Come for an inside look at the process then stay for dinner at these distilleries and breweries.
A former glue factory in Bow might not seem like your first choice for top-notch Italian food, but that’s about to change: East London Liquor Company is adding a restaurant to its distillery, along with a whisky still and an extended warehouse. The kitchen is being headed up by William Dennard, formerly at White Rabbit and Rebel Dining Society, and he’s bringing his expertise to a menu of pizza and Italian-style seasonal sharing plates. If you’re too hipster to pair that with whisky, vodka and gin, there’ll be a complementary drinks list with amaro, fernet, vermouth, wine and beer. Cin cin.
Pizza and beer is a time-tested pairing, and it’s been kicked up a notch at Hackney Wick’s Crate Brewery, where there’s a selection of beers brewed on site alongside hand-rolled pizzas. It’s located on the ground floor of The White Building, a centre for art, technology and sustainability – a fitting location for a venue that prides itself on its innovative brews and pizza topping combinations. If that’s not enough to convince you, the brewery’s setting should: it sits alongside the canal, and you can even arrive en bateau.
Zero Degrees was set up with a ‘tank to mouth’ ethos in mind, which should give you some idea of the founders’ passion for brewing. Visit the restaurant and you’ll be able to see the open-plan microbrewery and be able to drink the beer straight from the tanks, as well as munch on dishes like wood-fired pizzas (told you it was a popular combo), fresh pasta, mussels and salads, all of which are designed to complement the brews. What’s more, the team’s debut restaurant sits adjacent to picturesque Blackheath Common, making it the perfect pitstop for a beer and some snacks.
Billing itself as “London’s most central microbrewery”, Temple Brew House is, as the name suggests, a whisk away from Temple Tube station. It’s the HQ of the Essex Street Brewing Company, which produces a small range of craft beers, among them a pale ale, a golden ale, a best bitter, a smoked porter and more. You’ll find the range in full at its dedicated restaurant, which serves up dishes made with ingredients as local as possible, including its own home-smoked meats, with the aim of “sneaking in as much beer to the menu as possible”. Which we think is probably one of those ‘rude not to’ situations.