Celebrating 6 Years of Brick Brewery: Our Guide to Deptford
Brick Brewery’s Guide to Deptford
Continuing our celebration of 6 years of Brick Brewery in the lead up to our birthday party on Saturday 7th December, this week we’ve put together a Brick Brewery’s Guide to Deptford. This nook of South East London, tucked between Bermondsey and Greenwich, has been home to our brewery since summer 2017 when we moved our brewing 2.5 miles east from our outgrown Peckham site (obviously now our Taproom). The base for our beer production, warehouse and office-based teams we think we’ve got to know Deptford quite well over the past two and a half years. So, in celebration of our adopted neighbourhood we’ve put together a Guide to Deptford if you ever find yourself in the SE8 postcode with recommendations from the Brick team on where we like to eat, drink and go in the area. Settle in and start planning a trip to Deptford…
Where to Drink
Just one stop away from London Bridge and a short bus ride away from the Bermondsey Beer Mile, we think Deptford should be getting lots more attention as a drinking destination, which Matt Curtis summarised brilliantly in this blogpost about Villages’ Beam fruited sour. Whilst Deptford doesn’t have the buzzing nightlife crowd of neighbouring New Cross or Peckham, our recommendations all have their own unpretentious charm and unique community vibe.
The Dog and Bell
The Dog and Bell is a traditional pub, ran by Charlie and Eileen Gallagher since 1988, tucked away between a quiet street and an empty plot of land next to the river. Once inside, The Dog and Bell wraps you into a warm blanket of comfort and familiarity you only get from the very best pubs, where time seems to run away from you and before you know it they’re calling last orders, you’re stumbling out onto the pavement and the spell is broken. Take a read of Boak and Bailey’s recent blog post on The Dog and Bell here, where they encapsulated its charm in better words than we could ever write! I think every single one of us at Brick would rate The Dog and Bell as our favourite place to drink in Deptford; we’ve spent a lot of evenings here with its cosiness and great beer irresistable after a long, cold day in the brewery but Pete summarises it up nicely;
“The Dog and Bell is one of the best community pubs in London. A great rotating selection of ales on cask, bottled Belgian beers and proper home cooked pub food. Prick up your ears up and listen out for a good story..”
– Pete, Head Brewer
Little Faith Beer’s taproom based in the historic Deptford Creek and once the home of the docks, Little Faith fits in to the creative surroundings that are now found in Creekside with its vintage metal signs all over the walls and mismatched seating. Brilliant beer selection, including theirs (brewed in nearby Bermondsey) and guest breweries, from 15 of their taps with a guest street food vendor every Friday and Sunday. Their beer garden is great in the summer too.
Hop Burns and Black
Hop Burns and Black‘s sister site to their original Peckham store, this bottle shop in an archway and right next to Deptford station is a go-to on the way home for takeaway beers. Often a pitstop for us on the way to Villages taproom, you can drink in too. If the weather is okay sit outside and people watch city workers scurrying home or squeeze inside next to the shelves of hot sauces. Nathan the manager is always ready to recommend something decent if you’re overwhelmed by all the beer choice.
Villages Brewery, a small independent brewery brewing in the heart of Deptford, is a fundamental drinking hole for us. The brewery transforms into a Taproom from Thursday to Sunday and their Rafiki Session IPA often pulls us to their archway for post-work pints. Ran by brothers Archie and Louis, they’ve created an essential beer destination for the area.
“Archie and Louis are two of the nicest guys in the industry, I’m not the first person to say that! The ethos of Villages and vibe at the Taproom is testament to them and the team they’ve assembled. Always welcoming and always seeking to integrate with the local community, it’s a cracking space for a beer! They also know how to throw a pretty mean party.” – Stu, Sales Director
Gin and Beer
Gin and Beer, situated in between Hop Burns and Black and Villages in another railway arch, is a modern cocktail bar specialising in gin and Belgian beers that remains relaxed and the perfect pre or post-dinner spot.
