Hi there, we are Lee and Lauren, a married couple who run a micropub, called The Beer Shop, in Nunhead, South East London. We opened in December 2014, after a lot of thinking and planning and worrying about whether starting our own business would be a good thing or not…
At that time, the craft beer scene was just kicking off, and two and half years later, we can safely say the jump was more than a good thing, and our little micropub has fantastic customers and suppliers who have helped bring our vision of a cosy, friendly, warm and welcoming craft beer bar to life. We are proud of what we have created, and are so thankful to the Nunhead community for welcoming us with open arms.
Being SE London residents for over 10 years, we feel connected to the area and have made it a priority to support other local businesses, always keeping local breweries in stock, hosting monthly Meet The Brewers where customers can put a face to the fantastic beers that are being made in London, and by commissioning local artists to make a piece of art for our wall which changes every 6 months. We have built up great relationships with local breweries including Brick Brewery (SE15), Gosnells Mead (SE15), Bullfinch (SE24), Canopy (SE24), Orbit (SE17), Hop Stuff (SE18), Brixton (SW9), Gipsy Hill (SE27), Four Pure (SE16) and have been amongst the first to stock new local breweries Old Kent Road Brewery (SE16) and Villages (SE8). For such a tiny space, we sure know how to pack them in!
We're not just about the beer, we also play host to other groups and events, for example, every Tuesday Runhead AC start and end their run at The Beer Shop and once a month local artist Matthew Kay leads Glue Club, a collage social for anyone interested in getting creative. We also organised a street party and market last summer where over 500 people attended, there was music, street food and market stalls with all traders being South London based.
Whilst we are super happy with where we have got to, we always felt that there was so much more potential for The Beer Shop, and often thought about what we would do if we had some outside space - we were mainly thinking about food (as is pretty normal for us!) and how we could bring street food to The Beer Shop on a more regular basis. However, given the awkward configuration of the space in the building we never thought a garden would be a possibility, until the landlords approached us with an idea which has seen the tenants in the building reconfigured giving us the opportunity to gain more storage space, an extra room and a yard. Yep, OUTSIDE SPACE!
So, naturally, we jumped at the chance to add a little garden to our little micropub. Southwark Council have granted us the change of use, and the new licence has just been confirmed, so all we need now is to raise the funds to undertake the work needed to transform these spaces into places where you’ll want to come, sit, chat and have a beer. But it’s not just a garden we’ll be gaining, there’s loads more we have planned:
- Yard space will provide much needed outdoor seating for those warm summer months.
- Flexible outdoor seating will mean that there will be space to host street food pop ups at weekends.
- A new wall will become a space for a semi-permanent artwork for an artist.
- Relocating the toilet to the new back room will give us space to add an additional cubicle.
- Provide more space to drink in the back room
- Have a cold room professionally installed. This will mean we can look after our draft beer better, and have more of it.
- Increase our draft beer offering from 3 keg lines to 8 keg lines. Have 4 casks on at all times, rather than the current anything between 1 & 4. Increase draft ciders from 2 to 4. This gives you more choice, and means we can buy more beer from more local breweries.
- Relocating our cask beer will mean we have space for another fridge, meaning more beer, cider, wines & soft drinks. We can also move our till, allowing us to fit more than one person at the bar at a time!
- Building a bin store in the yard space will give us secure storage for glass bins and empty barrels and will remove the unsightly pile of them off the street.
We understand that one of the attractions of The Beer Shop is its compact, cosy nature and that’s why we aren’t planning on changing the feel of the main part of the bar, that will remain as is, the changes will happen behind the bar and out the back of the existing space.
The money we raise will be spent on:
- Install of the cold room and new keg and cask taps: a complete refit of the current toilet, turning it into a walk in fridge/chiller which will involve a ventilation and cooling system, new lines for the beer being run through the wall, 8 brand new keg taps including two that will enable us to sell keg beer to takeaway, 4 brand new cask taps, plus racking for kegs and ciders.
- Commissioning an artist to create a work for the outside space.
- Planting/greenery to make the outdoor space a lovely place to be!
- Buy furniture for new spaces.
- Buy two new fridges that we can pack full of a load of amazing beer.
- Electrician to strip out old electrics and install lighting and electricity points in the new spaces and wall heaters in the yard
- Plumber to strip out current bathroom, plus removal of the old sink and pipes in back room, then install new toilets, sink and an outside tap
- Builder to build new toilet cubicles, make good the new indoor and outdoor spaces and to build a wall in the yard which will increase security and help to soften noise from us to our neighbours.
- New windows and secure fire door to be installed in back room.
- Have a professionally installed CCTV and alarm system that encompasses the new spaces.
Being able to carry out these works will have such an impact on our business, the summer months for us are a mix of days where we’re bursting out of the seams, to days when everyone would rather be in a beer garden! We hope the addition of a yard will go some ways to alleviate both of these issues. So the money raised will help us to make The Beer Shop bigger and better!
Every donation, big or small will be a massive help, and to show you how much we appreciate your support we've come up with a whole host of rewards that we hope you'll enjoy, they're all listed on the side of this page. Here are a few examples:
Luke Drozd T-Shirts in grey or white:
Limited edition Daniel Lehan artworks (Unframed size is 42x30cm but you'll be getting a framed one!):
A5 Art Print of Matthew Kay's Diagram Poem 'A Taste of The Future':
And here's an example of the fun you can have if you choose an event as a reward:
We really appreciate you taking the time to read through our campaign and appreciate anything you might be able to give to help us make The Beer Shop that little bit bigger!
Lee, Lauren & Team Beer Shop :)