40FT Brewery, Dalston: inventive brews and food from Acme Fire Cult

A hidden gem in the middle of buzzy Dalston with a new chef partnership to add to its arsenal – we head to 40FT Brewery and find fire-based cooking and inventive brews

The brewery

40FT Brewery calls its taproom ‘Dalston’s Living Room’, but if we’re completely honest with you, it’s way better than your average lounge. For starters, we don’t have half a dozen beer taps at home. Nor do we have a brand-new live-fire kitchen and heated, covered outdoor seating. Yep, ever since opening in a disused car park about 20 metres away from the frenetic hum of Kingsland Road in 2015, 40FT has always been a dependable place for a pint, but it’s just seriously upped its game by opening an onsite restaurant with the chefs at Acme Fire Cult. More on that after the beer…

The beer

40FT staples include clean and crisp lager Disco Pils, fruity pale Dalston Sunrise and bitter West Coast-style IPA Neighbourhood. Then there are the specials, which on our visit included a supercharged, juicier, 6% version of Dalston Sunrise called Dalston Sunset, and an ancho-chilli smoked dark lager made as the first in an ongoing series of collabs with the chefs at Acme. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for seasonals like the brewery’s annually released Eccles Cake Stout, a winter staple in the London beer calendar that’s made with actual ingredients from St. John Bakery’s eccles cakes.

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What else?

You’ll be wanting some food here, trust us. Grab a table on the brewery side of the site and you can pick up pints and a casual but clever menu from Acme: expect charred sprouting broccoli, smoked potatoes, grilled calcots with pistachio romesco and flatbreads topped with a choice of mutton merguez and wild garlic verde, roast celeriac and mushroom XO or Dorset crab, bone marrow and cabbage. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a pint and a quick dinner before a gig at Cafe OTO, EartH, or a show at Arcola Theatre. Fancy something a bit more special? Book a table at the restaurant, where you’ll find a longer menu of fire-cooked delights, plus plenty of indoor seating and a list of wines and cocktails to supplement the beers from 40FT. Alternatively, during the day at the weekend, the brewery’s outdoor seats are the perfect place to sit with a pint and wait for the queue for a Dusty Knuckle sandwich to die down. That’s Saturday perfected.

Bootyard, Abbot St Carpark, E8 3DP; 40ftbrewery.co.uk