Five Points Brewing, Hook Island Red
After many months of recipe development and trial brewing, Edward Mason and Greg Hobbs unleashed their first batch of Five Points Pale Ale on Hackney in March 2013. It was one of four core beers (along with Hook Island Red, Railway Porter and Five Points IPA) that would prove The Five Points were not just ANOTHER East London based brewery under a railway arch.
Nope, there was something different about Five Points. There still is.
The range of beers has remained small for starters. Nowadays that is a bold move in itself. The three beers they started with have been added to sparingly, so besides the occasional special brew (London Smoke is particularly special), if you see that 5 Points Pentagon you know what you are going to get. It might not be “experimental”. It might not have the novelty of “new”. It will taste great though.
Then there are the wonderful people that make it. The co-founders are a kind of brewery dream team. Ed has spent years in the pub industry running fine establishments like the Whitelock’s Ale House, Leeds’ oldest pub and The Deramore Arms in York. Greg brings plenty of brewing nous having launched his career as Assistant Brewer at East London Brewing Co. The wonderful Doreen Joy Barber was employee no.3 and heads up Marketing as well as running the fantastic London Brewers Market at Spitalfields market each month. Vito Carrescia is Assistant Brewer and comes with an impressive CV featuring names such as Brewfist in Italy and Norway based Nøgne. Six other talented, passionate people make up the buzzing hive of activity that is Five Point’s full to bursting brewery and office space. In 2014 Five Points became the first brewers to pay the Living Wage as well as establishing a Brewing Apprenticeship programme with Hackney Community College. Like we said. A bit different.
Community is clearly a key ingredient in its brews. Fitting then that their name comes from the five points that connect Dalston Lane, Amhurst Road and Pembury Road, where the brewery is based. A brewery tour here comes highly recommended.
Hook Island Red is a fantastic beer. It’s a red ale with 20% of Rye added to the malted barley. It’s that Rye which gives it an earthy dryness and spice, whilst Chinook, Columbus and Simcoe hops add a dash of pine and passion fruit keeping it fresh and ludicrously drinkable. It’s like a good old fashioned British Bitter that has been ramped up and pulled screaming and kicking in to 2015. Perfect for an Autumn night in front of the fire.
Earlier this year Five Points doubled their capacity to meet demand. We expect it won’t be long before they are doing that again.
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