Signature Brewery Tap room

In Drink, Uncategorized on January 11, 2020 at 3:39 pm

Before xmas I paid a visit to the Exale tap room on it’s opening day. I only got to have one, quick pint due to needing to go watch the end of the Borough of Culture event. However the next day I got to go have a quiet couple of drinks at the Signature Brewery tap room who are also just off Blackhorse Lane.

Certainly the interior decorating is Rock and Roll. Note the picnic tables in the brewery area.

As someone who loves a tap room this is a fairly typical industrial unit conversion. They have a separate bar area which is a bit more snug. It’s well lit which is nice if you want a read with a beer after work (Exale’s tap room does ‘mood lighting’, not so conducive to a good read).

I love these history boards in the bar. Really smart.

I’ve been twice now and the staff have always been friendly and it has a good music soundtrack. If you’ve not met Signature before their corporate branding is all to do with music, which has led them to do a few collborations with bands. The toasted lager KRFSHT made with punk band Idles is a tasty example.

Signature’s range covers all the main beers styles, some with a twist

Also in the bar you can buy merchandise. I got a beanie hat and tote bag. Also most of the beers are available to take away in cans.

A bit of colour in the brewery area

On the Sunday I visted there was a food stall doing Calzones but they seemed quiet. I hope more food providers come along; I imagine it will be busier in the Spring.

I was busy planning the game I’m running for my roleplaying group

Overall I really like the Signature tap room. I don’t know if they do guest ales but their own range covers all the core styles (my fave is the fruity Roadie IPA). I can see myself visiting here and Exale regularly in the future. I suspect Exale edges ahead in that it is also open on a Thursday meaning there is one weeknight I can catch a beer after work. But both are great additions to beer drinkers in the stow.

Exale Tap Room

In Drink, Uncategorized on December 11, 2019 at 8:18 pm

So this Saturday was the opening of the Exale brewery tap room. This is on the Uplands business estate off Blackhorse Lane. As a beer geek you can imagine my excitement at this, although on Saturday I was stuck between Xmas shopping and the Year of Culture events so I only had time for a quick pint.

The fermentation tanks. In a tap room is the best guarantee of fresh beer

Weird pipe planter thing in “The home of those who make and create”

I’ve been in a lot of tap rooms and this is typical; warehouse space with the brewing hardware and space put aside for a bar and some seating. I feel this is a Minimum Viable Product setup. They’ve talked online about adding an aquarium so I expect a lot of development is to come. Indeed, they had an artist doing a mural outside. It reminded me of the “wet paint” signs at the Pillars tap room opening.

They do have lovely rough wood tables already.

And as to the beer I went for the Idaho Red IPA. And it’s delicious; fruity and well balanced. I’ll skip the Krankie Irn Bru sour only because it’s a style I don’t get on with.

Other local beers on the taps. I think I’ll get one of their neat shirts when I next visit

There was even a blues band


Overall I’m hugely please that Exale have chosen the North side of the stow for their base. I look forward to taking many friends there.

Querky Cafe

In food, Uncategorized on October 12, 2019 at 1:05 pm

“So what are we doing for lunch?” I asked on a rainy Saturday.
“Lets go to the new querky cafe on this end of the High Street.” said my partner, “I’ve been in there for coffee and it’s nice.”

Turns out it’s actually called the Querky Cafe



So I’m going to start with the conclusion for the TL;DR crowd; this is a modern cafe aimed to the local Muslim market in a similar way that the lovely Bru (balls to working out how to type an umlaut) all the way over on South Hoe Street is (hence the cooked breakfast having turkey bacon and beef sausage like LeDelice does).


It’s fitted out nicely. Notice the sliding door, which I’ll come back to later.

So we went in and had a look at the menu. Couldn’t decide so went and sat in a booth pink lit by a neon sign


Aloha? Surf’s up, Walthamstow!

They have a broad menu. I note there seems to be a few vegetrian options. I was tempted by Eggs Royale, and a weird sweet batter thing but eventually we both wanted something a little more substantial so went for the chicken quesedilla with salad.


And it was nice

The staff were very friendly, there’s free wifi. The only downside is the sliding door which was left open. We sat opposite the counter about 1/3 of the way in and were okay in our hoodies. But the seats next to the door remained empty the whole time.


Pretty seats, sadly neglected.

There’s a load of space in the back and it seemed busy; tables free, but far from empty.

I like Querky Cafe a lot. I’m looking forward to expanding my waistline with their cakes, waffles and savouries. It’s great to have a mid-range cafe down this end of the High Street that isn’t a middle class fantasy (like St James) or an unwelcoming man cave full of blokes. Yet it’s more upmarket than Jessie’s caff. I think it has a niche in the St James street ecosystem and I hope it does well.