Rupert Hohwieler 02/07/23
Binch | Natural Wine and Craft Beer Bar in Hackney
Binch means beer in French slang.
That’s definitely what you were thinking…
You’ll find it set in a blacked-out building with bold gold lettering on Greenwood Road, just down from London Fields. It’s owned by Sylvain Bertozzi, a friendly Frenchman who grew up in Paris, and thus, inevitably, became a big fan of wine. Once he moved over here five years ago, he, just as inevitably, developed a fondness for craft beer too. So when it came to opening his own bar, rather than picking between the two, he’s just gone for both.
While doubling as a bottle shop (the proximity to the park is handy for tinny runs), local East London folk love to drink here; it’s a small, unfussy welcoming space with room for about 20, push or shove. The scene is almost like-for-like with those tiny hole-in-the-wall bars down a side street in Paris that people romanticise about, cosily lit by exposed bulbs, but with a hip Hackney slant. It’s got hidden gem written all over it.
On one side, you’ve got a shelf absolutely stacked with wine bottles and a fridge full of beer cans, while on the other, you’ve got the long counter with the bentwood stools. The team pour a weekly rotation of six draft beers, and a similar number of wines from by the glass, as well as talk your head off (if you’re up for it) about the intricacies of both. The selection they’ve compiled dabbles in breweries and wineries from the UK and overseas, and if you’ve got a friend who staunchly and only drinks beer and another who does the same with wine, Binch makes for the perfect argument-ending compromise.
As you’d expect, there’s wine tastings aplenty – sparkling wines in the summer, orange wines over Halloween and so on – and tap takeovers on the beer side; in the past from East London’s Gravity Well Brewing and Cheltenham’s Deya Brewery. There’s food pop-ups too, which happen intermittently (Haggerston’s Japanese café, Toconoco, has been here before, as has Walthamstow’s pasta restaurant Darling’s at Vestry), to go alongside the French grazing snacks that are often chalked on the blackboard; rillettes, pâté en croute, cheese boards, three versions of croque monsieur and in winter, fondue nights… all the good stuff.
Often on weekends, they keep the doors open until midnight and spin records of soul, house and disco. And even if the space isn’t exactly strapped for space, the atmosphere almost always turns into a bit of a party.
Or should we say a teuf…
NOTE: Binch is open Tuesday-Sunday. It’s walk-ins only as it’s a casual spot, but you can what events they’re hosting HERE.
Binch | 51 Greenwood Road, London E8 1NT
Enjoy drinking on this side of the capital? Then you might want to take a look at our guide to the best bars in East London
51 Greenwood Road, London Fields, E8 1NT
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020 7254 1319
8.3 | Great
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