With 37 draught beers and over 150 bottles, The Craft Beer Co definitely starts off in the right direction.
Not far from Farringdon tube station, the brother of Cask Pub and Kitchen opened this week proudly fronting London's largest beer selection. And what a selection it is: house beers from Mikkeller and Kent Brewery; permanent keg fonts (with each font having three taps each) for Mikkeller, sour beer, lager and imports (with more fonts to spare for IPAs or saisons or stouts or whatever); a long line of casks from some of the UK's best breweries; and a bottle list which reads like beer porn.
Downstairs is wide and thin with a long bar, the whole place made to feel bigger by the mirrored ceiling. There's lots of standing room (to perve over the pump clips and fridge contents) plus stools and tables, music plays at just the right volume to blend with the background, the bare decoration of stripped wood and dark furniture works well against the white walls and flashes of the striking red logo. Upstairs is quiet and lined with tables for those who want to get comfortable and spend the evening working through the line-up of beers – a fire place in the middle and windows all around make it homely and airy. It's not cheap, pushing £3.50 a pint of cask and keg starting just under £4 a pint, but those prices are almost expected in London. Importantly, it's got a great atmosphere already with staff who know what they are doing and are passionate about it.
Being bold, I think Craft will almost immediately become the number one beer destination in London, and that's with a lot of strong competition (Southampton Arms, Cask, The Rake, White Horse, Euston Tap). It's got the biggest beer selection (with something to suit any taste), it's got unique beers, it's in a good location, there's a great atmosphere to the place and it feels like a pub to sit down and drink in.
The Craft Beer Co is now open. You should check it out.
Sounds like a perfect spot to meet my mate for a drink on monday! In london for a long weekend so will definately endeavour to check this place out.ReplyDelete
My question is as always, was the cask, clean, cool and well presented?ReplyDelete
Adding to Tands point, what beers did you try? and in general how were the beers tatsing?ReplyDelete
Opening night is always going to be a bit bumpy but at least a good indicator of things to come.
Neil - It's must-visit! I tried lots of the beers. The house lager and ale are excellent. Good to see a sour tap. Great bottle list too. There were no problems with quality last night which is very promising.ReplyDelete
Tandleman - Clean, cool AND well presented. The manager knows his beer and they were very well kept. Going forward, keeping that quality up will be their challenge, especially with 16 casks on.
Looking forward to trying out the new place, finally got down to the Cask Pub last weekend and thought it one of the best pubs in the UK by a long way (loved the Southampton Arms too btw). Hopefully we'll be getting a pallet of beers down there in the next month or so.ReplyDelete
Tara - Mallinsons Brewing Co
Mark, you've really whetted my appetite - a dedicated sour beer tap? Fantastic! Hoping to be there tonight. One thing, though: do they serve food, other than bar snacks?ReplyDelete
Right. Looking forward to trying it.ReplyDelete
Tara - The only thing missing from Craft is Mallinsons beer!ReplyDelete
Andrew - Last night they had Girardin's Lambic, Faro and Kriek on. Very nice! And as for food... I deliberately left it out of the post because I simply don't know, I'm afraid. I'll update the post when I find out properly. If you want food then the Gunmakers is really close. Alternately, Craft is opposite a fried chicken place :)
Wow - this sounds awesome. I struggle to get people to go to Cask because of the location but this looks like a great central location. Still cannot get my taste buds around sour beer though.ReplyDelete
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Having spent the evening there last night, I can concur that the cask conditioning was superb. Beers presented cool and with sparkling clarity in oversized vessels. The whole place had a great vibe and instant familiarity to it. The cask range alone would be enough to keep me returning time and again. The keg range is a wonderful bonus. Some of the beers last night were out of this world.ReplyDelete
Speaking to Tom late yesterday, he told me the punters had drained 24 barrels yesterday alone. I really hope they can keep up the throughput to maintain the range. Congratulations to all involved. The effort and enthusiasm that has gone in was clear for all to see.
Do you not see The Bree Louise as competition?ReplyDelete
Dubbel - It's a great place, right?! 24 barrels in a day is pretty good going. Keeping up with all those taps is going to be hard work but a lot of fun.ReplyDelete
Anon - No, not really. Lots of beers but seldom in perfect condition and I like my ales cooler than the Bree serves them. I rarely visit there anyway as I don't get past the Euston Tap.
I doubt they will be able to maintain so many casks. Look at Euston Tap Craft Beer Bar and Jolly B, they have 10 and they are always perfect with massive footfall. Nice building though, sadly opposite a KFCReplyDelete
Don't you just love Anonymous posters who keep things positive...ReplyDelete
Just had 4 ales there over lunch (halves!), all were in top notch condition. I am an ale drinker, and they were all very good and reasonably priced. Will definitely be going back. If you only go in there for one be sure to try the Big Chief ale, never had anything quite like it. Superb.ReplyDelete
Finally got down to Craft Beer co, and on one hand was great, and on the other hand was really poor.ReplyDelete
They ran out of their food, I asked them to recommend an unsusual american IPA which they did but didnt warn me it was £15 until it was opened (jolly butcher always warns you if its over a fiver), and the bar was full of suits hogging the bar and not letting people get served. (Also a small point, but what is with the light fittings upstairs???)
I did however try some amazing Mikeller beers and had a lovely time. I will stick to Jolly Butchers though, a better balance of a pub by a long way.