A Note of Thanks & Goodbye from Jonathan

Simply put, thank you.

As we move closer to my final shift, I’m starting to think back on my time here @ the Tap and the relationships I’ve made with many locals who’ve now become friends.

When I stepped into the Taproom in 2017, I was beyond excited to be working for a craft brewery. Coming from the States, I loved drinking craft beer (my favourite at the time was New Belgium Brewery, based in Colorado) but felt like I had missed the mark when it actually came to jumping into the very crowded craft beer market. While finding the job was simply an immigrant answering a Gumtree ad, little did I know at the time just how much the Taproom would change my life.

Dazed and confused on my first shift, I met Jules and Jill. These locals had been coming to the Taproom since it opened earlier that year, and they basically training me through that first shift. It was Jill who told me how much to charge for her wine, as well as where the toilet paper was in the stockroom as the one toilet downstairs was out. (Side note – ugh, remember that terrible path to our one toilet?!?! Don’t miss those days!) It was a tough shift and a rough first month, but we made it through.

I remember when we added Thursday nights to our opening hours. On that first evening, I only had 2 people in that entire night, Amelia & her boyfriend Jamie. They live at the end of Jaggard Way and saw our sign, so they wanted to swing down. It was a cold January day, so we were all in jackets but enjoying the beer. We chatted about the goals I had for our very humble taproom and what I felt like, in time, could be accomplished. We talked about adding games to the taproom, the possibility of adding tables outside in the summer, redecorating the inside of the taproom and trying to add a bit of character and charm to the place, adding to the merchandise range, and hopefully adding events to draw more folks down. The three of us sat and dreamed about what this place could become. I saw so much potential in this brewery and in this Taproom. With the brews tasting as great as they did, I knew that a little brand management and hard work would go a long way!

I remember when a certain set of locals came in to have a few drinks on a Sunday and stayed to help me hit the taproom’s best weekend ever! While that total is very small in comparison now, they just kept asking “Have we hit your target yet?” and kept buying rounds until we did! My heart was so full to know that other people were starting to take just as much pride in their local taproom doing well as the team was.

From those first few shifts to now, we’ve accomplished so much! We’ve seen our quiet, humble little taproom turn into a hip, happening place! I feel nothing but pride for what we have accomplished since 2017. While it was extremely typical in those first few months for local folks to say they’d never been to the Taproom, I’m almost shocked to hear that now. Seeing people relaxing and enjoying in our very comfortable space always makes my heart smile.

I’ve said from the beginning that I wanted a taproom where people could feel comfortable. I wanted the taproom to feel like an extension of your living room, where friends could relax and enjoy each other’s company while Friends was playing on Netflix in the background. When you didn’t have a big enough space to host your friends or family in your tiny London flat, I wanted you to jump into our snug and laugh for hours as you played Cards Against Humanity. I wanted you to fall in love with not only our beer, but also our brand and us as people. While we definitely are not as hipster as loads of other brands, I wanted a safe space for everyone to feel comfortable. And, after all this time, I think we’ve created just that.

While I’m excited for the next chapter as my husband and I move to Brighton, I’m sad to leave a piece of me behind. I’ve poured my heart, soul, tears, and at times, blood into building this taproom into what it is today.

So once again, thank you. Thank you for liking that random post on social media. Thank you for waiting in line for the bathroom when there was only one. Thank you for coming down for a drink even when you knew it might be a bit cold because we couldn’t close the big door just yet. Thank you for making it through that time we didn’t allow glass downstairs as we were running short on glasses. Thank you for hosting your fundraisers with us. Thank you for bringing your own food (BYOF) when we weren’t big enough to attract decent food trucks. Thank you for wandering down to the taproom to see if it was open since the Google hours weren’t always correct. Thank you for purchasing and proudly wearing our merchandise. Thank you for trying our experimental beers and giving us great feedback. Thank for checking in on social media and Untappd. Thank you for coming out when we had a food truck to show them our locals roll deep. Thank you for reserving those tables for your birthday party. Thank you for doing a private hire for your company get together. Thank you for doing a tour & tasting for your dad’s night. Thank you for roasting pumpkins when this American needed his spiced pumpkin beer! Thank you for bearing with us as we hired and trained new staff. Thank you for understanding when we had technical difficulties with our Izettle. Thank you for your support at our stands at festivals. Thank you for joining us for our first Thanksgiving Beer Festival. Thank you for coming to our pub quizzes. Thank you for celebrating Pride and #equalityinbeer by raising money for Stonewall. Thank you for bringing your friends and family in for a drink. Thank you for helping us turn this Taproom into one of the best taprooms in London. Thank you for making us your local. And thank you for taking a chance on an American who wanted to pour a bit of himself into this incredible brewery.

Simply put, thank you.

Your #queereyeforthebeerguy,
Jonathan Walker Gilland

This Friday (19 July) will be my final shift.
Please swing in to grab a draft, some pizza from Ò Vesù Van, and for me to say thank you in person for your support during my time here.

Not ready to lose me just yet? Follow my craft beer journey on Instagram @queereyeforthebeerguy and my move to Brighton @jwgilland