The Ravenswood Industrial Estate is one to watch
PUBLISHED: 14:11 08 July 2016 | UPDATED: 14:11 08 July 2016
Miles Willis 2014
Who would have predicted that an industrial estate, tucked away in up and coming Walthamstow, would evolve into undoubtedly one of the coolest drinking places to visit this summer?
The Ravenswood Industrial Estate is now definitely on the map, thanks to an eclectic combination of business folk who have made it a thriving addition to Walthamstow Village. It’s a place to be blown away by some locally produced booze, both beer and gin, and which also gives you the perfect opportunity to bar hop by hanging out in ‘car parks’ with friends and family.
First pit stop is artisan brewery The Wild Card Brewery, which was founded by a trio of twenty-something entrepreneurs, William Harris, Andrew Birkby and head brewer, Jaega Wise. Starting out as cuckoo brewers trading on the back of a personal credit card, the outfit is an unlikely success story that punches well above its weight. With the backing of peer-to-peer lending from local supporters, the brewery moved into it’s own site in Walthamstow in January 2014 where it operates a six brewers barrel kit. They have achieved a reputation for no-nonsense, uncompromising beers.
William says: ‘The micro brewery is now approaching its fourth year in business and it is amazing how the business is booming. We produce craft beers that make around 4,000 litres a week and selling kegs and bottle beers all across the country from pubs to shops. But we also sell to local business including Eat 17 and the Chequers in Walthamstow. We are always keen to work with small local businesses in the area.’
Wild Card has a fully licensed bar selling its Jack of Hearts Ruby Ale and Queen of Diamonds IPA at the brewery bar on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The 100-capacity venue also hosts innovative musical events on Thursday nights and in the past has seen Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth and Felix Martin from Hot Chip take to the stage, to name just a few.
If you want to get knowledgeable, perhaps join them on their intimate brewery tasting and food pairing tour. Or if you want some real brewery expertise, try their ‘Brew a beer day experience’, which is something that must be tried.
Nevertheless the brewery is not the only place having all the fun. Calling all gin lovers out there: Mother’s Gin is awaiting you with its delicious gin cocktail numbers, combined with a monthly fun and games night GINGO including delicious Caribbean street food for all to enjoy.
Mother’s Gin was founded by local businesswoman Becky WynnGriffiths two years ago, who’d been making fruit liqueurs, sloe gin and gooseberry and elderflower vodka before selling them under the banner of Mother’s Ruin from premises in Wood Street. She was looking to grow her business and move the manufacturing from under foot. Becky says: ‘I wanted to start producing on a proper scale because I was manufacturing at home under the stairs and under the bed!’
Having spent her childhood in Cumbria and being inspired by her love of using nature’s own to make artisanal liquor, Becky eventually got a licence to serve alcohol and launched Mother’s Ruin Gin Factory (open Fri/Sat and Sun). Not only is it a bar serving cocktails and her bottled liqueurs and mixers, but it’s also her first proper manufacturing base.
Becky hosts a tiny cocktail bar with a short menu built around its award-winning liqueurs, like a delicious ‘Vintage Pink’ or an innovative Elderflower Martini. ‘It was an obvious addition to the business’ Becky tells us. ‘It has proven very popular and people come from all over, which is really great. I think people like to go out where they live, have a laugh and then gently amble home.’
Go visit them at the weekend for an intoxication of the senses!
Wild Card Brewery, Unit 7, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street, Walthamstow E17 9HQ 0208 935 5560
Mother’s Ruin, Unit 18, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street E17 9HQ 07905 484 711