The brewery that’s putting N7 back on the booze map

How a fortunate family discovery led to the return of beer-making to Islington

It’s about time N7 had more props, dontchathink? And one local business is determined to instil a new sense of pride in the area, in the form of a devilishly tasty pale ale.

Hammerton is one of the new wave of microbreweries currently springing up across London as a result of our seemingly insatiable thirst for a better tasting pint.

Their small batch beers including N7 pale ale (which you’ll find stocked in local boozers including the Rose & Crown and The Stag) use only top quality ingredients, brewed with patience and care.

Owner/brewer Lee Hammerton stumbled upon his family’s link to the original Hammerton Brewery, which set up shop back in 1868.


“It was October 2012 when I woke up one morning, fed up with my city office job, and decided what I’d really love to do was start a brewery,” he tells us.

Open day at Hammerton: there's one this weekend (but drinkers won't be wearing shorts)
Open day at Hammerton: there’s one this weekend (see below) but dress up warm

“So I started a business plan and the more I got into it, the more feasible it seemed. It was then that my brother highlighted the fact there used to be a brewery called ‘Hammerton Brewery’ that ceased to brew back in the 1950’s and was later demolished. It turned out, after speaking to my grandparents, that we were blood relatives to the original brewery owners.”

Clearly, beer was already running in Lee’s veins, even if he was only beginning to become aware of it. And last year he successfully reinstated N7’s – and his family’s – great beer-making heritage, when the all new Hammerton produced its first commercial batch.

Among their growing range is a stout they’ve named Pentonville, made with wild oysters. “It’s an ingredient that the original Hammerton brewers pioneered back in 1938,” says Lee “so it seemed a great idea to bring it back.”

With serendipity in apparently boundless supply, Lee’s risky decision to quit finance for beer looks like a very good move. And he’s put the booze back in N7, in the most positive sense too.

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Fancy tasting the good stuff? Hammerton host their popular monthly open days tonight (4-10pm) and all day tomorrow (midday-10pm) in among the tanks. Find them at Units 8 & 9 Roman Way Industrial Estate, N7


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  • Tom

    The Pentonville and the N7 are both definitely worth sampling. They were in absolutely top form at the splendid Tapping the Admiral when I tried them there. Great to learn that the brewery has regular open days too – I’ll definitely be there soon. Cheers!