no. 013 | Exale

From humble beginnings, East London’s Exale has become one of the most sought after breweries of 2022 thanks to a combination of innovative beers and striking can designs.

Exale was founded in 2017 when founder Mark Hislop took the decision to begin brewing in a shipping container situated outside 5 Mile Nightclub in Tottenham, north London. It wasn’t long before he was pushed for space and moved to their current premises. Located on Blackhorse Lane in Walthamstow, this area is establishing itself as London’s second beer mile alongside the original in Bermondsey, thanks to its vast concentration of craft breweries.

Even before going it alone, Mark was no stranger to the world of beer, having spent his formative years with a young Brew Dog, as well as well-known, but nowadays lesser spotted, Redchurch Brewery. However, Exale was an opportunity to pursue his own vision of beer, which he does from the converted furniture workshop that now houses the brewery. 

“We like to experiment,” says Mark, “but our focus is on quality, consistency and taste”. The demand Exale have been experiencing recently supports this, and the 5-person team are currently just about able to brew enough beer to keep up with customer demand. “That’s being made a bit easier by the fact we’ve just added more and bigger tanks!”, Hislop adds. 

The experiments come thick and fast, though, and don’t just take the form of canned beer. For instance, all of their wasted brews, mostly created during the trial brewing process, is converted into either sauces or soaps which can be bought in their taproom and via their website. There’s also Exale’s locally renowned Iron Brew Sour, Mark’s homage to his home country of Scotland, which not only tastes like the iconic soft drink, but looks like it too.

Five years in, Hislop’s Exale has never looked fresher. A recent re-brand has captured the playful and irreverent attitude Mark and the team bring to the brewing process, and the cans’ execution also captures their ethos. All labels are made from 100% renewable wood-based raw materials, making them fully biodegradable. In a bid to assess and improve their environmental footprint, the brewery is continually looking for better and less impactful ways of delivering their product. Most revently, they’ve become a member of 1% for the Planet, which means 1% of all brewery sales will be donated to environmental causes. 

They may be five years old, but given their new lease of life and current momentum, we’re super excited for what lies ahead for Exale.

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