The Great East London Brewery Crawl: Part Three (Crate)

After a shaky start, The Great East London Brewery Crawl improved as we ventured further into Hackney. My hangover was by now a distant memory, and we were making better beer choices. Crate, in Hackney Wick, was one of our favourite stops, despite the fact that it was now bucketing down with rain. We’ll have to return when the weather is better, although judging by the current state of the English summer that may be sometime never.

(Also, an apology. In Crate I got distracted by the giant pizza which I ordered and again forgot to note most of Kamala’s scores. I am now so paranoid about repeating this that on our last bar crawl I asked her to tell me each score at least six times.)

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The Beers

Saltaire Kardinal

Julie: Flat and also pretty hoppy, which is not a great first impression. I don’t think I’d drink too much of this. 4/10

Kamala: We’ve only ordered flat beers, and I think this one is really easy drinking.

Crate Golden 

J: Fairly sweet, and goes down well. It’s a little bland but is very easy to drink. 7/10

K: Light and almost fruity – like drinking a banana. It’s good and not boring.

Crate Rye

J: Rye is another first for us, this is unusual but not in a bad way. It has a strong flavour without being overpowering and I could keep drinking it for a while. 8/10

K: It has the flavour of a porter with much more smoothness. 7/10

The Ambience

J: I’m not a big fan of the music, but I am a big fan of the pizza so that makes up for it. I like the outdoor area with its big tables, ideal for sharing with a big group. 7/10

K: Why is it raining?! Still, there’s a good vibe here, and zero children.

For more information on Crate, go to http://cratebrewery.com/.

Next time on Beers and Bouts, the Great East London Brewery Crawl makes its final stop at Howling Hops, Hackney Wick. 

 

The Great East London Brewery Crawl: Part Two (London Fields)

From One Mile End, we journeyed to London Fields for our second stop on The Great East London Brewery Crawl. It was an interesting experience. The small taproom  was heaving with people and when we spotted an empty corner of bench and sat down we were briskly shooed away by an unfriendly member of staff. It turned out we were interrupting a child’s birthday party. Kamala was incensed.

Thankfully it got better from there…

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L-R: Broadway Blonde, Shoreditch Triangle, Love Not War

The Beers

Broadway Blonde (Blonde)

Julie: Nice sweet flavour and good level of carbonation but I can taste the alcohol content which is offputting and there’s a mild aftertaste. It’s very light and drinkable though, so I could carry on for a while. 7/10

Kamala: Super easy to drink but a bit too bland. A firm 7/10

Shoreditch Triangle (IPA)

J: This doesn’t taste like a normal IPA, it’s syrupy and quite flat. The sweet taste cancels out the usual IPA bitterness though. 7/10

K: It’s interesting, sweet and slightly caramely, but not too sweet. 8/10

Love Not War (Red Ale)

J: I’m not sure what to make of this, reds are still something of an unknown entity. There’s some bitterness but not the intense hoppy bitterness of a strong IPA. It’s quite drinkable but I’m just not sure I’d order it again. 6/10

K: Quite citrusy but not gross like a fruit beer. 7/10

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The Ambience

J: I like the decor and the bar staff are good but they seem to have gone over the top on reserving space. The music is also a bit loud for the middle of the afternoon and one of the staff members seems to just be officious. 6/10

K: We accidentally walked into a child’s birthday party…is nowhere safe??? [She still tells this story, with intonation like so: “There were CHILDREN….having a PARTY….in a BREWERY!”] 5/10

For more information on London Fields Brewery, go to: http://londonfieldsbrewery.co.uk/.

Next time on Beers and Bouts, the Great East London Brewery Crawl continues with Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick. 

The Great East London Brewery Crawl: Part One (One Mile End)

The Great East London Brewery Crawl truly began after the London Brewers’ Market. See here and here for how that went down. If you haven’t read those, here’s some background: I was hungover, we made some pretty terrible beer choices, and neither Kamala and I pulled punches when discussing how terrible those choices were.

It gets better, at least slightly. At One Mile End, housed in the White Hart pub in Whitechapel, we go so distracted by food and the friends we made at the table opposite that I forgot to note down most of Kamala’s scores and Kamala forgot to make any comments about the taste of one of the beers. Plus there was some past trauma to contend with.

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L-R: Hospital Porter, Saison Royale, Directorate

The Beers

Hospital Porter

Julie: Very strong coffee notes, but still relatively light and has a nice flavour. I like it, but it’s not my ideal beer. 6/10

Kamala: Relative fizz, not flat like other porters I’ve tried, which makes it feel light.

