Crucible, which launched this month next to Haggerston Overground station, is a fully-equipped collaboration space for flavour and aroma innovators. Split over two levels, the upstairs lab has a vacuum pack machine, carbonation rig, rotary evaporator, water bath and dehydrator, centrifuge and ice cream maker. Downstairs is a co-working space with hot desks for 15 people, a bar unit, a private tasting room with a projector, and a photo studio for creators to photograph and promote their work.
Founder Stu Bale worked in the drinks industry as a bartender and consultant for 10 years before striking out on his own. He was inspired to create Crucible after finding himself limited by the space and equipment he had in his own kitchen.
‘I realised a creative space was lacking not just for people in the drinks industry, but in the flavour industry in general,’ Bale told Culture Trip. ‘London has a thriving group of people working in the drinks market and the creative flavour industry and is a captive audience for something like this.’
‘So far we’ve had everyone from chefs to someone who makes hand soap stop by,’ said Bale. ‘The interesting thing about a space like this is that you get the potential for cross-pollination between the different industries. Everyone’s looking for different things and working with different flavours or aromas. That’s when things start to get really exciting.’
The space is free to use until the end of August. Starting in September, membership will run £69 a month for bartenders and £135 a month for brand ambassadors. Both memberships guarantee unlimited access and use of all equipment, and free equipment reservations are available online for members.
Crucible is located at Unit 6, Arbutus Street, London, E8 4DT.
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