Celebrating 6 Years of Brick Brewery: Our Guide to Peckham
Brick Brewery’s Guide to Peckham
In the penultimate week of build up to our 6th birthday party on Saturday 7th December we are continuing our celebration of 6 years of Brick Brewery. Last week we put together a Brick Brewery’s Guide to Deptford, celebrating our adopted brewery home with recommendations from the Brick team on where we like to eat drink and go in the area. This week we’ve done the same for Peckham. Brick Brewery started in Ian’s shed at his home in Peckham and began commercially brewing in a railway arch underneath Peckham Rye station in 2013 until we outgrew the space and moved production to Deptford in summer 2017. However, Peckham Rye remains our original home with the space now our Taproom. Everyone at Brick spends a lot of time in Peckham; whether it’s working at the Taproom, visiting the many accounts who stock our beer, living locally and generally enjoying everywhere there is to drink, eat and visit in the area. This is Brick Brewery’s Guide to Peckham.
Where to Drink
As a brewery we are thankful that the drinkers of Peckham are such a thirsty bunch! For a period of time when we were brewing at our Peckham site, at capacity and unable to get any more beer out of the door, the majority of our stock didn’t go much further than a 2 mile radius, with some of our very first customers still continuing to get our beer in six years later. The area has a serious drinking scene, with pubs and cocktail bars on every street; tucked under railway arches, on top of car parks and unassuming residential streets, these are just a handful of where we like to drink in Peckham.
Brick Brewery Taproom
For anyone reading this guide that isn’t familiar with us… we have our own bar! Of course, our Taproom under Peckham Rye station is our favourite place to drink in Peckham. A pint of Peckham Pils is always the first on the agenda for after-work refreshment then we work our way through the latest specials from the 20 lines.
The Old Nun’s Head
“The Ryan Gosling of Pubs” is how The Old Nun’s Head modestly describes itself. Their Twitter account is worth following even if you have no intention of ever drinking there, but you should! Not technically in Peckham but just a 10 minute walk away in Nunhead it’s worth the detour for its great beer, cosy nooks and crannies and great food from their rotating pop-up kitchen residencies. The ONH has also been getting Brick beers in pretty much from the beginning, so we love them for that too!
“I mean, it’s just everything you want from a great pub. A great atmosphere, loads of events on each week and friendly staff.. super dog friendly too with Ludo ruling the roost!” – Tallulah, Taproom Supervisor
East Dulwich Tavern
Another loyal Brick Brewery venue, the East Dulwich Tavern (or EDT as it’s otherwise known) is a great homely and charming pub. 2 roaring fires in the winter, with a consistent selection of beer from local breweries and brilliant pub food.
Hop Burns and Black
Their Deptford site was one of our recommended places to drink in last week’s Brick Brewery’s Guide to Deptford, so of course we had to include Hop Burns and Black’s Peckham site in this guide. Championing independent breweries and great beer since 2014, Jen and Glenn have been one of our biggest supporters. Their original shop on East Dulwich Road is one of the best places to go to buy beer in South East London. The small outside seating area is great for afternoon people watching over some beers or bottle of wine.
The Gowlett Arms
After a sudden closure in November 2017, The Gowlett Arms re-opened its doors last year much to the delight of the local community. Situated on a corner just off Peckham Rye, The Gowlett Arms is a true neighbourhood pub and always popular thanks to its brilliant pizza kitchen, good beer and welcoming atmosphere.
“We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs in Peckham. However, The Gowlett Arms still stands out amongst the crowded field. It does everything and caters for everyone the way any local boozer should. Their incredible pizzas are the icing on the cake though.”
– Luke, Taproom Manager
Franks is on every guide of where to go in Peckham. A bar at the top of Peckham Levels (and previously a multi-storey car park), Franks becomes a summer pilgrimage activity to seemingly every Millennial in London. However, the views, the sunset and the cocktails make it worth the queue.
“Get there way before sunset to grab a table and buy your cocktails two at a time, but it’s worth it for the incredible views of the city. A great way to spend a boozy, hot summer’s day in London.” – Nadia, Marketing and Events
Zapoi bar opened this summer on Rye Lane and is definitely the most aesthetically pleasing bar in Peckham with its mismatched floral seating, mixed in with vintage grandma-style rugs and antique mirrors everywhere in a bright, industrial style setting.
“Zapoi’s cocktails are just as fantastic as the bar’s décor. With our Peckham Pale and Peckham Pils on tap too I’d definitely recommend Zapoi for pre-dinner drinks with a group of friends or visiting family you want to impress!”
– Sally, Brand Director
Where to Eat
There seems to be new places to eat in Peckham popping up every week, but we are creatures of habit here at Brick Brewery and continue to visit a lot of the same places in all the time we spend in Peckham. This is definitely not a guide to the most trendy and fanciest places to eat in the area, there are enough guides online for those places already! Great food still applies to all our recommendations below though.
Alex and Richie of Slow Richie’s have been part of Brick Brewery Taproom since summer 2015, serving up burgers and their homemade hot sauces out of our bright red shipping container. The perfect accompaniment to any pint at our Taproom, their vegetarian Goat’s Cheese and Beetroot burger shouldn’t be overlooked either.
Kudu, a species of antelope, and also the name of the South African-inspired restaurant on the stretch of Queens Road which is increasingly popular for some great places to eat. Small plates dominate the menu with a nose-to-tail vibe from some more unusual ingredients to choose from.
