New Birmingham brewery Gypsy Brew has launched its first beer, Gypsy Water, a 4.5% ABV American pale ale.

Gypsy Brew Al Gaz
Al Smith and Gary Meads, co-founders of Gypsy Brew

The business is the brainchild of two friends and business owners — pub landlord Gary Meads, and barber Al Smith. The beers are produced in a microbrewery onthe site of Gary’s pub, The Coach and Horses, in Weatheroak Hill.

Gypsy Brew started as a pipe dream for Gary and Al. However, when lockdown saw both of their businesses forced to cease trading, the pair dived into bringing the brand to life.

Having finessed their brew, and having recruited the help of beer cicerone Rob Walker, Gypsy Brew has launched Gypsy Water onto the market. The American Pale Ale combines a sweet citrus burst with a biscuity caramel, toffee base.

Gary said: “We are elated to have launched Gypsy Brew into the market with the debut of our first product, Gypsy Water. Creating the brand and our first beer has been a labour of love for Al and me, and while it hasn’t been easy, we’re proud to have brought something positive to fruition during the pandemic. Having worked on the Gypsy Water brew since last March, it’s both exhilarating and humble to be able to share it with Birmingham and beyond.”

Gypsy Water

Al is descended from a long line of Romany Gypsies, and he created the brand concept to represent his family’s background, paying homage to his ancestor’s rich experiences. This included his great grandfather, who was a prominent bare-knuckle boxer in Birmingham in the 1920s. Having shared this vision for the brand with Gary and Rob, the trio worked to distil this story into the brew for Gypsy Water.

Al said: “I’ve always been fascinated by brands’ stories, and so when the opportunity came for Gary and I to bring our joint venture to life, it felt natural that we build our own heritage into the heart of it.

“Gypsy Brew is the telling of my Romany Gypsy lineage, told through products brewed at a pub that has been in Gary’s family for over six decades. It’s the perfect fusion of two Birmingham families’ stories, and we hope that it does our fellow Brummies proud.”

Gypsy Water is available to buy directly from the Gypsy Brew website, but will also be stocked at Artisan Street Kitchen, an innovative French-style street food van launched by acclaimed chef, Andrew Sheridan. Having fallen in love with the flavour of Gypsy Water, Andrew and the Artisan Street Kitchen team have started serving up the independent beer alongside their premium French dishes.


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