Top Four Growlers from Clapton Craft, Finsbury Park
Written by: Sophie Taylor
Clapton Craft are a craft beer and growler retailer with stores in Clapton, Kentish Town, Walthamstow and now Finsbury Park. They sell a wide range of local, UK and imported beer in bottle, as well as in growlers (see here for more info on what a growler is) and PETs which they fill from eight rotating taps.
Watch our video to see their state of the art counter-pressure system for filling their growlers (ahem). A growler is 1.89 litres of hops related fun inside a beautiful jug, which ensures the beer stays fresh for up to 1 week without loss of carbonation or flavour.
Here are our top four locally sourced lagers and ales from Clapton Craft and how to drink them.
1. Pressure Drop: Pale Fire, Pale Ale
£13.00 / growler
Pressure Drop first began their life in Graham’s garden shed, when making a good pale ale was their main aim.
After a few attempts they finally realised their iconic and bestselling recipe: the house pale ale which accounts for half of their whole production. It’s also the favourite at their local, The Chesham Arms.
This particular pale ale is often made to varying recipes with different hops making for a surprising taste every time.
They have hopped with Mosaic and Amarillo, Amarillo and Citra, Nelson Sauvin and others including the legendary Hop X, an English trial-hop being developed by Dr Peter Darby at Wye Hops. The results are always fruity and citrusy, with a dry finish.
What’s behind the name? Pale Fire is the title of a Nabokov novel (whose title was lifted from a Shakespeare play). The label itself is an homage to the great Californian poolscapes painted by David Hockney. “Heat haze, pine trees, swimming pool, all you need now is a beer.”
Drink with sun worshippers on a day when the sun manages to poke his head out for half an hour in Clissold Park. Cheers to it being almost Summer. Almost.
2. Thornbridge: Halycon IPA
£15.00 / growler
Thornbridge branded beers were first brewed in early 2005 after the establishment of a 10 barrel brewery in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall. They now operate from two brewery sites. The original Hall brewery uses the traditional infusion mash ale system with barrel-ageing and creating premium bottled products. The more techno minded Riverside brewery in Bakewell are innovative with technology, creating their fantastic brews and packaging their beers in cask, keg and bottle.
Halycon IPA has a rich, tropical and hoppy aroma with biscuity malts and deep pineapple flavours. The citrus comes with hints of tangerine and pear drops, pouring in an opaque honey hue.
Drink with beer connoisseurs (or fancy-themeselves-as-experts) and discuss the citrusy finish amongst yourselves whilst listening to rare 7”s on Keith’s Bang and Olufsens.
3. Maregrade: Vanilla Milk Stout
£14.00 / growler
The Cock Tavern is a lively, popular pub on Mare Street, Hackney. As punters weave in an out of a bustling Friday night, little do they know what lies beneath. Down in the cellar lives the Maregade Brew Co. working away to create the tastiest of beers, ales and stouts.
The Vanilla Milk Stout is one such creation. A deceptively well bodied stout for its fairly light ABV. The sweetness of the lactose is complemented with smoothness from the vanilla pods.
This is one for savouring and lifting slowly but surely above one’s eye line for a sturdy cheers and accompanying nod. Drink preferably with a cap and a large black lab at your feet for company.
4. Redchurch: Brick Lane Lager
£13.00 / growler
Redchurch Brewery began with an initial core range before venturing into a more experimental set of beers called Urban Farmhouse. They like to push the boundaries of fermentation, hopefully with a well established safe word for the brewers. They now have a taproom on Poysner Street stocking their signature beer and showcasing their latest and wildest creations with great food and music to boot.
The Brick Lane Lager is a cold fermented British malt and American hops combo. This lager is mighty crisp and refreshing, pale and dry with citrus overtones and some would say a grassy freshness. The finish is clean and bitter.
Not one for the sweet tooth. Drink with a pot of beer battered halloumi sticks and a friend who likes to tell a salty story or two.
Staying in a hotel one mile from where you actually live feels strange enough, but doing it on your own is even stranger. These photos are a visual record of me wandering the lonely corridors of a new boutique hotel between the hours of 10-12pm. I would describe the decor as handmade but not cheap, minimal but not clinical. It has the feeling that money has been spent on the things that matter.
The rumours are true: a cheese festival exists and it’s coming to North London. This Sunday. Be there or be … cheese-less I suppose. But you’ve gouda get there early: If you’re as keen as brie and one of the first fifty fromage fondlers to show, you’re in the running for a free bottle of Black Cow’s pure milk vodka. Traders will be setting up stalls along Islington’s Chapel Market: from the Raclette Brothers and Mac to the Future to La Fromagerie and The Cheese Truck.
