For two South London bloggers to become authors was pretty special, proving that teachers and ex-girlfriends’ parents are not always correct about lazy-arsed, good-for-nothing slackers.
But for those very same bloggers to also become brewers of a delicious nectar – Deserter IPA – shows dreams really can turn into pints.
That nectar will once again be available from early November to celebrate the publication of Today South London, Tomorrow South London, itself a celebration of South London, pubs, daydreams, wanders, chips, friends, naps, giggles and meat sweats.
You’ll find the book in good book shops and online this week – later than planned, as seasoned observers may have expected. And you’ll find the beer in Southey Brewing’s bars; the Brighton, Dulwich and London Beer Dispensarys, along with Southey’s Penge taproom, where happiness awaits.
But how did this dream become reality? Surely only wizards can turn water into beer? Correct. However, one spring day in 2015 we had the best meeting ever, with brewery-allies Late Knights (ancestors of Southey Brewing), who agreed to hand us over to their chief wizard Sam Barber to talk about, concoct and eventually drink our own beer.
The result was a golden IPA with some American hop magic and a massive party at the LBD to celebrate a year of Deserter with like-minded folk.
The first couple of kegs disappeared in minutes as we met readers from near and far. Though, to be fair, they were free.
Further casks were tapped, even the ones that were waiting to settle in the cellar. Nobody seemed to care about the murk. They just wanted the high.
The all-day breakfast IPA helped forge friendships and fuzz memory. It was a night few would forget. Or remember.
That winter Sam suggested we brew a Black IPA and do it all again. The result was None More Black, a moorish, yet powerful dark beer that had its debut at Beer Rebellion in Peckham. It was another simply magical night. I seem to recall a man at the bar being happily covered in clingfilm from head to foot by his mates. There was mischief in that there ale.
And now, with pre-orders of the book setting our publishers scrambling to print more, it seemed only right to return to SE20 and bring back that wondrous IPA. Also, we had committed to providing several pledgers with cases of the stuff, so we were legally and morally obliged to go the brewery.
Southey’s equipment had been upgraded massively. To use the technical terms, it was now large and shiny. Sam had also developed as a brewer, being mentored by Phil Gadd from The Ramsgate Brewery with his huge experience of slaking Kentish thirsts. Me and the Raider used our heft to hump bags of malt and buckets of hops into the metal thing when told to by the wizard.
And you’ll be able to drink the result at our book launch on November 1st at the Dulwich Beer Dispensary from 7.30pm and elsewhere after that till it runs out.
But that’s not all, we’re talking to Sam about a Christmas special again. No, not None More Black, but an Imperial IPA. A super-hopped, dizzy-strong delectation to take to your favourite park bench and dream the afternoon away – working title: Deserter Gamechanger DIPA. Stay tuned.