London’s Best Beer, Pubs and Bars updates
East London: Olympic Park
Brewpub, bar, specialist (Independent)
Queens Yard, White Post Lane E9 5EN
T 07834 275687 w cratebrewery.com f CrateBrewery tw CrateBrewery
Open 1200-2230 (may be extended). Children welcome until early evening.
Cask beer 4 (2+ Crate, local guests), Other beer 4 keg, 25+ bottles.
Food Gourmet pizzas, Outdoor Canalside terrace, Wifi. Disabled toilet.
Occasional DJs, tastings, art events in adjoining building.
This far corner of Hackney wedged between the A12 and the River Lee Navigation was once the exclusive territory of light industry and dodgy looking car spraying yards. Over the past decade, however, an influx of artistic types has repurposed numerous buildings, and the Wick now supports a flourishing creative community, with several innovative galleries and a programme of art and performance events under the delightful name Hackney Wicked. It’s been boosted further recently by the London Overground upgrade and the arrival of the Olympic Park on the opposite side of the Lee. When the park opens to the public from August 2013, the White Post Lane bridge will become one of its main access points.
Launched in late July 2012 just days before the opening ceremony, the Crate brewpub and pizzeria is another sign of the area’s current vitality. It’s housed in a big white building that was once a printworks and sweet factory and makes the best of its postindustrial nature by decking out the generous interior space with furniture made from reclaimed pallets, offering a good view of the glass walled brewery from the bar. Outdoors there’s the further bonus of a lovely waterside terrace with a view of the Olympic stadium.
House brewed contemporary US-influenced beers are served from both cask and keg, joined by cask offerings from local connections like Hackney and Truman, or further afield from Oakham, Titanic or Williams Brothers, and a rotating guest keg (often Magic Rock) plus good German lager and wheat beer. Bottles include numerous US options – Bear Republic, Brooklyn, Left Hand, cult industrial lager Pabst Blue Ribbon – alongside a couple of Belgians (Duvel, Troubadour) , Kernel and Crate’s own, curated by bar manager Adrian, formerly of Mason & Taylor. The menu offers wood fired pizzas of considerable repute. This stylishly inviting place is so far quite unlike any other beer venue in London.
Pub trivia. A marshland inhabited only by grazing cows until it was industrialised in the mid-19th century, Hackney Wick was the place where the first ever synthetic plastic, Parkesine, was first commercially produced in 1866.
Overground Hackney Wick Cycling NCN 1, Lee Navigation and Hertford Union towpaths, link to 2012 Hackney Parks route Walking Capital Ring, Lea Valley Path, link to Jubilee Greenway, London 2012 Hackney Parks route and Victoria Park paths