London Grilling with Howling Hops
Nothing says ‘east London’ like a cracking pint of craft beer or ale. So for those partial to a pint or two, you’ll be pleased to hear that Hackney Wick has recently become home to a new microbrewery and the UK’s first dedicated tank bar. We caught up with owner, Peter Holt, to find out what exactly a tank bar is and what you can expect from your visit to Howling Hops!
First off, can you tell us a bit about the Howling Hops?
Hops is a brewery. We spent about three years brewing loads of different beers in the basement of the Cock Tavern on Mare Street – some good ones, some bad ones and some crazy ones! We were looking for a place to expand, then someone approached us about a warehouse over in Hackney Wick. We liked it a lot, so this is where our new brewery and tank bar is!
What exactly does it mean to be a ‘tank bar’?
A lot of breweries have a tap room open to the public, but our tap room has a tank bar in it, including 10 tanks serving 10 different beers behind a 10 metre long bar. It’s very simple really – our customers get to drink beer fresh from the tank and it saves us a whole lot of keg washing!
What made you want to open the brewery?
We were restricted to employing brewers under 5’9” due to ceiling height restrictions; this was fine for a while but we desperately wanted to recruit some taller brewers! Our new brewery enables us to employ people up to 9’6” tall.
What’s your favourite drink from the menu?
At the moment it’s probably the Pale XX No1, but they’re all works in progress really.
Any recommendations for someone who doesn’t drink a lot of beer or ale?
Stop not drinking a lot and start drinking lots, beer is good!
Do you offer anything to soak up all the drink?
Yes we do. Rolls and cakes during the day and big trays of meat in the evenings.
Where are your other favourite east London spots?
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, Degree Plato Brewery and Supplies, Netil Market, East London Liquor Company, The Cock Tavern, Peg and Patriot and the breakfast café Fingers Crossed.
And finally, what does the future for Howling Hops look like – any exciting events coming up?
Well we’ve just done the London Craft Beer Festival and the London Brewers’ Market which were both great fun. For now we’re just going to concentrate on perfecting our recipes and then start selling some beer via wholesale.
If you want to check out the UK’s first dedicated tank bar, you will find Howling Hops at Queens Yard, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN.
Already been? Let us know how you got on in the comments below!