Why Hammerton Brewery’s Pentonville stout – made with oysters – is one of London’s finest

PUBLISHED: 15:11 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:42 11 April 2018

Hammerton's Pentonville Oyster Stout has been named one of London's best beers. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Hammerton's Pentonville Oyster Stout has been named one of London's best beers. Picture: Isabel Infantes


Islington’s brilliant Hammerton Brewery continues to thrive – after one of its signature beers was named as the second best in London.

Brewer Director Lee Hammerton at his brewery in Islington. Brewer Director Lee Hammerton at his brewery in Islington.

Hammerton’s Pentonville Oyster Stout was runner-up in the recent Champion Beer of London awards, in which over 200 cask and keg beers were entered. Pentonville also won the best stout category.

Made using fresh oysters from Maldon, it’s an important beer for founder Lee Hammerton. It’s based on a recipe created by his ancestors from the original Hammerton Brewery in 1938.

“Hammerton was the first in the world to brew using oysters,” Lee explained.

“When we restarted the brewery [in 2014], we wanted to make our own modern beers, but when we heard about this story, the oyster stout was a beer we really wanted to bring back.

“There wasn’t any record of the original recipe but we wanted to have a modern take on it anyway.

“Half an hour into the boiling process, we add 100 wild oysters into the kettle and they boil away for about half and hour. We add the whole shells to get more mineral content.

“There are seven different malts in there, so there are lots of flavours in there, with choclatey and coffee notes. Because it’s an oyster stout you’d expect it to be quite fishy. But while it adds a bit of complexity to the beer, it’s not overpowering in any way.”

Of the award, he added: “We weren’t expecting to win – as we only found out we had been entered a day before. But we’re pretty happy to get the best stout in London.”

In other stout news, the brewery deserves credit for its impressive April Fool’s joke.

Hammerton tweeted a picture of “Casper”, a beer it claimed was the world’s “first white stout” after “six months of trial runs”.

The brewery was immediately inundated with requests to order a keg. Even one of Hammerton’s former brewers fell for it.

Meanwhile, Hammerton, located in Roman Way Industrial Estate next to Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station, has had an offer accepted for another unit in the estate.

A second unit will allow Hammerton to increase production, create more beers and move its monthly taproom opening from monthly to weekly.

Lee said: “One option was to have a production facility outside of London but we wanted to try and stay in the borough. Industrial space in Islington is ridiculously sparse and hard to get. So fingers crossed we get this new unit.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories


Council bosses are set to approve an affordable workspace strategy to support small businesses.


Frightened tenants in a south Islington estate say outdoor lighting failures are making it a “burglar’s paradise”.

Yesterday, 15:00

Protesting Brexit. Quizzing politicians over cycle lanes. Speaking out against cuts to school funding. Joining thousands of campaigners to elect and support a Labour leader who has given the party its biggest shakeup in a generation.

Yesterday, 14:55

A newly-opened academy is set to lose out the most in the government’s National Funding Formula, according to predicted data.

Yesterday, 13:27

In a weekly feature, we profile and champion a fascinating shop or company doing business here in Islington. This week, we visited a new cafe in Pentonville Road battling the botched financial system minute by minute.

Yesterday, 13:15

The life’s work of Islington’s Beryl Vosburgh, one of the first specialist antique photographica collectors in London, will go on auction next month.

Yesterday, 07:37

Islington Council faced having to pay back more than £1million of traffic fines issued at a controversial width restriction.


“I try and do my best to enhance the young person’s capabilities. I’m very focused on their education, their wellbeing and their cultural needs.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now