Dream Talk. It’s like Dream Phone, but not at all. Artist Emma Alonze and musician Andy Becker have joined forces to collaborate on a (possibly prophetic) new sound art project. Londoners are invited to take a moment out of their daily commute, routine or journey and immerse themselves in a narrated collection of dreams. Taking three years worth of forty winks, Alonze has gathered and narrated a chosen few to be set to an ambient soundtrack by Becker.
Holy smoke, her nipples are on fire! Somebody pass the woman an extinguisher. Wait, why is she climbing into that giant margarita glass - does she not know it's highly flammable? She's going to need to be doused with a sizable portion of aloe vera gel at this rate, the poor lamb.
If there's anything the new moon today has told us, it's that it's time to be our true selves. That's what my horoscope told me today anyway. But what does that mean exactly? It means that if you want to eat honey loops for lunch, you 100% can. It means if you feel like learning how to make a bouquet instead of working on your tax forms, you 100% can. It also means if you want to learn how the deep throat (singing technique) you don't have to explain yourself. You're keeping it .
Our exclusive meeting with Eroc: the Beyonce of the skateboarding dog world. Eroc the french bulldog is making waves. With fans like Tony Hawk, BBC Radio and over 30k followers on Instagram (and counting), Eroc has also become something of an online sensation. His viral status comes and goes, randomly popping up on online social media channels every now and again to generate hundreds of thousands of views and clicks via the likes of Buzzfeed, Time Out and rogue iPhone filmers.
We all have our own ways of dealing with life when things get shitty. Having a big cry and getting it all out can be incredibly therapeutic, and even more so when we find ourselves repeating the same line over and over through the tears. “He’s a dick!” or “I’m not a bad person!” These little lines of reinforcement help us push through the crappy feeling. Sometimes we might even revert to a hearty little stamp on the floor / kick of some unsuspecting object. It feels surprisingly satisfying when the rage sets in and we feel helpless.
This Friday sees the release of Malian master musicians, Trio Da Kali’s new album Ladilikan. Fusing rich, expressive vocals with traditional instruments like the balafon and bass ngoni, this is a beautiful mix of ancient Mande culture and contemporary Malian sounds. Luckily for us North Londoners, we have the opportunity to see the trio play live in the rather fitting ethereal surrounds of Stoke Newington Church next month.
Walking along Monsell Road in Finsbury Park, we spy the charming exterior of a shop looking like something out of a children’s book circa 1932. Beneath a green and white striped awning, a whimsical new world of mini animals awaits. Once inside we stumble about the store in hushed awe, reaching over a book of minuscule carpet samples/ family of miniature otters to tap a tiny bell.
Whether you’re looking for something to entertain your kids, your friends’ kids or that particularly large man child in your life, you might just have lucked out. Snug are hosting an open air screening of The Incredibles next Saturday evening. There will be tasty sourdough pizzas from Sodo Pizza (Upper Clapton) and ultimate authentic curries from Rice n Spice, Northwold Road.
Coming soon to a Tufnell Park near you is a whole new vegetable patch of delights / wheat field to run vicariously through. It’s time to get excited for Ceremony: a brand new bar/restaurant serving modern British veggie cuisine. Although the website remains tantalisingly mysterious, you can glean more info from their well stocked insta.
Sound baths, pit parties, fake cheese and nipples, these are a few of our favourite things, said no one ever. Bored of drinking down the pub every evening? Unlikely, but bare with me. Sometimes you just want to let down your hair, shake it off and do something down right odd of an evening... followed by a pint at the pub.
It’s been a few months since the last instalment of Online vs Offline. I deleted Bumble, Happn and Tinder, flirted with the idea of match.com, went to a friend’s wedding, heard the vicar call my name instead of the Bride’s and reflected briefly on the crushing inevitability of my own spinsterhood before realising everyone was laughing in the pews and I should probably join them.
Gluten-free cake consumers, vegan cheese enthusiasts, craft beer connoisseurs, lovers of pies and drinkers of tea; your time is now. Buy food of a quality & variety you can’t easily find in the shops, from organic meat to vegan cheese, fish caught that morning to pickles which have been fermenting for months, at Stroud Green market.
Who’s up for free entry, free cake and free folk (except for a jaunty little hat that is passed around for donations)? Get down to The Finsbury this Wednesday eve for a little mid week hootenanny and celebrate some of the best in new live music from the ‘acoustic, singer-songwriter & indie-folk scene’. Host with the most, Zoe Konez (“Ridiculously talented, Konez handles her guitar like she was born with it” - For Folk's Sake) will be deftly introducing each act from gin soaked folk popster herself, Penniless Cove to German indie band, Kalon.
What if you could mix the joys of your local Sunday car boot and all it’s dog perving potential with your favourite vintage clothes shops and high end antique markets? Within the sparkling depths of Dalson’s former ABC cinema, you’ll find The Big London Flea: London’s largest indoor vintage market.