“A cocktail menu with over 10 different types of negronis was enough for me to love Gin and Beer from my first visit. The extensive list of Belgian beer is an added bonus, 2 specialities done really well.”
– Nadia, Marketing and Events
Big John’s Biltong Bar
Just over 1 year old, owner Big John opened London’s first bar dedicated to biltong, Big John’s Biltong Bar, in a former shoe shop after 9 years living in Deptford. Native to New Zealand, and whilst working as a painter and decorator a South African colleague introduced John to biltong and he was hooked. Since opening he’s created a cheerful and socialable space where people from every community in Deptford chat across tables, the walls decorated with erotic rugs, old maps, photos and no sense of theme whatsoever. A small bar with only 3 or 4 beer taps and a whole wall of spirits and wine. This is no bar for people who want to sit quietly in the corner with a book, Big John’s almost demands you to be the most sociable version of yourself… it’s great!
The Royal Albert
In the blurr between New Cross and Deptford is The Royal Albert. A Victorian freehouse we love to head to particularly when the sun is out, commandeer a big bench on the terrace and order endless bowls of chips. Showcasing a range of independent UK breweries… we always get a squeal of delight from Sam when there’s Burning Sky Plateau on cask.
” The Royal Albert always has a good selection of cask and keg, with awesome good value pub grub and bar snacks. Make sure you order a portion of frickles and settle yourself into one of the many well worn-in Chesterfield sofas” – Sam, Brewer
Where to Eat
Whether it’s on the high street or surrounding streets we are never short of choice of something amazing to eat for lunch, Deptford is a complete mish-mash of cultures and eateries that have been around for decades and newer, more modern places that have brought in a different crowd of people to discover its charm. We do have our favourites though, as recommended below…
Deptford’s large resident Vietnamese community means you’re spoilt for choice of excellent Vietnamese eateries (and no queues snaking down the street like you have to endure on Shoreditch’s “Pho Mile”). Our favourite, however, is Eat Vietnam. A small restaurant on Evelyn Street it’s also, conveniently, just a 5 minute walk away from the brewery. Super friendly staff, always busy, fresh ingredients and massive portions with change from a tenner.
“Their spicy Imperial Hue pho will blow out any cold and has been the cure to many post-tap takeover hangovers. We’ve also recently discovered how good their Bánh xèo is, a crispy pancake stuffed with prawns, pork, beansprouts and herbs… so good.” – Nadia, Marketing and Events
Manze’s on Deptford High Street is one of the few remaining pie and mash shops in South East London. Open for over 100 years by the Manze family, Manze’s looks exactly like a pie and mash shop should; bench seating, white tiles and tall serving counter. Making their beef mince pies fresh every day, with the addition of mash and liquor for the perfect comfort food.
Deptford’s only vegetarian and vegan Indian restaurant, Hullabaloo opened just over 2 years ago by Baloo. Formerly a chef in Mayfair, Baloo started Hullabaloo to be closer to home and serve food he loves to cook and will happily chat to you as he bakes fresh naan and rotis. Extremely popular with locals due to its fresh vegetarian dishes, awesome staff and all served in the small restaurant where the walls are covered in Bollywood film posters. Hullabaloo is our first choice for a collab brew day lunch when we have guests to feed, with Ian zipping off on his scooter to pick up our monstorous sized takeaway.
“Hullabaloo is so tasty, never oily like many other takeaways with a homemade kind of feeling. Satisfies even a non-vegetarian like me, you don’t even notice there’s no meat – Boom!” – Oscar, Credit Controller
Our local chippy. Nothing special to separate it from the typical fish and chip shop you’ll find anywhere, the curry sauce is pretty good though, but we love it because the portions are huge and Eric the owner will never fail to put you in a good mood with his contagious happy vibes.
