Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Thu Jul 26 2012
Not quite a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park, perhaps more of a decent javelin pitch away, is this cool new pizzeria and microbrewery. It’s on the edge of Hackney Wick, by the Lea Navigation (pictured above), in an area that would have been considered the back of beyond a few years ago, but right now is the centre of the world for on-trend creatives.
Crate has been opened by the people behind the equally cool Counter Café just up the road, and provides a pleasingly anti-corporate alternative to the strictly prescribed eating and drinking options over the canal. When I visited one sunny evening, Crate was busy with a mixture of hip young east Londoners, the more outré Hackney Wick types and a few off-duty Olympic workers.
It’s a nice spot to spend time before/after Olympic events, if you’ve got tickets or have worked a shift in an official pink T-shirt. Crate fills an airy, high-ceilinged ex-industrial unit (of course it does – this is Hackney Wick); there’s a sofa made from barley sacks, light fittings that look like they’ve been constructed out of mattress springs, perhaps dragged from the Lea before its 2012 dredging; the bar is made of old railway sleepers. The glinting tanks and pipes of the brewing equipment can be glimpsed in a small side room.
To eat, there are pizzas with unusual toppings such as Middle Eastern lamb; sage, potato and truffle; and sweet potato, gorgonzola and walnut. Draught beers include Crate Golden, an IPA and a lager, of which the Golden was most successful. Truman’s Runner was also available, and other bottles ranged from the local (Kernel) to the international (Goose Island) and even the ironic (Pabst Blue Ribbon).
Despite the stripped-down menu and numerous staff, service could have been quicker off the mark. But in years to come, when the Olympics has fled the scene, Crate Brewery will surely still provide reasons aplenty to visit this newly in-the-spotlight area of London.
Crate Brewery White Building
- Cross Street:
- Venue phone:
0 78342 75687
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Meals served noon-10.30pm daily
Tube: Hackney Wick rail
Main courses £8-£12. Around £30.
- White Building
- 0 78342 75687
- White Building
- Crate Brewery