Hackney's best microbreweries
Love craft ale? You're in the right hood! Here's a taste Hackney's many own brands.
Beer, it seems, is big business. In 2015, 170 new breweries opened across the UK, creating a total of 1,285, or one for every 50,000 people. That's the largest number since the 1940s and Hackney - home to almost one in five London beer brands - is leading the boom.
Here's our guide to some of Hackney's best microbreweries:
Launched in 2015, 40ft operates out of shipping containers in the Bootstrap car park, Dalston. The microbrewery in Abbott Street has hosted various events celebrating St Patrick's Day, Dalston Beer Day and Hackney Carnival which was marked with a day-long party playing sounds from the islands and a special sorrel and ginger sour beer.
Boxcar Brewery, Homerton
Boxcar is a small-batch brewery based in a railway arch off Ponsford Street. Started and still run by the duo of Sam and Stephen, year one saw their first release in a bottle receive great feedback from trade and public alike. Boxcar now aims to open a small tap room soon, so it can sell its beer direct to drinkers.
Boxcar Brewery, E9
CRATE Brewery, Hackney Wick
Howling Hops' next-door neighbour is also its brother-in-brewing. CRATE is an airy canal-side pizzeria, which also has its own microbrewery attached. Founded by long-term Hackney Wick residents Tom and Jess Seaton with Nick Hinchley, it's a hipster paradise. The pizza is crisp, the toppings creative, the beer is craft, and the beards are out in force.
CRATE Brewery, E9
Deviant and Dandy, Hackney Central
Deviant and Dandy is the new kid on the block, opening its doors at the start of 2018. Founder Byron Knight, was instrumental in the success of Off Broadway, Beavertown Brewery and Dalston Pond.
His latest venture is based in a railway arch, in Nursery Road, and produces 'dandy' style beers such as pale ales, brown bitters and lagers or 'deviant' styles like IPA, heritage rice APA, or new world sours.
Deviant and Dandy, E9
Five Points Brewing Company, Hackney Downs
Launched by the team behind De Beauvoir's Duke of Wellington pub, Five Points is a small indie company, in Institute Place, which brewed its first batch of Five Points Pale Ale back in 2013. It now has four more beers: Hook Island Red, Railway Porter, Five Points IPA and London Smoke.
It's very much a local affair: the owners and founders live in Hackney, the brewery runs an apprenticeship scheme for 18 to 24-year-olds from the borough and five per cent of profits are invested in local charities and community projects. It's also green: their electricity comes from 100 per cent renewable sources. So you can feel good about reaching for a second bottle...
Five Points Brewing Company, E8
Hackney Brewery, Haggerston
Founders Peter Hills and Jon Swain were working in a pub when they first started dreaming of setting up Hackney Brewery. In 2011, they finally found a railway arch in Laburnum Street and made it real, starting as a cask ale brewery with three types of beer.
In 2014, they added kegged and bottled beers and became fully fledged members of the craft beer scene. Meticulous about their sources, they use UK malt and hops and cite Hackney's 'fantastic creative environment' as their inspiration to create new beers. We'll drink to that.
Hackney Brewery, E2
Howling Hops, Hackney Wick
Originally brewing in the basement of the Cock Tavern on Mare Street, Howling Hops has grown up and moved on. Their new brewery, at Queen's Yard, has 20 times the capacity and London's first 'tank bar'. Its 10 beers are delivered straight from the row of gleaming steel tanks behind the bar, dispensing with traditional bottles or kegs, in a mission to make the beer as fresh as can be.
Since this system also means the beer doesn't have to be pasteurised or filtered, it maintains more natural and subtle flavours. What effect this has on your hangover, however, has yet to be established.
Howling Hops, E9
London Fields Brewery
Another microbrewery, another railway arch... London Fields Brewery in Warburton Street also has a bustling onsite bar complete with a food menu designed to complement their beers.
Vice Magazine and Adidas have hosted parties in its 500 capacity venue, the Brewhouse. There are music nights, beer festivals and launch parties for seasonal and limited edition beer batches. You can even get married here. Technically, you never need leave. Though your doctor would probably disagree.
London Fields Brewery, E8
The People's Park Tavern, Victoria Park
Overlooking Victoria Park, the People's Park Tavern is a pub with a difference. It has an onsite brewery, one of three operated in London by the Laine Brewing Company. Technically, it's called a five barrel brewery. In practice, that means that each batch they brew creates another 1,440 pints for the punters.
After fermentation, the beers are cask-conditioned then dispersed and dispensed directly through the hand pumps along the pub's long bar. So you can get a fresh pint of People's Pale Ale, Random Pale Ale or Red Empire, every time.
The People's Park Tavern, Victoria Park Road, E9
Truman's, Hackney Wick
One of the greatest names in British brewing is back. Truman's Brewery was founded 1666 and, for a brief period in the 1800s, was the biggest brewery in the world. It sent Imperial Stout to the Russian court and IPA to the British Raj. In 1989, however, the brewery and pubs were closed and Truman's shut its doors.
In 2010, two local beer enthusiasts, James Morgan and Michael-George Hemus, re-established it, recovering the original yeast strain from the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (we know...) where it had been cryogenically frozen (we know...) at -196c since 1958.
In the summer of 2013, the operation moved to its current 40 barrel brewery at the Eyrie in Hackney Wick. From here, they make an eclectic range of beer in cask, keg and bottle that has picked up a number of industry awards, proving that bigger might not always be better, but cryogenically frozen yeast is always the best.