In this fourth and final installment on Hackney breweries Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer head over to Hackney Wick and nearby Fish Island. And on the way we check out the latest goings on at two previously visited venues that have experienced changes since they appeared earlier in this series…
We started this latest walk at the taproom & brewery and found no evidence of brewing activity. As previously reported, since HMRC raided the brewery last December, taking away stock and equipment, London Fields branded beers have been contract-brewed by third parties outside the M25.
What does remain operational is the taproom, which is still running brewery tours – in a brewery that no longer produces beer. The nearby London Fields “Brewhouse” events venue seems to be where the company is focusing most of its efforts to stay afloat. In the circumstances, maintaining the “Hand Crafted in Hackney” story line now seems disingenuous at best, at worst downright dishonest? I’ll let you be the judge.
On a happier note our stopover at the pub confirmed that since Howling Hops opened their massively expanded brewery space at Hackney Wick, the brewery’s original kit in the pub’s cellar is now available for Hackney’s ‘next rising star’.
We understand discussions are underway with an interested party but nothing more can be disclosed at this time. The pub continues to offer Howling Hops ales on keg and cask as well as offerings from other London breweries. This is a craft beer pub – no mass-market lagers. 🙂
After a number of enjoyable visits to sister brewpub The Aeronaut in Acton, I’m pleased to say the People’s Park Tavern exceeded our expectations. We found more house beers on tap and pump, food was up to snuff, and the pub’s decor is gorgeous inside and out. With direct access to Victoria Park via a rear gate, I don’t think I can recall ever seeing a more impressive pub garden.
While it might be tempting to ride the Overground between the Cock Tavern (Hackney Central) and Crate Brewery (Hackney Wick), the two mile walk via Victoria Park, with a stopover at the People’s Park Tavern, is so much more worthwhile.
The wonderful location beside the Lea Navigation, with plenty of outdoor seating, is one of Crate’s best selling points. Another is their pizza – very good – and their beer is good too. In addition to their house beers on cask and keg there were several excellent guest beers as well.
Just a stone’s throw from Hackney Wick Overground station in the White Building at Queens Yard.
Open barely a month, this is a fantastic addition to London’s craft beer scene. The brewery’s original cellar-brewed beers impressed during previous visits to the Cock Tavern but now in their own place it’s a different experience by many orders of magnitude.
The industrial space lends itself beautifully to the brewery and tank bar layout: the ten gleaming steel conditioning tanks with built-in taps look cool; in front of the bar the rows of German beer hall styled bench seating really help pack in the punters and encourage more social interaction between groups who might otherwise keep to themselves.
This is exactly the kind of environment Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer love. More space, more beer choice, more East London cool. And right next door to Crate Brewery, what’s not to like.
Since the iconic brewery was re-established in 2010 it has been busy supplying its beer to the pub trade and therefore mostly closed to the public. However by a happy stroke of luck our latest visit to Hackney Wick coincided with Truman’s 1st Friday Yard Party. Introduced earlier this year, from May to September, the brewery opens its door each month on the 1st Friday from 5:30 pm.
During our visit we enjoyed Truman’s beers from cask and keg, a wander around the brewhouse, makeshift seating in the yard, and the food vendor and DJ set up in front of the roll-up doors was icing on the cake – albeit for those who didn’t have to rush off early to catch a train.
Here are some photos from our walk. Click an image to open the gallery and view full size…
If you’re interested in following in our footsteps here’s a map of our walking route.