W H Wellbeloved
A butchers at the New Cross end of Deptford High St open since 1829, Wellbeloved’s history adorns the walls with photos through the decades celebrating the heritage of this simple and traditional butchers. We’ve recommended it as somewhere to eat as they also sell excellent homemade meat pies. Ian has been known to nip out on his scooter and come back with a big bag of steaming hot pies for us all, amazing value and packed to the brim with slow cooked beef.
The sister restaurant to the brilliant Artusi in Peckham, Marcella is no less fantastic. A relaxed Italian on Deptford High St with a short and ever-changing menu, and on Sundays have a 3-course menu for £20, Marcella is a sign of gentrification tricking its way into the area… but also an example of that not always being a bad thing. Perfectly executed Italian dishes and made for sharing, it’s a favourite of ours for long, lazy lunches or relaxed evenings.
“Their incredible pasta dishes are always excellent, which change seasonally so you’ll never feel disappointed. They use fresh ingredients to created flavours that are simple yet inventive. The hospitality is real and not scripted, always happy to have a chat. Couldn’t rate it more highly” – Fred, Sales Manager
Honey’s Caribbean Takeaway
Honey’s is an excellent takeaway serving hearty and full of flavour West Indian food on Deptford High St. Always buzzing with customers and chatter, their huge portion of jerk chicken and rice and peas is a winner when you’ve got a craving for something spicy.
“Honey’s do the best veggie pattie and red pea soup this side of Old Kent Road. They’ve warmed my hands on many a cold day!” – Pete, Head Brewer
M + D Japanese
Slap bang in the middle of Deptford High St is M+D Japanese restaurant with its painted bright pink exterior hard to miss. Serving great value Japanese curries, sushi and ramen where you squeeze into the small eating area and sit elbow to elbow with strangers.
“It’s Monday, it’s cold and you got up late so had no time to prepare a lunch. That’s okay because M&D Japanese are there for your Monday blues comfort food. With amazing noodle dishes with a spicy kick to katsu curries, yakisoba and sushi you’ll soon be looking forward to every Monday!” – Ian, Managing Director
What to Do
To be completely honest much of our activity in Deptford revolves around eating and drinking, but there’s some stand out things we love to do regularly on our lunch breaks and after work. Need the complete set of James Bond films on VHS? Head to Deptford Market. Not to be confused with the regenerated Deptford Market Yard area around the station, Deptford Market is the best kind of bric-a-brac market you’ll find anywhere in London, as well as fresh fruit and veg, clothes, fresh fish and hot food vendors. Only on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays we’ll always come back to the brewery with a new mug, photo frame, bag of £1 bowl fruit or a Christmas jumper (only ever Sam).
Every Wednesday Little Faith hold their Strange Brew Comedy night from 7:30pm. Free-admission and different comedians each week it’s a great way to tackle mid-week blues. It’s always pretty busy so get there early to nab a good seat. Every Thursday, it’s worth getting to Villages’ taproom for their weekly pub quiz at 7:30pm. Ran by Joe, the questions are often weird and difficult but it’s great fun (blind tasting crisp round, paper aeroplane round for example). For a long time Lewisham was one of the 2 only boroughs in London not to have a cinema, so Deptford Cinema is a community-led not-for-profit organisation that was set up to bring cinema and arts to the community. The 39 seat venue regularly shows regular screenings, encouraging independent and interesting cinema based on what the community wants to watch. Deptford Cinema is also a venue that hosts films as part of the annual New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival (NXDFFF) which, in its 7th year, is a free neighbourhood festival that takes over cafes, libraries, pubs, churches etc to show films and encourage community involvement through film. We’ve been delighted to host the opening night at the brewery for the last 2 years and can’t wait to join in again next year!
Let us know your favourite place in Deptford or if this has made you want to make a trip! Our 6th birthday party is on Saturday 7th December at our Taproom in Peckham, more details on what we have planned here. Free entry, Midday to 1am, DJ from 7pm and loads of other things going on… everyone welcome!