Food & Drink Awards 2021 Page 45 LUX 2021 Food & Drink Awards Oct21153 Microbrewery and tap room, Thames Side Brewery, is the first of its kind in the area for decades. We speak to Founder, Andrew Hayward, about his passion for his craft in the wake of being awarded a Food and Drink accolade. Thames Side Brewery Best Riverside Brewery – South East England Located in Staines and nestled along the banks of the River Thames, lies Thames Side Brewery: a microbrewery that has passion and heart by the barrel-load, and has been delighting beer drinkers and connoisseurs for years. Thames Side Brewery has carefully crafted a selection of ales using the finest ingredients. Paired with the company’s admiration for beer and dedication to creating the perfect pint, Thames Side has combined years of beer tasting experience to brew a unique and wellbalanced range of award-winning ales. Established by Andrew Hayward following his time spent as a youth revelling in the local pubs of New Malden, his love for real ale has endured. “The hops, the barley, the malt and the pub in which it was served all merged to give an “I’m home” sensation,” he laughs. Through the years — even as early as the late 1970s — Andrew has experimented with making and creating his own beer at his various homes both in the US and UK. He has also attended countless beer festivals and drinking establishments around the world, further developing his passion and interest not only in the beer, but also in the local influences and varying production processes involved. Today, Thames Side Brewery represents the first time in 80 years that there has been a brewery in Staines upon Thames. “The last operating brewery in Staines was Ashby’s Staines Brewery, which was acquired by H&G Simonds in 1931, and then by Courage,” says Andrew, filling us in on a little bit of local brewing history. Ashby Breweries was then closed down in 1936. Thomas Ashby had started brewing in Staines in 1796 after he, along with other brewers and mineral water suppliers, was attracted to the area by the pure water in the area. “His business was apparently conducted in a basic way, and Thomas Ashby brewed beer in his own house — just as I started — and reputedly delivered casks to customers on a wheelbarrow. As the business grew, and encouraged by his wife, who tired of the constant smell in the kitchen, Thomas moved production to the garden shed — just as I also did with my home brewing equipment whilst developing recipes. The brewing premises subsequently expanded onto surrounding land given to Thomas by his father in 1805.” Today, the brewery tower survives near Staines Bridge, and is literally a stone’s throw from where Thames Side microbrewery is now located. The microbrewery has a capacity of four brewery barrels and every time Andrew brews, he produces 655 litres in each of the three fermenting vessels. “I hope Thomas Ashby would approve!” enthuses Andrew. As well as being passionate about beer, Andrew is also passionate about the local community and the environment, and respects and supports it by sponsoring the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton – a wildlife hospital that provides treatment, care and rehabilitation to swans and wildfowl in the UK. “Every pint of White Swan, our signature ale, that is sold generates a contribution to the Swan Sanctuary and the variety of birds it saves,” Andrew adds. Thames Side Brewery also works with Thames 21 which is a river clean-up charity. With the help of volunteers, the group helps clean local stretches of the River Thames, and afterwards they are invited back to the brewery for a beer tasting session. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw the brewery adapt its business model to provide takeaway services and deliveries of its products, business is very much thriving and recently Andrew was bestowed with the prestigious title of Best Riverside Brewery – South East England in the LUXlife Food and Drink Awards. “We will be looking to move and expand within the next year,” says Andrew. “But we will continue in the meantime to emphasise our love and passion for our product.” By concentrating on its passions it is curating the best products and atmosphere for its customers. Contact Details Contact: Andrew Hayward Company: Thames Side Brewery Web Address: