The Five Points Brewing Co is based (where else) in Hackney, along with half of the other breweries to be found in London. It must be something in the water.
The rather curious name comes from their location, based right next to a five fingered road junction that could so easily have led to them being called The Starfish Brewery instead.
Their core range consists of three beers, and is available in cask, keg and bottle form – the latter, of course, being the vessel of choice for my home-based exploration.
The branding deserves a mention here, because I love the crisp, simple lines and the slightly old-fashioned (and I mean that in a very positive way!) feel to it. They have the reassuring look of a mid-century Tube sign about them, somehow.
Five Points Pale is a 4.4% ABV golden ale, with a light, fluffy white head on top.
The nose is pure Pacific Pale, with sweet tangerine fruit and delicate blossom honey notes.
It’s light in the mouth, with a touch of sugar which is immediately washed away by a significant hop bitterness that manages somehow to remain delicate despite being powerful. Underneath that are warm citrus fruit notes, which blend beautifully with all those hops.
The finish is long and bitter, but well enough controlled and refreshing. It’s a cracking good, hoppy pale ale.
Hook Island Red is a 6.0% ABV deep reddish amber coloured ale, with another fluffy white head.
The nose is surprisingly earthy, with a mix of autumn berries and more floral citrus notes.
It’s fuller in the mouth than the Pale Ale, with a nice foamy texture. The caramel sweetness is nicely balanced by a clean hop bitterness. Over time, the finish becomes more deeply bitter, and lingers long after you swallow. Generous and very satisfying.
Railway Porter is properly black, 4.8% ABV beer with a deep, dark tan head on top.
The aroma is full of black treacle and darkly roasted coffee. Underneath are hints of dark fruit, sharp blackcurrant.
In the mouth, it’s rich and manages to have a syrupy stickiness without being particularly sweet. There’s a big, slightly resinous bitter character that slowly puts in an appearance and leading into a slightly acidic finish. Unusual and rather nice!