when Galaun and Ross secured Arch 547 on Brixton’s Station Road, near the borough’s village market.
Since then, the brand has gone from strength to strength and struck a partnership with Heineken in November 2017, which Galaun said enabled the business to “invest in products and training” to improve its beers and connections with on trade customers.
Modern Brixton twist
The co-founder added it also helped the brand achieve further success in the craft beer market by retaining “high standards” as well as “consistency and trust”.
“We have this philosophy of always make the next batch better than the last, we are always looking at what we can do to maintain and improve the high standards that we have set ourselves. We have the ability to do that now.”
Galaun added the brewery was focused on making “traditional” style beers but with a “modern Brixton twist”, for example by using more modern hops of yeast to create new innovations, such as its Pineapple Wheat beer, released to mark the brands tenth anniversary.
“We want to make balanced drinkable beers that are accessible to everyone, that’s always been our philosophy.”
“We are always experimenting with new flavours and styles, our belief is honouring the classics, honour the heritage and the tradition but give it a modern interpretation”, he said.
Following the partnership with Heineken, Brixton also moved to a larger site, increasing its batch capacity from 1,000 litres to 5,000 litres and making its brewing capacity 30 times bigger, with the original archway site now used for tours and “testing and development”.
In addition, Brixton Brewery now also operates a taproom in the archway next door to 547.
However, the community has also been at the forefront of the business for Galaun and Ross, who are keen to “lift the curtain” on their operation and include the community and consumers in everything they do.
Galaun added consumers are increasingly looking for brands with “provenance” and being transparent with your business was a good way to tap into this and strengthen community bonds.
He said: “Consumers love hearing about all the nuances with beers and where those different flavours come from.
“Since we partnered with Heineken, we have been able double down on our community links and connections, simply because we now have the people and the resources to do that, and it has strengthened the bonds we had before that point.”
“You can’t take the name of a place without honouring it and involving the community, otherwise it’s just skin deep [and consumers will know]; community trust and doing the right thing are intrinsically linked.”