In what could only be described as “proper taps aff weather,” my quest to find beer’s best bits took me to Hackney Wick.
The sun hit the pavement and my step counter hit way over 10,000 as I made the march from Stratford station to Mason & Company, via the grand majesty of the Olympic Stadium and that awesome slide thing they’ve got in there now (note to self, although the walk was lovely, get off at Hackney Wick next time).
Arriving as the evening started to kick into full flow, the outside seating area was looking healthily full, and the unmistakable sound of Friday night chat flowed through the canal-side air.
The second you step inside, it hits you. It’s unmistakable. From the decor to the tap list to the vibe pulsating from within and without – this is a bar crafted by beer fans. Real beer fans.
The draught selection of the night ranged from good to bah gawd they’ve got that on the tap list. Such masterpieces as Beavertown’s Bloody Notorious, Mikkeller’s Nelson Sauvignon and Nothern Monk’s Neapolitan were sprinkled amongst the delightful wares of the likes of Pressure Drop, Wylam and – of course – the eponymous Mason’s Five Points.
Unfortunately, time was not on our side when it came to getting food. But a group sat next to us ordered a round of Meatball Heroes and, if they taste half as good as they smell, anyone who orders one is in for a treat.
Mason & Company have nailed it. And what impressed me even more is the foresight to have opened this hop and scran temple in a space that seems to be just on the brink of erupting into a burgeoning boomtown for businesses. Being an early adopter comes with its risks for sure, but when you get it right, well those dividends just pay themselves.
This may have been the first time I’d been out to Hackney Wick, but now I’ve found Mason & Company – it definitely won’t be the last.