So my birthdays just gone and the lovely Mrs Beersay had bought me 1st class travel and sorted accommodation for a two day beer tour of the capital city’s finest establishments all I had to do was find them and get there. First thing to do as always was ask Twitter. In true beer lover fashion the recommendations came flooding in, so I made a list and set about matching them to their respective closest tube stations so we could work on some semblance of a route.
Planning done, quite a few folks asked me to try to map out our journey so that they could follow in our footsteps, (or at least dip in and out of it as they choose), so here goes. Please bear in mind that we are not Londoners but maybe that’s a good thing as you’ll get it from an outsiders perspective.
The starting point, as should any visitor by rail to London should was Euston Tap, it’s literally right outside Euston Station and offers a fantastic range of beer served from cask, keg or bottle in pleasant surroundings. A good place to refresh after your journey and plan the next stop.
I love the tap the layout is great albeit a little small downstairs, if I was to open a bar I’d model it on this place for the serving area at least, great use of space and really stylish too.
Next stop was the Bull at Highgate, taking the Northern Line (Northbound) it’s about a 12 minute journey so not too far, on arrival it’s a short walk to the Bull (13 North Hill, N6 4AB). The Bull is a very modern looking place inside and out and is also the home of The London Brewing Co micro brewery. The meals looked great and there was a cracking decking area outside for sunny days.
They have a good range of beer including their own, including some foreign imports on the fonts from Sierra Nevada, Pretty Things and more, well worth the journey and definitely a place to return to.
A short trot back to Highgate tube station and two stops down the Northern line to Tufnell Park which is a short walk away from The Southampton Arms (139 Highgate Road, NW5 1LE). This a real old school pub with ales and ciders only from small independents. Inside is a similar picture to the exterior, aged wooden floor, furniture and fittings, genuine too I’d say, none of this plastic old that some refurnished pubs go for. In here I had the best cask ale across my two-day stay in London, Brodies Shoreditch Sunshine, a light zesty and incredibly refreshing session beer I could have sunk all afternoon long. I should mention that the walk from Tufnell Park Underground took us through an area of flats that although looked fine in the day, I wouldn’t like to wander through at night especially alone. Lots of alleyways etc that could be ok but you never know.
Luckily though there’s no need to go back that way as the bus stop is right outside the door and both buses go via Camden Town which was our next stop for Brewdog Camden. A short stroll just off the High Street, head away from the tube station head a way from the market until you see the Vodaphone store on your right and Burger King on the left, turn left here and Brewdog is straight ahead.
Brewdog is as far away from the Southampton Arms in terms of style as it possibly could be, modern, bright, bold with brash garish branding but it does have friendly knowledgable staff and loads of great beer.
Lots of other sights to see in Camden too, the market (and it’s inhabitants) great pubs, Camden Town Brewery which is currently only open on Fridays to visitors and the great burger bar Byrons with a bottled craft beer selection available to match your meaty munch fest as chosen by our Mark Dredge of Pencil & Spoon fame, see here for details. Again just off the high street back past Camden Town underground Byrons offer great food in an environment not dissimilar from Al’s from Happy Days. The food was great but I was a little disappointed that little was made to push the beer and burger/food matching as it was the main reason I singled it out, can’t knock them for doing it though.
From here you have a choice of venues/routes all within a few tube stops, The Bree Louise back at Euston, The Gunmakers at Baker Street for example, for us though time was against us and we wanted somewhere to relax after a days yomping and travel so opted for Craft Beer Co which is a short walk from Farringdon Underground (82 Leather Lane, Clerkenwell EC1N 7TR). Take the Northern Line from Camden, change at Kings Cross to the Circle for Farringdon, journey is about 20 minutes including the walk from the station.
“Prestigious beer bible Ratebeer.com listed the newly opened Craft Beer Co first venue the 4th best beer venue in the world. This honour and praise has been followed by glowing reviews in the Guardian and Telegraph amongst others in its first few weeks opened.”
Craft is a lovely place to while away an evening, afternoon or whatever, a long bar jam-packed with a vast array of beers from home and abroad on cask and keg lines, top dollar bottle range too.
Not to forget the lovely range of high quality pork pies and scotch eggs stocked to soak up all that lovely beer.
Another pub/bar we were recommended to try but ran out of time on the day was The Dovetail Bar (9 Jerusalem Passage Clerkenwell, EC1V 4JP) apparently its a Belgian style bar with food to match and best visited during the afternoon to avoid the rush. One for next time for sure. Cheers
Looks like we’ve got some parallel blogging coming up: I’ll be doing a week of London posts starting Monday. Kicking myself I passed on The Bull already…
No problem, feel free to use any of the directions, links and pics if you need to, oh and of course put me right if I’ve made a booboo. Have a great time
I love the fact that this is a two part post 🙂 #madethemostoflondon
It had to be mate lol, I was trying to avoid folks switching off 😉
I’m adding a couple more but they will only be quickies, one on the beer selection and the other suggested venues against respective underground stations. Cheers mate
Brodie’s Shoreditch Sunshine is stunnng. Try seeking out their London Lager.
I went to a meet the brewer session up at Port Street Beer House in Manchester not to long back so have a good idea that it would be fabulous. Real shame that I didn’t get to William IV 😦
You’re right about the pork pies and scotch eggs at Craft: wonderful, and with proper English mustard too. Food at the Dovetail is excellent in that understated Belgian way – one for next time – and not too crowded in the evening, once the post-work rush has died down.
I couldn’t remember who makes the pork pies and I actually follow them on twitter too dammit.. they are exceptionally good though. I definitely want to try Dovetail next time around, it’s just so difficult trying to fit them all in!!
and not a Wetherspoons in sight
Fraid not Mark, maybe we should do a spoons guide to London 😉
Must confess that if I’m near Baker Street I usually pop into The Metropolitan as they often have Old Peculier on. That one and that ones near the Islington Academy and Shep Bush Empire are the only ones I’ve been in as far as I remember. I might Des de Moor what he reckons are the 10 best London Spoons and then I’ll visit them all in one day
Nice write-up Phil. I’ve not been to the Bull at Highgate and must sort that!
Would be great if Byrons suggested matches etc. Last time I went I asked the waitress which Kernel IPAs they had. “Oh, we’ve got the one with the brown label”.
Thanks Andy. I have to say I was really disappointed by that, the staff were really friendly but completely failed to raise my awareness of what is supposed to be one of their main unique selling points. Craziness