Hornchurch and Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, visited Harold Wood’s East Side Brewery last week to talk to owner, Rashpinder Singh Mahal, about his new venture and the support it is getting from the local community.
London lawyer, Rash, decided to turn his passion for brewing into a business just before lockdown in February 2020. While the pandemic delayed opening until May 2021, customers can now sample both the brewery’s signature quality vegan lager, 6pm, as well as an IPA, Bad Indian, using ingredients sourced from British farmers. Customers can purchase in crates of bottles or by kegs, and the new brewery is getting a boost from the trend for sourcing and shopping locally, backing independent businesses and supporting UK farms.
Rash said ‘The brewery started as a passion, and we are now working towards opening up a regular tap room to serve the local community with freshly brewed beers. A place where local community can socialise, reconnect and spend quality time with their friends and family.’
Julia was invited to pull a pint at the brewery and learned about the brewing process from Rash and his small team. She said: “It was great to meet Rash and see someone turn a life’s dream into a business while continuing a professional career. He told me of the warm reception and support he is receiving from Harold Wood residents, and it will be interesting to see the business take its next steps by opening a tap room and adding a different social offering to this part of the constituency.”
The local MP’s visit comes in the wake of the Chancellor’s Budget announcement of a new small producer relief for breweries. This builds on the previous success of the Small Brewers Relief, which will benefit cidermakers and other producers of lower ABV (Alcohol by Volume) drinks. This will allow small producers to diversify their product range to other products below 8.5 per cent ABV while still benefitting from reduced rates. Duty rates on draught beer and cider will be cut by 5 per cent, taking 3p off a pint and further supporting pubs.