no. 010 | Partizan Brewing
Partizan are part of the fabric of London’s modern craft beer scene. Now 10 years old, they continue to make consistently delicious, exciting beers.
Partizan plays a fairly significant role in our journey into beer. Founded by Andy Smith in 2012, their location in South East London’s Bermondsey means they have been part of its now infamous Beer Mile since its humble beginnings around the turn of 2010. It’s here that we first sampled their beer some 8 or 9 years ago and we’ve been returning to them frequently ever since.
But before we found Partizan, Andy had to find craft beer, and it all stemmed from fine dining. A job in a Chelsea-based Michelin-starred restaurant brought him from Leeds to London, but it wasn’t the high-level experience he’d expected. Despite the restaurant’s lofty ambitions, he found himself working back-to-back 16-hour days in a business that had gone bankrupt:
“I was paying for some of the produce I was working with out of my own pocket, whilst simultaneously being fined by the head chef for any mistakes I made!”. It quickly became apparent to Andy that he wasn’t where he wanted to be.
Thankfully, he found himself a job at Redemption Brewery, where he began to bed into the craft beer scene. After three years there, Smith started to look ahead. Toying with the idea of moving back home to Leeds, he was also considering starting his own brewery. Talking this through with Evin O’Riordain, a friend of his and the founder of renowned The Kernel brewery, Evin explained that they’d just upgraded their own brewing equipment. Gifting Andy their original apparatus, Partizan was born.
“We focus on gathering good ingredients and just trying to extract or maintain the best in them”. That’s how Andy describes Partizan’s approach to brewing their beers and, on the surface it sounds simple. But simple doesn’t mean easy and Partizan have spent a decade honing their craft by continually tweaking their technique. That continues today, says Smith:
“Everything is negotiable. We are a very open brewery and love the melting pot culture of the city we get to spend every day in, so we try to approach things with an open eye and allow ourselves space to let new ideas in”. Their list of partnerships demonstrate that approach, having worked with large breweries like Guiness, classical music composer Olga Stezhko and skateboarding brand Piilgrim.
Partizan provides a useful punctuation point in a satisfying run of overlapping batch beers and brewers. At the centre of this was batch no. 009’s Unity, who not only called back to former feature breweries like Track, Left Handed Giant and Boxcar with their previous collaborations, but also teased this batch with their Negroni Red IPA – a team effort between themselves, Partizan and Tayēr Elementary.
The beauty of the craft beer industry is that you’ll see this theme continue as we showcase more breweries. and there are few other industries where this convivial spirit, thirst for knowledge and desire to share information exists to the levels that it does in craft beer. It’s one of the numerous reasons why we love it.