Collaborations are a great way to engage with like-minded businesses in your community. They are common practise in the brewing world, particularly in the craft scene, where collaborating with a neighbour is seen as a sign of friendship and encouragement, and offers the opportunity for a brand to extend its reach to potential new punters.

Currants, and more currants

St. JOHN is famous for a great deal of things - its eminent founders, the renaissance of nose to tail cooking, and of course those doughnuts, to name a mere few. Most notably, however, it is the humble Eccles Cake (paired with a hefty chunk of Lancaster Cheese by Neal’s Yard Dairy) that consistently delights diners - indeed, it is one of the few dishes that never excuses itself from the ever-changing daily menu.

Dark brown sugar, allspice and nutmeg

A shipping container brewery in Dalston might seem like an unlikely marriage with a world renowned, Michelin starred restaurant. This month however, 40FT Brewery coupled up with St. JOHN to create a liquid homage to the beloved Mancunian pastry in the form of Eccles Stout. Tweaking an existing recipe for the style, the brewers added currants, dark brown sugar, allspice and nutmeg, to create a beer that is full bodied and smooth (yet surprisingly light), punctuated with a hint of sweetness from the currants and a gentle warmth from the spice. Not too strong and not too sweet, it is designed to be drunk alongside its rich Eccles Cake forefather and that chunk of Lancaster cheese. For the month of December at least, and only at St. JOHN Smithfield, the perfect pair becomes a trio, and with this collaboration between improbable friends it shows that opposites really do attract.

St JOHN Restaurant

40FT Brewery