Hornchurch brewer tackles prostate cancer with beer
- Credit: Archant
It may be the dream of many drinkers to produce their own beer – but what if their product could also help save lives?
Hornchurch brewer Stephen Cross has done just that by launching Two Fingers Brewing Co. which makes great-tasting ale while tackling prostate cancer.
His flagship beer – Aurelio – has just won the innovative craft beer accolade at the International Beer Awards in Italy, just two years after he, and the six other co-founders, launched the business.
The Recorder spoke to Stephen, 30, of Appleton Way, to discover why he created a beer that sticks two fingers up to prostate cancer.
“A guy in our office had prostate cancer,” he explained. “It’s also one of the biggest growing cancers and for me, well I have four brothers so I wanted to do anything I can to help,”
The news shocked former Havering Sixth Form student Stephen and his colleagues at Farringdon advertising agency Karmarama and they decided they had to do something to help.
“My colleagues and I have always wanted to create a beer but never had the excuse to put so much time and effort into it,” said Stephen. “It was too selfish. But we thought ‘this is worth doing now’.
- 1 Rainham cannabis factory worth over £1m busted in drugs raid
- 2 'I feel ignored': Mum of three speaks out about bid to escape cramped housing
- 3 School submits plans to demolish sports hall and build multi-million pound replacement
- 4 'Abused, slapped and spat at': New Romford shopping centre tells of racist abuse suffered by staff
- 5 Twelve Havering properties sold for more than £1m in October
- 6 Child 'in collision with car' in Rainham
- 7 Man saved from Romford house fire
- 8 Two vehicles involved in early morning crash at Romford junction
- 9 Building to begin on more than 80 homes in second phase of development
- 10 Romford travel company win hat-trick of awards after 'challenging' year
“It’s one of those ideas that needed to be done – a beer that rewards the men that drink it.”
The team, which comprises ideas designers and financial advisers, then got to work in setting up the company that donates all of its profits – at least 10p per bottle – to Prostate Cancer UK.
They started out brewing the beer with Hackney microbrewers London Fields.
“We had no history in brewing but we have been happy to be part of that process,” Stephen said.
“It was a strange one. We went there and tasted a few beers.
“Many of us didn’t know how to take that and we don’t have the fancy vocabulary but we could say if it was a bit bitter or we didn’t like the after taste.
“We kept tasting until we all thought ‘we can drink that’ and then kept tweaking it until it was perfect.”
However, Stephen and the team were not able to keep up with the company’s high-demand for the beer, so they moved their operation to Hepworth Brewery, in West Sussex, where they continued to refine their formula.
The “passion project” is worked on part-time by the team of friends outside of their jobs and they hope to not only raise money for their cause but promote its awareness of it too.
“We are talking to men in the language they understand – if it gets them talking about prostate cancer it’s an absolute benefit,” Stephen.
The brand’s name is a play on the old test to check if a man has the disease – a rectal examination.
“But it’s a bit of an old wives’ tale because you can actually do it through a blood test now,” Stephen said.
Dispelling another myth, Stephen revealed that running your own beer company doesn’t necessarily mean you can drink on the house and he, in fact, buys all his Aurelio from Tesco.
“It’s a dream running your own beer company,” he said.