Beavertown Brewery has announced that its taproom and pub, Duke’s Brew and Que is now permanently closed.
In many ways the spiritual home of east London’s (now waning) Southern barbecue craze, Duke’s has long been identifiable by the hordes of twenty-somethings spilling out onto its otherwise nondescript Haggerston street corner with pints of Gamma Ray in hand and BBQ rib glaze staining their shirt fronts.
More significantly, though, Duke’s also bore witness to the genesis of Beavertown itself, and was one of the first of London’s emergent craft microbreweries. In an announcement on their website, posted on Monday 4 December, the brewery reminisce; “Logan [Plant, the founder] brewed his first batches of Gamma Ray, Neck Oil, Smog Rocket, 8 Ball and Black Betty in the kitchen.” Later, as Beavertown grew beyond its microbrewery roots, Duke’s “shouldered the first salaries for Team Beaver which allowed us to ... move to Hackney Wick”, where their first standalone brewery was established — the precursor to their now much larger operations at Tottenham Hale.
Beavertown say the decision to close Duke’s was the conclusion of a “challenging, lengthy process,” and that there is “no hidden scandal or drama” behind the scenes. Nevertheless, the immediate, unceremonious closure, and their assertion that “London’s beer and BBQ scene has changed immensely” suggest that perhaps Duke’s was not only “no longer a natural fit for Beavertown’s future,” but also no longer a productive component of the company’s broader business plan.
There is as yet no indication as to whether Beavertown have further plans for the site, or for another permanent venue in the future.