This entry is by Alex Daulby, Hop Stuff Brewery's Taproom Operations Manager.
Start a brewery and a taproom will quickly emerge. Pallets position themselves to form seating, food trucks lurch into the car park, and hordes of humans wriggle out of the woodwork to savour some fresh local beer.
We craft beer lovers have been enjoying taprooms like this for a while now. Before travelling to distant towns (or suburbs), I’ll always have a nosey into whether there’s going to be a wee microbrewery en route that’ll host a few frothies. They’re always modest, homely, and tend to please most partners and family members. Like so many others, I rarely walk away from a brewery taproom without a smile and a good time.
We want punters feeling like this when they visit Hop Stuff’s Taprooms. We’re opening our second satellite site* in Deptford on December 1st, with another one on the way in Ashford next year – it’s my role to get these in good shape, so I have plenty on my hands.
*What’s a ‘satellite site’, you say? Well our brewery is a little out of the way. So that’s why we want to bring our taprooms to a neighbourhood near you.
The Deptford Market Yard is the perfect neighbourhood for a Hop Stuff Taproom. Moving in alongside the likes of Lomond coffee house, Little Nan’s Bar, Gita’s Portal, or Plain Bear puts us amongst a spicy mix-up of creative-minded entrepreneurs; using their hands and imaginations to rev up locals This is how we want to roll with The Taproom but with craft beer and pizza (hence our tagline: ‘Drink Craft | Eat Pizza’). Deptford has a vibrancy and diversity where we’re thrilled to throw our hat in the ring. Anyone can feel at home in this place.
Unit 2 is an elegant yet understated space where I can easily imagine being surrounded by mates, new and old, diving face first in to cheese-dream-inducing sourdoughs (‘sourdoughs’ means pizzas). The wide space will be divided into spots for diners, drinkers, and loungers; it should cater to the curious, the obsessive, or the traditional. Craft beer nuts, families, Tinder dates, social sports teams or the solo businessman should all feel comfy side-by-side, sipping a frosty and dining with their hands.
Most importantly, we want our staff to represent the brewery mentality. We want to make you feel at home, and bend over backwards to look after you. Forget white table clothes and polished cutlery – feel comfortable and put your feet up. The staff should have a joke, have some edge, and know their stuff. We’ve got human beings with personalities; all proud to be part of our growing Hop Stuff Brewery.
Our Taprooms should be your neighbourhood brewery – but without the brewery. You don’t have to dress up nice to have top quality eats and drinks; just a good attitude, a love for local and an appreciation for happy taste buds. Taproom SE8 in Deptford will open 1st of December as a work-in-progress (while we get everything running up to speed). I can’t wait to roll out the rest in a suburb near you. But for the meanwhile, pop in for a half, say hello, and grab a charred out, crusty sourdough.