“A fantastic family-run restaurant on Queens Road, amazing food with South African influences. Everything on the menu is great but get the Kudu bread with bacon butter whilst you decide what to order… it’s incredible!”
– Pete, Bookkeeper
Bellenden Road is quite a contrast from the sometimes overwhelming bustle of Rye Lane, it’s more like a village high street. Great pubs and restaurants dominate the area but it’s the unassuming Lovely House Dim Sum restaurant that deserves more recognition in amongst the trendier food options on the street. A short but fantastic dim sum menu with authentic Chinese food served by the most welcoming staff that make you feel at home. Even more so when you go past the children’s shoes that line the stairs as you go up the toilet. The soft shell crab and pork sui mai are the winners.
Down an alleyway opposite Peckham Rye station is Yadas. A family-run Kurdish restaurant that is a favourite of most of us here at Brick. It’s the perfect spot to go in a big group as you can try pretty much everything on the menu, we even took the brewers from KCBC here after a tap takeover at our Taproom and they were won over by the generous mezze platters (if you’re going in a group, get one each of the platters and a few dips for an impressive selection of everything). Don’t expect great service, go a bit later on in the evening when it’s quietened down a bit as it gets really busy, especially in the summer when it’s warm enough to eat on the ramshackle terrace, and enjoy the food as it slowly comes out. It’s also BYOB!
Peckham Food Hall, a small canteen/café next to Peckham Rye Station bus stop, has 3 food traders; Izatu Kitchen, Copeland Jerk Centre and Steamers. Steamers have moved into this new premises after previously being in the Peckham Rye station tunnels but the menu remains the same and more importantly, the countertop display of the steaming buns is still there. A steamed bun for £1.80 is an essential snack on your journey home, with various fillings to try but the Pork with Chinese Cabbage or Char Sui Pork are the tastiest.
“You’ll often find one of the bar staff grabbing a quick lunch from this family-run, no frills Chinese takeaway. Fresh noodles, big portions of rice and the best steamed buns in London!”. – Tallulah, Bar Supervisor
An unmissable corner shop painted bright canary yellow opposite Peckham Library, Persepolis is a fantastic Persian deli-cum-café with one half of the shop packed with Middle Eastern spices, herbs, pickles, drinks, sweets, gifts and cookware with the other half a lively vegetarian café. It’s extremely popular with students on the weekend evenings thanks to its £20 tasting menu and BYOB status, so book for then.
“A truly unique Persian corner shop and café. The café/restaurant side of things has an ever changing vegetarian menu serving Middle Eastern food with a real homemade feel. Persepolis is small but oozing character and charm. It’s also banging value and won’t ever break the bank. Try the daily wraps and meze platter….probably not at the same time unless you’re absolutely staaarving.”
– Stu, Sales Director
Smokey Jerkey on New Cross Road was once so smokey it caught fire. It also serves some of the best jerk and Caribbean food this side of the river. You’re not ever quite sure it’s open, there’s no signage, no menu, and usually no one at the counter. Be brave, step inside and ask what’s good today coming in from the jerk drums out the back. Don’t forget to try the homemade hot sauces on the counter, they’re delicious but lethally spicy.
“The best Jerk house in South East London without a shadow of a doubt. I’d trade my last breath for their hot sauce recipe.” – Pete, Head Brewer
Another awesome quick bite recommendation is Salas Wraps on Rye Lane, serving Turkish-inspired wraps where the heady smell from the grill pulls you in to the unassuming food truck. A permanent fixture in Peckham for 5 years now, everything is made fresh; the dips, falafel, wraps for the perfect lunch option.
“A Peckham institution! The single best value for money meal I’ve ever eaten (in London). Big wraps, big flavours all made to order. It really has to be tasted to be believed. Top tip: go for the Falafel + Halloumi combination wrap.”
– Luke, Taproom Manager
Just around the corner from the chaos of Rye Lane is Miss Tapas. A small but always bustling and busy neighbourhood tapas restaurant ran by born and raised Sevillian, Blanca Rowe, Miss Tapas uses fresh ingredients, sourcing their meat from Flock and Herd Butchers just 5 minutes away, or importing ingredients from Spain themselves.
“The food, music and décor help to create an authentic Spanish feeling. The staff are chatty, attentive and recommend winning combinations every time! The menu changes up every so often so you don’t always get the same things and you can try all sorts of new stuff with each visit! The quail eggs and chorizo are divine…”
– Oscar, Credit Controller
Flock and Herd
Flock and Herd, a butchers on Bellenden Road, have built up a great reputation and super loyal customer base for their high-quality, high-welfare meat. Flock and Herd were also one of Brick Brewery’s very first customers, when Ian used to carry cases of bottles the 5 minute walk up the road from the brewery. They continue to stock us and Ian continues to go into Flock and Herd pretty much weekly.
“As soon as we step in Flock and Herd one of the guys behind the counter will say “Duck breasts? Steak?” We are creatures of habit! We buy all our meat here, it’s right next to our kid’s school so will drop by on the way home and have a great relationship with them from being one of our first customers. We love cooking up one of their awesome steaks on the BBQ any time of year, or duck breasts are our weekend go-to meal.” – Ian, Managing Director
Let us know your favourite place in Peckham 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!