Founded in 2016, Tap Social Movement grew out of a passion for good beer and social justice. We are a craft brewery and community space which provides training and employment to people currently serving or recently released from prison sentences.
We specialise in bold and flavourful keg beer. We are the first brewery to bring sour beer to Oxford, and our core range includes an exciting mixture of hoppy pales, dark, Belgian, gluten free and sour styles.
Our brewery taproom and event space is open regularly with all of our beers on tap and is host to a range of community events including live music, arts and cooking performances, charity fundraisers, yoga, brewing and business conferences, festivals and award ceremonies.
Tap Social Movement, Oxford
We have been absolutely blown away by the level of support we have received from the community in our first year, and have grown much quicker than we had expected. With that, we are crowdfunding to expand the brewery to keep up with demand and to make some much-needed taproom renovations to make our space better suited to hosting such a wide range of exciting events.
We are offering lots of exciting rewards in return for your support, but most importantly, by helping us to grow the business, both the brewery and taproom, you are helping us to grow our impact, getting people back into work after prison, and thereby helping to break the cycle of reoffending.
We make beers that we love to drink! Our core range includes CAMRA
award-winning Goodsize eh? American pale ale, English and gluten-free pale ales, strong Belgians, stout, and exciting sours. We also brew seasonal and limited-edition beers, and collaborate with other breweries and local businesses.
We only use water, malt, hops and yeast to brew our beers, and add local fruit, herbs and spices for great flavour. We don’t use any finings to clear our beers so they have a natural haze and are vegan-friendly. Our beers are served in bottle and keykeg. They are naturally carbonated through the conditioning process, meaning we don’t add any gas to them.
In our first year of operations, we have featured at several festivals, including Peckham Beer Festival, Reading Beer Festival and Oxford Beer Festival (where we won runner up!), and we have been included in CAMRA's 2018 Good Beer Guide. As well as selling beer over our own bar, we have been stocked at 75 locations in Oxford and surrounding areas, Reading, London and Birmingham.
However, we are now at peak production capacity with just two fermentation tanks. With your support, we will be able to increase our brewing capacity, keep up with demand and continue to grow our wholesale side of the organisation. This means more brewing, bottling and kegging days, more employees and more impact.
Our Current Brewery (with Jason the Head Brewer)
Video by Matt E Jones, Music by Roguey Roads
We are so grateful for all the support we have received, it is incredible to see so many people visiting our taproom every weekend and such a wide range of events being hosted here. We would love to stay open all winter long but unfortunately, this huge space with high metal ceilings gets absolutely freezing during the winter months. With your support, we will be able to put some much-needed heating in our taproom, making it comfortable for you to enjoy the space all year round.
Hosting so many events at the brewery has brought all types of different people here, and often in large numbers! At the moment we only have 2 toilets, which often means a very long queue. We know you shouldn't have to wait for a long time to use the bathroom. With your support, we'll update and improve our toilet facilities, so that you can enjoy the venue free in the knowledge that you'll have easy access to the porcelain goddess.
The Taproom and Community Space; Photo by Ian Wallman
Having experience in a range of positions across the criminal justice system, our team have all witnessed the difficulty people face when trying to turn their lives around after coming into contact with the law. The founders of Tap Social are Tess, Amy and Paul. Tess worked as a councillor in a Canadian NGO which helped ex-offenders to obtain pardons, clearing their criminal records and assisting them to obtain employment and travel visas. Amy has worked for the police, the courts and the UK Ministry of Justice as a senior policy adviser on youth justice, and is now undertaking a PhD on the subject at the University of Oxford. On her move to the UK Tess worked for a year managing a craft beer bar for a rapidly growing craft beer company in London, which is where the idea of combining the craft beer industry and criminal justice reform began. Paul is a criminal barrister at 6KBW College Hill and a visiting fellow in criminal law and criminology at the University of Oxford.
Our dedicated core team includes head brewer Jason, Matt, Colin, Max and Marcus. We are joined by a number of others who come to work at Tap Social on day release whilst still serving their prison sentences at local open prison HMP Spring Hill, with whom we work closely.
Team Tap Social, Photo by Ian Wallman
Employment has a huge proven impact on reducing the likelihood of reoffending. 50% of people released from prison will reoffend within one year (Ministry of Justice 2017) costing the tax payer around £15 billion annually (National Audit Office 2016), and yet having a job makes an individual up to 67% less likely to reoffend (Clean Sheet 2017). We know from our diverse professional experience across the sector that there is a lack of support and assistance available in finding employment, and criminal records often dissuade employers from hiring otherwise eligible candidates. Many of the people we have worked with, especially those who have spent time in prison, struggle to access education, training and employment, hindering their rehabilitation, and drawing them back into a life of crime.
Having worked closely with many people who have been through the system we know that there is so much talent and potential going to waste. Tap Social Movement was founded in an attempt to stop this vicious cycle by providing opportunities which set people up for long-term fulfilling employment.
Tap Social Movement | Testimonials; Video by Nate @ Startup Stories.
We share a passion for social justice and were looking for ways to reduce the staggering reoffending rates caused by barriers people face when trying to get a job after prison.
The innovative craft brewing industry, involving technical, transferable skills, presented a perfect opportunity to combine our passion for great beer and justice reform, whilst having a wider social impact. Aside from the technical skill it involves, craft brewing is a young, social and vibrant industry in which people are proud to be involved. A brewery offered a great forum for creating a space where people from all walks of life come together to share skills and talent, exchange ideas and experiences and create new opportunity.
If helping us with our social justice mission isn't enough, we've come up with a range of awesome rewards to say thank you. Check them out on the right-hand side of this page.
FYI - Everyone who pledges will have their name written on our Exclusive Backers' Wall of Fame for eternity, well for as long as we exist.
If you would like to get to know us a little better, here is a look at some of the press we have received in the last year:
Team Tap Social