This polished brewpub under a Hackney railway arch is also opposite St John at Hackney churchyard (hence the name), a lovely spot to hang out in when it’s sunny. The brewery bar now rivals that, with a big beer garden out the back that’s packed with seating. Come summertime, it’ll be heaving – just you wait. The garden more than makes up for what is a slightly gloomy – if classy – interior, with dark walls and a black ceiling.
There were 11 beers available on tap on my visit, with just under half of them brewed in the adjoining railway arch. Most beers (bar one rich, chocolatey stout) can be filed under the ‘supremely sessionable’ category: crisp, clean and bright, these are the type of easy-drinking bevvies you could accidentally end up smashing far too many of in an afternoon. I particularly liked the IPA – lightly sweet and fruity, but not overpowering – and a crisp lager, which had a brilliantly clean finish.
Guest chefs take turns with kitchen residencies, and so the menu changes every few months. Fire specialists Lagom were running the show on my visit, serving up roasted meat and veggies, seasonal salads and steak sandwiches on sourdough (the meat came rare, juicy and delicious).
If you’re in Hackney and need somewhere slightly fancier than the local pub – or the churchyard, for that matter – to while away an afternoon, give Hackney Church Brew Co and its ever-so-easygoing beers a try.