On 28th June, Sated had the pleasure of co-hosting one of Boozers without Borders’ monthly shindigs at Stepney City Farm. They brought the craft beer, we provided the premium cocktails, the farm organised the food, and this ridiculous Summer heatwave meant we actually had sun for our English BBQ?! We look back at the fantastic Stepney Summer Spirits & Beer Club charity event as the team prepare for their next get-together (Thursday 26th July).
A lot can be said for community: people coming together to celebrate what they have in common. In recent years in the UK however, communities seem to be constantly breaking up or joining forces against something or someone: against Brexit, against a racial group, against a ludicrous and dangerous orange-faced pillock with an extraordinarily absent understanding of basic syntax and decency. Sometimes it’s a necessary and a positive fight, other times it’s horrendously prejudice and ignorant. Either way, it is exhausting. This is one of the many reasons why we at Sated are delighted to have come across Boozers without Borders. Instead tearing things down and assembling against others, these wonderful folks have been working over the two years to build something extraordinary, with open hearts and the social lubricant of good booze.
Dramatic-much, you may think, to put a small but dedicated number of craft beer lovers on such a pedestal, but communities reaching their hands out to help others and reconnect with one another in a positive light, is something that we believe is worth celebrating.
But enough eulogising. On to the event at hand – the event!
We rock up to the farm gate with our arms full of soft drinks, kindly provided by Fentimans, and are greeted with the welcome sight of our friends at Crazy Gin setting up their moustachioed stand in the corner of the terrace. Farm-hand, Reb, is stoking the coals of the BBQ and the Boozers are chilling with the cool brews behind the bar. Guests have already started to arrive so we squirrel ourselves away into the kitchen to set up our prep station for our Takamaka Rum and Crazy Gin cocktails. As we do so, we bump into a somewhat bleary-eyed Ian (one of the co-founders of Boozers) who had become a father not days before and is suitably sleep-deprived. In spite of his new title, he is on site, screw driver/makeshift wine bottle opener in hand, ready to contribute and sample the beers on offer.
Once set up, we go to check on Crazy Gin’s very own Crazy Singh, who is already educating punters about the spirit with jovial banter and tasting sessions (find out all about Crazy Gin here). The sunlit terrace is beginning to fill up and cans from Cloudwater Brew Co. (£7) and Hackney Brewery (£5) have already found their ways into the hands of eager imbibers. Beer drinkers are especially lucky today as the event also see the launch of Boozer without Border’s first official beer, the 5.1% chocolatey traditional London Stout ‘I Pub Crawled East London and all I got was this Lousy Stout’, brewed in collaboration with Beerblefish Brewing, as well as a haul of Texan beers brought across the pond in checked luggage by Boozer Ruvani.
We head on back to the bar to make our first load of cocktails: Crazy Gin & Tonic simply garnished with smacked basil and Crazy Gin n’ Juice (Crazy Gin, Fentimans Mandarin & Seville Orange, Fentimans Victorian Lemonade, Ginger Bitters), both perfect for the warm weather.
Things continue to hot up outside as Deb starts flipping homemade veggie and ethnically sourced lamb burgers on the BBQ. As the evening continues, the demand of Crazy Gin grows, as does interest in our spiced Tiki Taka (Takamaka white rum, Fentimans Ginger Beer, Angostura Bitters, freshly squeezed lime) and refreshing Takamaka Spritz (Takamaka white rum, Grapefruit juice, Fentimans Tonic Water), both owing their booziness to the fantastic Seychelles premium rum, Takakama (find out all about Takamaka Rum from its co-founder here).
What strikes us, as we hand over the last of the cool cocktails to the smiling punters, is the sheer number of regulars who have come out. Everyone seems to know everyone and, if they don’t, they soon will. The atmosphere is unrelentingly friendly, with newbies welcomed on board and encouraged to try free samples of the rare and exciting beers on the bar counter. There is a sort of comradery amongst the Boozers community that we rarely get the chance to see and we’re delighted to be able to be a part of it.
When asked about their experience of the event, Crazy Gin‘s Crazy Singh & Crazy Kaur said,
“It was a honour to be invited to join in the Stepney Summer Spirits & Beer Club with Boozers without Borders and Sated. It was a great summer’s evening sharing our Crazy Gin story alongside some great cocktails, amazing beers and a delicious barbecue, all in the name of raising money for two great causes: Help Refugees and Stepney City Farm. We met some wonderful people and it almost seemed surreal to see goats roaming around with the London skyline in the background.”
The next Boozers without Borders event is on Thursday 26th July at Stepney City Farm, 17:30 – 22:00. Tickets are FREE and a percentage of profits from the bar go towards Help Refugees and the upkeep of the farm. Book your tickets here.
Boozers without Borders (or Soulards San Frontieres, if you’re fancy) is a fundraising initiative formed in 2016 by a little team of craft beer obsessives (Matt, Ian, Ruvani, and Whit) after a visit to The Jungle in Calais. Once at the camp and witnessing the plight of refugees first-hand, it became clear to the group that a lot more was needed than the initial assistance provided. This led them to start running events at venues around London, fusing their passion for craft beverages with their strong desire to help the hundred of thousands who have escaped war, persecution and famine in hopes of a better life for themselves and their families. They have so far raised over £6,600 for charity.