Meet the business creating a buzz in the borough
Find more about local business Hiver Beers, which took the top prize of Independent Retailer of the Year at the Southwark Business Excellence Awards 2019.
The second Southwark Business Excellence Awards took place at the Hilton London Bankside hotel in June, welcoming businesses from across the borough for a night of celebration and recognition.
The Independent Retailer of the Year Award – once again sponsored by the developer behind Elephant Park, Lendlease – showcases independent retailers that are creating a special shopping experience for customers in the local area.
Hiver Beers, an independent start-up brewer took the title after being highly commended for its unique offering and customer service.
Founded in 2013 by Hannah Rhodes, Hiver Beers specialises in honey beer, but its brewing process sets it apart from any other producer in the world. Hiver use raw honey from independent UK beekeepers as a brewing sugar in the fermentation process, rather than simply adding the honey at the end of production. The firm says that this makes for a more natural product, and creates a different flavour.
As well as honey beer, Hiver also offers two-hour-long urban beekeeping and beer tasting experiences in conjunction with its partners Bee Urban.
The firm’s headquarters, taproom and shop are based in a railway arch at the top of the popular Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey, the place where Hannah started Hiver Beers, initially sharing an office space with Jensen’s Gin. During that time, she manned a stall at Maltby Street Market before the expanding business moved from market to supermarket, and required more space.
Hannah says: “Southwark is such a melting pot of people and businesses. It’s a great place to be. It’s a real hotspot for food and drink businesses. You never know which market stall will become a start-up success story overnight. It’s the norm for likeminded businesses in Bermondsey and Southwark to help support each other. There’s a real collaborative feel to the area.
“To win this award – given to us by the best borough in the best city – makes me so proud of the team effort that goes into everything we do at Hiver. I think is a testament to the incredible team at the taproom, who embody the brand, that we’ve won this award. I’m so very proud of them, and am so happy that they get to gain some well-deserved recognition.”
Hannah also hopes that the prestige of winning the award will help the company retain a base in the local area.
“We hope that we are able to stay in Southwark in the future, as our railway arch is under threat from large rental increases,” she says. “We encourage anyone who isn’t aware of the issues to please follow the Guardians of the Arches to discover more.”
A full list of winners from the Southwark Business Excellence Awards can be found here.