* UPDATE summer 2015: Fabio Israel quit London Fields Brewery, for reasons which will become clear when you read the references at the end of the story, to work for a brewery in West Sussex, helping it to achieve record growth
SOMETIMES life can provide a duh-duh-DUUUH! moment, when a coincidence seems something more… spooky or what?
Something like that happened after a young master brewer came from a town in north Germany to add his expertise to London Fields Brewery.
The newly recruited brewer – confusingly christened with the distinctly un-Deutsch name of Fabio – noticed as soon as he inspected the premises, under a railway arch at Hackney E8 3RR, that some chalked signs for work processes were not instantly clear – not good in a fast-moving production process dealing with hops and yeast, changeable organic materials both.
The obvious solution was symbolism. So, for example, the notice for Shoreditch Triangle India Pale Ale, became, yes, a triangle.
When it came to Hackney Hopster, a wordplay on hipster and star, the choice was equally obvious: a star, and the simplest to chalk up quickly is the age-old Star of David.
Which, as Fabio likes to tell members of the public when he leads them on a tour of the brewery, is fortuitous because for centuries it has been the symbol of brewers in Germany.
Just as pawnbrokers across Europe still put three gold spheres hanging from a bar outside their hoard of goodies awaiting redemption, so the six-point star became the “brewer’s star” (Brauerstern or Bierstern).
And guess what Fabio’s surname is? Israel.
David Altheer 061014
* London Fields Brewery, 365-366 Warburton Street, Hackney E8 3RR, invited the editor to sample its Harvest ale (verdict: delicious), which will be on sale at the brewery and elsewhere in London for barely more than the month of October because of the limited supply of Bramling Cross hops from West Malling, Kent.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.