A Head in a Hat beers

Many moons ago, I designed some limited edition labels for Meantime Brewery. Though I’ve drunk all my bottles since, a happy consequence of the job was meeting the delightful Peter Haydon, who has since gone on to become the brewer, and now owner, of the Florence Brewery. Operating independently out of the back of the Florence pub in leafy Herne Hill, Peter starts brewing first thing in the morning to supply thirsty drinkers across South London. He has many strings to his bow (as well as being one of Britain’s first accredited beer sommeliers, he has spent many years as a beer critic, campaigner, and published the wonderfully titled An Inebriated History of Britain.) He also wears and suits many hats, hence the inspiration behind his own brand of brews ‘A Head in a Hat’.

As I’ve journeyed from student to professional, Peter has been a great supporter. It’s been fun to supply him with an array of characters for his beers, which adorn the taps at the pub. Like one of those Victorian-style paper dolls that you dress up, the illustration is simply a headed character (looking as much like Peter as I can achieve at the moment in half-an-inch’s worth of paper) who receives a different set of clothes with each brew. I’m especially excited that many of his beers take inspiration from history and travel, re-creating a 1914 Great War era IPA, or an 1805 ale designed for import to India, and so on… you can read more about these, and Peter’s story, here.

The Tommy tap at the bar

The brewer at work

Peter’s latest incarnation as a ballet dancer

Concentrated stirring = tasty beer