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Friday, 24 August 2012

Crate Brewery, Hackney

On a steamy August night, Hackney Wick’s gritty industrial estates recall a 70’s Blaxploitation flick set in The Bronx circa Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto. In E9, it’s estate agents who are cleaning up, marketing this ‘urban village's’ desirable designer pads to young professionals. East London's shiny new middle class is out in force tonight, crowding onto tables on the canal towpath at Crate Brewery, the latest microbrewery/ bar combo catering to our new-found thirst for artisanal craft ales. Available on tap in its adjacent bar-cum-canteen, intense, hoppy, nutty Golden Ale - one of  three house draughts - is as good as I’ve tasted lately. Equally intriguing, is Brewfist Space Man: a notable Italian from a range of imported bottled beers that includes Bear Republic’s California-brewed Red Rocket. Crate’s owners have imaginatively kitted out the brewery's taphouse-cum-canteen, warming up an austere breeze block shell with a bar made from old railway sleepers. A mishmash of furniture is wittily fashioned on the cheap from what looks like Eddie Stobart’s cast-offs: crates, pallets, trolleys, heavy duty webbing and the likes. Dominating one wall, a humungous pizza oven takes pride of place.  ‘Yum’ I say, contemplating my (£8) red onion, courgette, feta and gremolata thin crust. ‘Double yum!’ says my date, clocking ' a 'spicy salami' and the exotic waiter who serves us: in a T-shirt bearing Jim Morrison’s image,  he makes The Doors’s smouldering late frontman look plain by comparison.
Unit 7, White Building, Queens Yard, E9 5EN