London Fields Brewery opens as first commercial brewery in Hackney for 20 years

Beer lovers are raising their glasses to the arrival of the first brewery in Hackney for more than 20 years.

Business partners Jules Whiteway and Ian Burgess are opening London Fields Brewery to the public for the first time this bank holiday weekend.

The micro-brewery under railway arches in Helmsley Place, off Mentmore Terrace, is believed to be the first commercial brewery operating in Hackney since the closure of the Pitfield Brewery in Pitfield Street, Hoxton, in the early 1990s.

Jules, 39, who left behind a gardening business in Gloucester to start the new venture, said: “It is good to take up the mantle and continue the tradition of brewing in east London, moving it on to the next generation.”

Ian, 34, already runs Climpson & Sons coffee shop in Broadway Market.

The pair have been taking training courses and will now be supplying homes and a handful of pubs nearby with their new brews.

Titles of the tipples include Hackney Hopstar, London Fields Bitter and Love Not War, which was made while the two were barricaded inside the brewery during the riots in Hackney earlier this month.

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“We’re trying to make a blend of old school traditional ales and new world hops,” said Jules.

“There is quite a dearth of good ales available from London so we want to make some great beer.

“We are very excited and a little bit nervous about the whole thing, although we have had huge interest so far.”

Stephen Harris of East London & City Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: “I think it’s pretty good. The brewery is showing a lot of promise and it’s in an absolutely ideal area. I think if they get off to a good start they will do really well.”

The four other breweries in operation in the borough in the 20th century were Hoxton Brewery Ltd, in Hoxton Street, which closed in 1900, Mitchell, Goodman, Young & Co in Belfast Road, Stoke Newington, which was bought up in 1919, and Falcon & Firkin, which was an in-house pub brewery until around 1991. West’s Brewery, in Hackney Road, survived into the 1930s.

London Fields Brewery will be open to the public for its launch from Saturday to Monday (August 27 - 29) 11am – 11pm.