Saison Royale

J: Nice and light and fruity. Very easy to drink – not too flat, not too strong, not too bitter, but still has some depth and flavour. 8/10

K: Why are all the British beers sounding so French? What would Nigel Farage say? Another reason to leave the EU? [Disclaimer: Kamala is not, to my knowledge, anti-French or pro-UKIP. I think the Directorate may have been to blame for these comments.]

Directorate

J: Oh,  we have made a grave mistake. If you like bourbon you should drink this because it tastes of bourbon. Just bourbon. Ugh. 1/10

K: Oh lord, what have we done? This is the Donald Trump of the beer world. 1/10 at a push.

Ambience

J: Nice pub, but it feels more like a traditional pub than a brewpub, and I prefer the brewery vibe as a rule. The bartender also wasn’t particularly knowledgeable about the beers (although she did try to warn us off the Directorate, so maybe I should forgive her). Really good beer range though. 6/10

K: I got my bag stolen here so I had to get over the initial fear. 6/10

For more information on One Mile End go to http://onemileend.com/ and for the White Hart go to http://www.the-white-hart.co.uk/

Next time on Beers and Bouts, the Great East London Brewery Crawl continues with London Fields Brewery. 

London Brewers’ Market: Hop Stuff Brewery

Regular readers will remember that we left off last time at the London Brewers’ Market at its temporary home in Spitalfields. I was hungover, it was sunny, there were hipsters, and nobody knew where Southfields was.

Despite the hipsters and the crowds and the crowds of hipsters, we decided to sample beers from one more brewery stand before leaving. This time we chose Hop Stuff Brewery from Woolwich.

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The Hop Stuff stall

The Beers

Saisonniers

Julie: Herby and quite flat. It’s nice to have something not bitter, but the lack of carbonation is putting me off somewhat and I’m also getting some mouthwash vibes. I don’t think I’d go for more than a pint. 6/10

Kamala: WTF is this? Reasonably light initial taste, but bitter aftertaste. (At this point I stopped noting down Kamala’s scores for a couple of stops, I don’t know why, ask the Hangover.)

DIPA

J: I’m feeling very well-disposed towards this as it’s not the Rocky Head Hop Bonanza (also known as the Spacer, see here for our review of that). Nice roasted malt notes, not too much bitterness at the start but it builds. 7/10

K: Is D for Deadly? Why? Why so many hops? Probably better to sell this one in thirds as it’s so strong.

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Still drinking on the pavement. DIPA on the left, Saisonniers on the right.

 

The next London Brewers’ Market will be at Field Day in Victoria Park on 11-12 June. For more information, go to: https://londonbrewersmarket.com/. For more information on Hop Stuff, go to: http://www.hopstuffbrewery.com/.

Next time on Beers and Bouts, we begin The Great East London Brewery Tour in earnest with One Mile End.

London Brewers’ Market: Rocky Head Brewery

A couple of months ago, Kamala and I decided to embark on the Great East London Brewery Crawl. But before we reached any actual breweries, we hit up the London Brewers’ Market in Spitalfields Market. The day did not get off to a good start. I had spent the previous night dancing to Taylor Swift in a warehouse until 5am, and my hangover did not appreciate the bright sunlight, the crowds or the inordinate number of hipsters (I know, I blog about craft beer and am in no position to complain about hipsters, but I don’t make the rules, the Hangover does). Nevertheless, we decided to make the best of the situation and sample some beers from breweries which were too far away to shoehorn into a Great Brewery Crawl.

We started with the Rocky Head Brewery, from Southfields. ‘Where the fuck is Southfields?’ reads my first note of the day. As it turns out, it’s in Wandsworth.

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Look at those crowds. Just look at them.

The Beers

Spacer

Julie: So bitter it actually makes me shudder. There’s an aftertaste too. It might be citrus, but it might also be lemon-scented Fairy liquid. 1/10

Kamala: That is the definition of a motherfucking hop. It hurts my mouth. I don’t even think I could drink a pint which is incredibly rare for me. 1/10

White Island

J: I’ve been wanting a wheat beer for ages. This is good, but not quite what I wanted. The fruit notes come across a little bitter, I’m getting more orange peel than orange. There’s nice depth though, and a good sweetness at the end. 6/10

K: I’m just a bit disappointed by it. 5/10

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We drank our beers outside because it was sunny and there was less danger of me killing a hipster there.

The next London Brewers’ Market will be at Field Day in Victoria Park on 11-12 June. For more information, go to: https://londonbrewersmarket.com/. For more information on Rocky Head Brewery, go to: https://sites.google.com/site/rockyheadbrewery/.

Next time on Beers and Bouts, we continue to take on the London Brewers’ Market with Hop Stuff Brewery from Woolwich (don’t worry, we do know where that is).