Tucked just off the Walworth Road, about a fifteen minute stroll from Elephant & Castle tube, is a set of railway arches containing one of the most impressive breweries in London.
And whether you’re a local or making a trip across town, you’ll be very glad you came into this Orbit.
The brewery side of the operation started back in 2014, and they’re putting out some of the most experimental (and delicious) beers to be found in London. So it made sense that, just after lockdown, they cut the ribbon on a neighbouring archway and opened a taproom, where you can sample those beers fresh from the barrels and enjoy some sensationally good grub courtesy of Cue Point.
The taproom sports all those industrial hallmarks you’d expect of a craft brewery, and there’s a genuine warmth to the place that could keep you here for hours (thanks, in no small part, to a very friendly team who’ll happily sit and chat Kolsch with you). There’s bespoke wooden booths with lovely high backs that give you the feeling of being in your own little cocoon, as well as a larger space at the back with plenty of tables & chairs where the walls are literally covered in awards. In the summer, everything spills onto the yard outside, where you can take a pew on a reclaimed keg or a stack of pallet boards. Like everything here, there’s a sense that it’s all been handmade with love.
You can sample Orbit’s beers both from draught and from the bottle here, but we’d recommend going for one (or two) of their tasting flights to get a flavour of what they can do. Their signature lager, Nico, is highly drinkable and the festive twist (the Jolly St. Nico) will be a clove-spiced saviour when you hit maximum mulled wine intake halfway through December. There’s also a pale ale, a Belgian, and a chocolatey London Porter among their other signatures.
But their White Label series is where things really get interesting: try the Tzatziki Sour, which surely relies on witchcraft for its tangy cucumber and mint flavours, or the Smoked Lager with its beechwood-smoked malt. If you time it right, you might be able to order something from their Digger Series: aged lagers left to rest in oak barrels for two years with two strains of yeast, leaving you with something that tastes more like a funky natural wine. They’re a real treat.
The team at Cue Point, meanwhile, are putting together some mouthwatering dishes to go with it all – and it’s particularly impressive given the modest space they’re operating in. Their Afghan-styled BBQ is the perfect partner to Orbit’s beers, with small plates including naans to sweep through roasted aubergine dip and smooth hummus with Afghan chutney; crispy potato halves covered in molten cheese; and the absolute must-order – Welsh rarebit croquettes with jalapeño jam.
Scaling up, there’s sharers of beef barbacoa, smoked chicken kebabs and a take on the classic Afghan dish borani kadoo – meltingly soft smoked pumpkin with garlic yoghurt, given a London twist with a shower of crispy onions. Every mouthful is glorious.
Whether you come to Orbit for the beers, for the food, or for the community feel that’s impossible to manufacture…
…you’ll find it very difficult to leave.
NOTE: Orbit Taproom is open Wednesday – Sunday, with a pub quiz on Sundays at 6pm. You can make a booking, and find out more, HERE.
Orbit Taproom | 225 & 228 Fielding St, London SE17 3HD
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