Brewery serving ace pizzas + a side of crap service
Crate is a microbrewery located in Hackney Wick. If you don’t live around the area then it’s pretty out of the way. It’s not super close to any other alternative spots, so make sure you really want to come here before making the trip.
Very stripped back. No frills. As you approach the building, there is an outdoor seating area with a couple of benches and tables that’s fairly grungy. Once you walk past here, you get into the indoor bar that has a sofa and a couple of tables and benches, with the bar in the heart of the space. There are are set of doors that lead to the larger outdoor area just by the canal where there are a number of tables and benches where you can perch too.
FOOD AND SERVICE
Had my birthday here in May and what a big mistake that was. I wanted a low key affair where I’d order a couple of bottles of beers, prosseco and a few pizzas and be done with it. Arriving at 7pm on a Wed it was already heaving and the staff had no interest in trying to accommodate my friends and I outside which was disappointing but I respected their first come first serve policy for the outdoor space. However, the table which had been reserved for me indoors that was supposed to accommodate 25 or so people looked like it could barely take up to 10 people. I can hear myself whinging so suffice to say the service was pretty poor. One of the managers in the end tried to seem helpful but I already had a sour taste in my mouth by this point.
The pizzas, however, I cannot fault. They arrived all thin crust and delicious. They offer a Margherita pizza but aside from that, most of their toppings are quite non traditional. I ordered the: sage and truffle oil; sweet potato, stilton and walnut; courgette, red onion and gremolata; and lemon chicken tagine. All were bursting with flavour and I enjoyed each one immensely but the lemon chicken tagine really did it for me – I loved the sharpness of the lemon combined with the subtle sweetness and spice of the chicken.
Stupidly I have been back since my birthday fiasco, the pizzas consistently deliver but the crowd just keeps swelling in size and the substandard service endures. In terms of the punters, it is a really mixed bag, a combination of your typical hipsters, tourists and every one in between. When I go there I just feel claustrophobic and irritated, so for me, Crate in the summer is a no go but if you like good pizza and don’t mind waiting up to an hour for warm beer with surly service, then I’d say check it out. I think come winter, it may be more tolerable, when perhaps the crowds have reduced in size, then I may consider going back because I really do like their pizzas (the shit I put up with for food, really).
Standard pizza pricing – ranges from £8-12, bottled cider and beer starts from £3.50. So, budget wise for eating out, it’s a fairly cheap option.
THE TAKE OUT
This brewery in Hackney Wick serves up its own beer, cider and awesome pizzas. Almost always heaving, long waits and staff have an irritatingly nonchalant attitude. I’d only return if I was in the area and fancied casual drinks and pizzas to line my stomach. Oh and I avoid going in the summer because it’s even more rammed.
Cost: Under £25 [£]
Address: 7, The White Building, Queen’s Yard, London E9 5EN
Tube: Hackney Wick (closest rail / no tube station nearby)
Reservations: No (you can for large groups but I wouldn’t recommend this)
Hours: Sun-Thu 12:00 -23:00 (Pizzeria closes at 22:00) Fri&Sat 12:00-00:00 (Pizzeria closes at 23:00)
Phone: +44 (0)20 8533 3331