Going into Orbit

Bringing the local artists and community together


Tucked under the railway arches off Walworth Road, Orbit Beers has been taking inspiration from its favourite artists and music labels, to brew beers of uncompromising quality since 2014. While its Southwark home is a borough steeped in London history, Orbit’s classic European-style beers incorporate a contemporary twist, whether that means collaborating with local artists, or drawing on its area's cosmopolitan culinary culture. 

“You've got everything you could want on the doorstep,” says marketing manager, Rachel Emery. “From traditional pie and mash shops and Nigerian restaurants, to Burgess Park and East Street Market. It's a quintessential London High Street. Walworth Road became a transport hub into London in the 18th Century, due to the volume of producers and traders based here, and we're proud to still be one of them, nestled under the railway arches which service the major train lines into London.”

But history is only half of what makes this slice of London so special. Today, Rachel says it’s the diversity of people and places in the area that make it a hidden gem. For example, Peckham is home to one of the largest Nigerian diaspora communities in the UK, earning it the title of ‘Little Lagos’, and so last summer, Orbit collaborated with Southwark’s South London Gallery on a project focused on the local community. 

“The major group exhibition featured 13 artists exploring the connections between Lagos in Nigeria and Peckham in South East London,” says Rachel. “Orbit Beers collaborated with Nigerian Artist, Emeka Ogboh, to create a beer for his exhibition, ‘No Food For Lazy Man’. The strong golden ale (6% ABV) connected Peckham and Lagos through the use of English hops (Archer and Opus) alongside traditional Nigerian ingredients , namely sugar cane, calabash nutmeg, and melegueta pepper. The beer was also fermented at Orbit Brewery under Ogboh’s sound installation of Ojuelegba bus station, so that the beer is ‘vibrating to the sound of Lagos’.”

Orbit also hosted the exhibition after-party, bringing the local artists and community together at Orbit Beers Taproom, where Emeka Ogboh played a DJ set, Nigerian food pairings were served with the beer, and CNN International filmed an episode of Inside Africa. “It was a great feeling to see the community coming together for the exhibition, then joining us at the taproom to continue the sensory experience with the beer on tap, music from the installation, and food pairings,” says Rachel. 

Orbit’s taproom is the space in which its ethos and passion for music are best embodied, with local DJs and musicians using it as a place to perform, and Bring Your Own Vinyl nights encouraging an exchange of musical interest, opinions and cultures. 

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