Gipsy Hill Beers
We continue our series of Meet the Brewer Q&A’s with another local brewery Gipsy Hill. Founded in 2014 (just a few weeks before we threw open our doors), Sam & Charlie set themselves a mission to stand out by brewing flavoursome but moreish beers with a core range focused on sub 5% beers that you can drink day in day out. They’ve so far stayed true to their vision and we’ve been stocking the full range of Southpaw (4.2% amber), Beatnik (3.8% pale) & Dissident (4.8% porter), with their distincitve quirky labels, since we opened.

We caught up with co-founder Sam McMeekin for a chat about the brewery.

1. State your full name and job title at Gipsy Hill Brewery

Sam McMeekin – Head of Production and Director

2. Could we have your elevator pitch?

We’re making no nonsense, full flavoured, medium strength beer. Beer’s a beautifully delicate product, and so many flavours can be layered onto medium abv beers with good brewing technique and equipment. That’s what we’re looking at…for now. (We reserve the right to release a blow your head of DIPA in the future.)

3. What is the potted history of the brewery?

Charlie and I were both separately looking to start breweries and pack in our previous careers. It was a bit of a pipe dream for me, Charlie was further down the line. When we met it seemed clear that we should do it together. Over the course of 2 months my 3 year pipe dream to start my own place became reality and I quit my job to start Gipsy Hill full time. Never looked back. (I’d like to thank both of our understanding wives…)

4. Why is the brewery called Gipsy Hill?

In the end it came down to location. Our local community is wonderful, really supportive and proud of where they’re from. At the same time it’s not a well-known neighborhood with a cool name! We want to do it proud and put in on the map.

5. Which is your favourite beer from Gipsy Hill and why?

Sam – Beatnik. It’s come on so much so much from where it started, as a 3.8% session pale. We’ve been tweaking the recipe, and now tweaking our equipment to give it more. It’s got body, character, is plentifully, but not over hopped. It’s really a great beer to help you through summery afternoons.

6. Share with us your favourite beer fact, stat, quote?

“Nothing is so frequent as the occasional drink”. I ride past this quote everyday on my day to work. It says so much about us (UK and Gipsy Hill).

7. What makes you most proud to run Gipsy Hill?

Charlie and I wanted to create something that represented us well, and made high quality product by doing justice to the best ingredients that we can get. We’re almost there, and the response to our beers and our branding from people is probably what I’m most proud of so far. What I’m most excited for is what’s to come though. So many projects…

8. Picture this: You are moving to a desert island but they only stock one kind of beer per resident – what beer would you choose and why (not from your own brewery)?

I’d probably drink Siren’s Life’s a Peach and pretend I was on holiday!

9. If a film was made about Gipsy Hill, what would be the theme tune?

This whole thing is a great adventure. We did it as a desperate effort to find and do something different and special in our lives and we’ve put everything on the line to make it happen. Ask me to recommend a song and it’s always the Boss – Thunder Road, the classic ballad of adventure and an invitation for everyone to come on it with us!

10. Do you have anything to add?

Making beer is a wonderful job. Come down to the brewery and check us out. We’re open first and fourth Saturday of each month currently. Info can be found here.

Gipsy Hill Beatnik