Tap rooms are like busses, you wait ages for one to come along and suddenly there’s loads of them. Not that I’m complaining, I love tap rooms, and we have some crackers in and around Walthamstow. The epicentre of local taproom life is the Ravenswood industrial estate just off Shernhall Street. The birthplace of Wildcard Brewery, and also home to Mothers Ruin and Pillars Brewery. Well, there’s a new kid on the block, and they threw open their doors this weekend during the fundraiser for Eat or Heat. Walthamstow, meet the Real Al Company.
Strictly speaking the Real Al Company isn’t new to Ravenswood, the beer and cider supplier has been trading on the estate for a while. Up until now they have been using their unit, which is opposite Mothers Ruin, to run their distribution business, but have now added a taproom. This new bar may be small, but it’s perfectly formed and has some pretty neat design features. It was packed on Saturday, but I reckon this will be a nice spot to chill out in at weekends.
The big doors on the front of the building open up in to a warm space that is divided in two. The taproom and bar area at the front, and storage for the booze at the back. The two spaces are divided by a wall of beautiful wooden flight cases, along the top of which sits a row of plants. Some nifty movable wooden shelves hook on to the front of the room divider, each one carrying a splash of colour. The design of the shelves is replicated in the lighting above the bar, and on the bar its self. Movable wooden blocks which work as seats or tables are dotted around the bar. This place is a wooden wonderland, if you want to admire woodworking skills (who doesn’t?) this is the bar to visit.
There a was a pretty good selection of booze on offer. Beer included Redchurch Brewery Paradise Pale, 40ft Brewery Disco Pils, and a brew from Crate Brewery. The cider offering was huge, and included Turners Russet, Thundering Molly, Crafty Apple and Peppy’s Brown Owl. With cocktails, spirits and soft drinks available, this little bar seems to have something for everyone. I opted for the Paradise Pale Ale, a slightly hazy beer brewed in Bethnal Green. It’s a really light ale, and at 3.7%, ideal for what turned out to be a pretty long day.
I really do like what the owners have down with the taproom, so will definitely be visiting again. Having said that I noticed on their social feeds that the Real Al Company still have some work to do on the taproom, so haven’t yet confirmed opening hours. Keep your eyes peeled though and pop in for a look when it’s open. It’s a great space and yet another reason why Ravenswood should be declared the best car park in the universe. For more about the Real Al Company, click here.
Please remember that whilst Ravenswood is an industrial estate, it is close to residential properties, so please be considerate of the neighbours if you visit any of the bars on the estate.