30 October 2016

Brewery tap rooms from Bethnal Green to Walthamstow - part 1

Part 1 - Bethnal Green and South Hackney

As well as visiting Signature Brew for their 5th birthday party, my tap room trail on Saturday 29 October, 2016, included Redchurch Brewery, Forest Road Brew Co, Wild Card Brewery and Pillars Brewery.
St John's Church, opposite Bethnal Green tube station entrance


Redchurch Brewery

Starting from Bethnal Green (Central Line) tube station, it was only a short walk to Redchurch Brewery, situated in railway arches at 275 / 276 Poyser Street.
South end of Poyser Street from Cambridge Heath Road
North end of Poyser St from Old Bethnal Green Rd
Take the Cambridge Heath Road (West) exit from the tube, head north until you reach Poyser Street or look for the signs where the elevated railway crosses Old Bethnal Green Road.
The illuminated sign makes the brewery easy to find. Take the steps on the left up to the tap room on the mezzanine level.
This is a big bright space with plenty of wooden furniture. The hard surfaces are softened by the use of billowing hessian fabric. The audio equipment produces a good sound and snooker player Steve Davis is one of the DJs who provide the musical background for evening events.
Redchurch Brewery Paradise Pale on resin bar surface.
There are 10 taps behind the bar serving the full range of Redchurch Brewery beers.These are listed on the blackboard next to the bar and include Brick Lane lager (4.7% ABV), Bethnal Pale (APA - 5.5% ABV) and Old Ford Export Stout (7.5%). The surface of the bar includes a 'r b' logo formed from hops and grains and covered in clear resin.
By arriving at opening time (noon) I had the benefit of Kieran's kind offer of samplers of the saison style beers from taps 8 (Tartelette - mixed fermentation Berline Weisse - 4.5% ABV), 9 (Dry Hopped Sour - with Cascade - 5.4% ABV) and 10 (a refreshing low alcohol Grisette made with Lemon Thyme, Chamomile and some Cascade hops). I would recommend all of these but instead chose a half pint of Paradise Pale (3.7% ABV). Prices are reasonable e.g. £2.30 (1/2) or £3 (2/3) for the low and medium strength beers.
 Cartons and Chilled bottles of Redchurch Brewery beers are also available to take away.
As I was still the only customer, I took the opportunity to give Kieran a copy of Ullage, the West Berkshire CAMRA beer magazine and inform him about West Berkshire Brewery and Wild Weather Ales from the Newbury area. We also chatted about some breweries we both know - East Sussex based Franklins Brewing Co and Andy Parker's Elusive Brewing. We agreed that beer and music go well together and learned from each other that End of the Road festival (Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset) and the Kelburn Garden Party (near Largs, west of Glasgow) are good festivals for music and arts in natural surroundings. 
Although, we could have chatted longer, it was time for me to go in order to visit the four further brewery tap rooms on today's 'mission'. Kieran recommended a visit to the nearby Kings Arms in Buckfast Sreet, near Bethnal Green Road on any future visit. Before leaving I was able to get photos of the brewery and bottling line on the ground floor
Bottling line - Redchurch Brewery


Five Points Brewing Co

After a walk or a short bus journey (106 or 254 north owards Hackney) and crossing the Regent's Canal, you will pass the Five Points Brewing Co warehouse and distribution centre. (The Five Points bar is Mason & Company at Here East - Technology Innovation Centre, Olympic Park, Hackney Wick. The brewery itself is at Institute Place, near Hackney Central station, and tours can be booked on the second Saturday of each month.)


Forest Road Brewing Co

Soon after, turn west into Westgate Street and just before the railway arches, on the south side, is the gated entrance to Netil Lane, the location of Forest Road Brewing Co.
Take care not to trip over the base of the gate and you will see the green painted Forest Road Brewing Co tap room located in one of the railway arches which opens on Saturdays.
 There is seating outside and parking for bicycles.
Inside, I would find Rudder serving at the bar and a mixture of seating options including a sofa, a bench for a low table and stools at the bar and at a high table.
Rudder explained that Work, the Forest Road Brewing Co beer is currently brewed by Pete in Flanders, Belgium by Brouwerij Van Eecke, the Poperings hommelbier brewery. The flags behind the bar include the Massachussetts flag, Pete's home state. The other beers available were SAS Pils from the same Belgian brewery group, Partizan Saison Lemongrass and The Kernel Table Beer. Current beers at the tap room can be found on the website.
Forest Road Brewing Co - Work
A half pint of Work was £3 and served in a plastic cup. My Work, a 6 grain unfiltered IPA (5.4% ABV), tasted good but had a hazy appearance and was more fizzy than a cask ale.
An indented bottle of Work, just under the Forest Road sign, caught my eye on the chipboard wall opposite my table. Noticeable from his accent, Rudder is from Alabama and he may have chosen the Southern style music playing on the system during my visit. Before leaving, I was able to purchase 2 chilled 33cl bottles of Work to take home for £5.

From Mare Street, I would catch a 55 Bus to take me near Signature Brew. See part 2 for further details.

London Fields Brewery

Another possibility would have been to include a visit to the taproom at nearby London Fields Brewery tucked away between Mare Street and London Fields park at the south end of Mentmore Terrace, just under the arches, which is open until midnight, seven days a week.


  1. Great stuff Tim, sound like the sort of Saturday I could get my sister and the wife interested in. Noticeably, there's now more breweries than pubs to drinks those beers in in East London, at least using the Beer Guide. Not an ideal situation, but it does mean those brewery shops are here to stay as a concept.

  2. Useful source of info for London Brewery Taprooms is London Beer Guide - click on the red 'i' symbol for review etc http://www.londonbeerguide.com/breweries.php