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Brewery bringing the Royal Docks culture stateside

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 April 2016

John Bikis pulls a pint at the Royal Docks Brewery Co

John Bikis pulls a pint at the Royal Docks Brewery Co

John Bikis

At first glance, there’s not much to link the city of Canton, Ohio, with Newham.

The taproom, as it is known, is inspired by British pub cultureThe taproom, as it is known, is inspired by British pub culture

But when John and Adriana Bikis moved back to the USA after three years living in London, they took a bit of the capital with them in the form of the Royal Docks Brewery Company.

“We lived in London for three years and the pub culture in the UK was something we really enjoyed,” explained John, 35.

“We used to spend a lot of time on the Oiler Bar, in Royal Victoria Dock.

“We wanted to bring a bit of what we had experienced back home to share with everyone else.”

John and Adriana Bikis were inspired by their time living in LondonJohn and Adriana Bikis were inspired by their time living in London

The taproom – the American term for a pub – and brewery opened in September last year and has proved popular, with 7,000 people turning up for the launch event.

“We get a lot of questions about the beer names,” said John, who grew up in Ohio.

“67 Alaska is after our address in London, Alaska Apartments on Western Gateway.

“DLR is obvious to people from London but not so much for Americans.

The brewery delivers beer to other pubs in OhioThe brewery delivers beer to other pubs in Ohio

“One of our most popular beers, Baba Yaga, is a coffee beer named after a coffee clipper.”

It’s not just the beers that have a decidedly British feel – the toilets have the word loo on the door rather than the American term of restroom, while videos of the Royal Docks are often broadcast for visitors.

Even the company’s logo is inspired by east London history in the cranes that have risen up around the docks for years.

“Our brew master, Dave Sutula, trained in Scotland so he’s got a British style,” added John.

Despite the business being less than a year old, it seems there’s no stopping the spread of the Royal Docks across the American midwest.

“We’ve got 26 companies who have our beer on tap,” John said.

“We’re hoping to sell some in bottles and cans soon too.”


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