– Liam Toms (Untappd: liamtoms)
With a Sunday afternoon to spare in London, we trekked across to Hackney Wick to visit a few craft beer stops, which can be found about 20 minutes walking distance from Stratford Shopping Centre (through the Olympic Village) or via Hackney Wick station. The short-but-sweet tour started at Mason and Company, a modern, almost IKEA looking bar in a new build block on the River Lee.
Mason and Company boasts 20 beers on tap, plus cans, bottles and 5 flavours of fresh donuts. Where M&C out perform others offering a similar sized range is by providing a comprehensive beer menu on tables, with descriptions, percentages and price to give you time to consider your beer of choice, before heading to the bar and awkwardly staring over the counter. They also own The Five Points Brewing Company and had a free taster stand for a few of their own beers.
The other stops on this tour can be found at Queens Yard, ten minutes along, and then across the river. The first, Howling Hops serve straight from one of ten massive tanks, in a large open plan warehouse unit, with BBQ food offered by residents Billy Smokes (which might’ve tempted us had we not eaten before M&C at Randy’s). The sun was shining so we opted to sit on the benches outside, overlooking the courtyard of this industrial estate (an increasingly familiar view on the craft beer scene).
From Howling Hops we moved next door to Crate Brewery. Here we were able to get a perfect spot on the riverbank to watch a full scale graffiti project taking place on a wall across the water. The view and equally good beer are perhaps factors accounting for how busy Crate was. Their stonebaked pizza also looked very nice.
Crate have another unit on the Estate, which made for our final stop. In addition to a (quieter) bar, Mick’s Garage also is home to two floors of craft (as in ‘arts and craft’) stalls from independent sellers and a space out back covered almost entirely in astroturf, where I sprawled out and enjoyed some more of the afternoon London sun.
Beers of the day:
Ed: Brighton Bier – Freshman IPA
Matt: Uprising Brewery – White Riot IPA
Sam: Crate Brewery – Sour
Liam: Northern Monk Brew Co – Dark Arches Black IPA