no. 211

Perhaps my favorite thing about the emergence of craft beer culture in London is not the spate of new breweries making excellent beer, but the great bars that have sprung up in its wake.

One of my preferred spots is the recently opened Mason & Company over in Hackney Wick, East London. It sits at the front of a repurposed building called Here East that was once the 2012 Olympic Games media center. The décor is sparse and almost Scandinavian in feel, but it’s a warm and inviting vibe. There are 21 draft lines, four of which are dedicated to The Five Points Brewing Co., who are the folks behind this venture. (Indeed, the bar is named after Five Points founder, Ed Mason.)

Its canalside location somehow makes it feel like you’re a world away from London’s hustle and bustle. For me it’s the perfect place to settle in for a couple hours while I work on my next GBH piece. That, and enjoy their killer fried chicken sandwich.

—Matthew Curtis