A year after moving to London my friend introduced me to Hackney Wick and my love for living East was firmly ingrained into my heart. Making my way through the industrial area covered in street art I met him at Counter Cafe which, to this day, is my favourite brunch spot.
Almost five years later and Hackney Wick still remains my favourite places in London. Despite this, I don’t share all the amazing places housed within this small, small part of East London because, selfishly, I wanted to keep it a secret part of London. However, judging by how long it now takes me to get a drink at one of the bars I regularly prop up, out the secret is out. So I thought I would share another one of my favourite places.
Crate Brewery is the second eatery I came across in Hackney Wick and is the one I frequent the most. The canal side brewery and pizza place is housed on the bottom of The White Building, a hub for art and creativity on the edge of Regents Canal.
Making things from scratch is a running theme throughout Crate, including the interior which is completely up-cycled – fitting in with the industrial and artist warehouse surroundings.
Though they serve other drinks, for me the beers (which are now sold all over London) are the shining star of the bar. There are a few staples on the menu such as the Lager, Wheat, IPA, Porter, Rye, Stout, and Golden but they also offer limited edition batches created in the small 5 barrel brew kit within the building.
I am an absolute pizza fiend and am going to make the bold statement that Crate is one of my favourite places for pizza in all of London. Hand rolled, paper thin bases cooked in a high temperature stone oven within an open kitchen behind the bar. The toppings are nontraditional but super fresh and delicious; my favourite is the Sweet Potato, Stilton and Walnut, closely followed by the Sage and Truffle.
Sitting canal side (or in the car park behind Crate) with a pint in one hand and pizza in the other is my happy place.
Crate offers an amazing balance of simplicity and innovation as well as having an interesting and engaging clientele. This has been my favourite spot to hang out for the past four years but with the growth in popularity (and the Olympic regeneration project) the area is rapidly changing and developers are sadly beginning to put there generic stamp on Hackney Wick, pushing out the artist community that made it unique and special in the first place.
My advice would be to hop on the overground and grab yourself a pizza and a pint before it disappears.
Crate Brewery and Pizzeria
Unit 7, Queens Yard,
London, E9 5EN