Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Beers Of London Series
15. Crate Brewery - Lager 4.8%
Based in Hackney Wick, on the other side of the Olympic Park to Tap East, Crate Brewery is situated on the canal-side in a former print factory. Not only is it a brewery and bar there's a pizzeria on site too, with the price of a stone-baked Margherita starting at £8 to a Middle Eastern Lamb pizza at £12. They also open at 9am to serve breakfast. Opened by the people behind the nearby Counter Cafe in late July 2012 and coinciding with the London Olympics, many of the materials used in its construction were reclaimed locally. I'm aware that this review is sounding a bit sterile. I could tell you that they also offer a range of bottled beers as I've read this elsewhere however I've yet to visit the place much to my shame. I shall remedy this by the time I review another of their beers and I'll probably have lots of jolly pictures too. For now though I'll just focus on the beer I have in front of me which is another I picked up from Ales By Mail.
An amber lager, it pours a light golden colour with a nice even carbonation in the glass and a billowing off-white head. You'll have to excuse my picture as it's magnifying the red from the brickwork behind but I'm sure that you've all seen enough light coloured lagers to be know what I mean. The aroma is clean and crisp, grassy and floral, with a little lemon zest and malted-milk biscuit playing quietly in the distance. Soft and smooth over the tongue, with that carbonation prickling a touch as you drink it, the taste is clean and crisp too. It's all warm dry hay and a whisper of lemon that been diluted in a thin sugar solution. This doesn't sound too appetising I know but I assure you it is, much better than some of the fizzy sweetcorn juice offerings that masquerade as lager on supermarket shelves. The finish is a touch creamy before drying with a crisp grassiness but this fades quickly leaving a residual iron taste right at the end.
It's not the best beer I've had but it's certainly not the worst by some way. I've seen it compared to the iconic Brooklyn Lager but it's not quite in that league in my opinion. It is, however, a decent enough lager that I imagine goes very well with one of their pizzas by the canal-side on a warm summers day. Hopefully by my next review of a Crate beer I'll be able to confirm if that's true.