My first brewery tour of 2016 was at London Fields Brewery in Hackney. I've not tried any of their beers before and was pleased to see a host of keg and cask beers lining the taproom bar when I arrived rather thirsty after a hard day at the office. I decided to try a 3 Weiss Monkeys white IPA to tide me over until the other two customers for the tour arrived and happily logged it in Untapped with a score of 4.25. When the other tourers didn't show up, the manager Rachel took me for my very own personal brewery tour - not bad for £13, eh?
The tour was in the next room to the bar and I was shown the different pieces of equipment along with a detailed explanation as to what each large vessel was for and how it was used in the brewing process. I have had a fair bit of experience making beer with homebrew kits but haven't yet managed to get a full grain brew on the go so it was really useful to be able to ask lots of questions about the process and have the answers readily available.
After the tour I was given 4 samples of beer, the first of which was the most enlightening for me as I had two samples of Hackney Hopster, one from the keg and one from the cask. I'm not a huge fan of heavily hopped beers but I must say that the first taste of the keg beer was rather nice. Then I tried the cask version and was really surprised - it tasted completely different, a much milder taste and almost no aroma at all. I really couldn't believe quite how different the two versions of the same beer were. Next up for me to try was the Love Not War red ale, a very nice easy drinker which was right up my street, followed lastly by a taster of Shoreditch Triangle IPA which was rather strong at 6% and probably my least favourite of the night.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to London Fields Brewery, the staff were very knowledgeable, friendly and happy to help you to get the most from your beery experience. My only criticism of the tour is that they aren't actively brewing anything onsite, they have moved their brewing to a larger building in the area which was ldisappointing not being able to see a brew in progress.
Given this was my first tour of the year it will be the benchmark for my upcoming tours. I've split my scores between how much I enjoyed the beers available and how much I enjoyed the actual tour. So here are the scores on the doors for London Fields Brewery:
- Beer tastiness: 3.5/5
- Tour: 3/5
Total: 7/10 (The extra 0.5 comes from a cracking pulled pork burger - a definite winner!)