Ignition Brewery makes great beer in Lewisham brewed by people with learning disabilities. We are a not-for-profit enterprise that sells beer to create meaningful jobs and a positive environment for members of the local learning disabled community. We pay the London Living Wage because we believe all our team are worth it, and the salaries are paid for by our sales to local bottle shops, cafes, pubs and individuals.
We are a community based brewery, and our tap room will be rooted in the local community, providing not only sustainable jobs and training, but an inclusive place for everyone in the community to meet, learn about our mission, and enjoy excellent local beer.
Photo by Glenn Motorshead
We have been on an incredible adventure up to now, learning how to brew from scratch, training the whole team as brewers, bottlers and salespeople, the team achieving their beer sommelier qualifications, and together becoming an effective, happy and aspirational team. Our journey shifted a gear over a year ago when we laid down roots at our own brewery, ripped the windows off (briefly) to install our kit, and scaled up production big time in our new home. So now to the future…
Our brewery is hidden away at the back of a building in Sydenham and at the front, is a large, white room with floor-to-ceiling windows facing on to the busy High Street; our chance to open our doors to the community we serve. Lewisham Council own the building and have agreed to let us transform it into a community tap-room that will provide more opportunities for jobs, offer community events and be a great place for a winning night out.
Photo by Mark Drinkwater
Ignition's mission is to showcase the talents of disabled people and demonstrate that they can make beer just as well as other brewers. The tap-room will enable us to take it a step-further and have a high-quality venue that sells our beer direct to the public and engages with all sectors of the community. We love being able to serve our beer, watch people enjoy it, and talk to people about what we do.
Photo by Mark Drinkwater
This would be the first brewery and tap-room of its kind, and we believe we can make it as big a success as the brewery. Our products are popular and our staff have proven that they can learn the skills required. And we are keen to share the learning, being happy to help others to setup similar enterprises across the UK.
This is a really exciting moment for Ignition and for our team. With your support, we can create something remarkable that helps a good cause by brewing great beer – what better goal could there be!