Monday, October 02, 2006


Winds of Change

London's craft brew scene has seen quite a few changes over the last year or so. Most attention has been given to the departures, notably the closure of Young's Ram brewery in Wandsworth, paradoxically at the same time celebrating 175 years of business with a decent Anniversary Ale.

This beer tourist mourned in particular the move of Onlyfinebeer and The Pitfield Beer Shop from East London to Essex. They were two reliable sources for craft beers to bring back home. (You can still have bottles ordered online and delivered to your hotel, but I find it more pleasant to browse the shop shelves).

Not all is bad news, though. The Pitfield Beer Shop moved together with its Brewery to a village north of Colchester. In the process they have expanded into cider and perry brewing. Their brews can still be purchased from a bottle shop in Old Street, not far from their old Pitfield premises. The Real Ale shop in Twickenham, which opened in early 2005, is run by very competent staff and dedicated to great British ales.

Also, I have previously described the promise of the Southwark area, and will follow up with a more detailed review of one newcomer beer bar, The Rake, shortly.

Hampstead may seem like a world apart with its guarded homes and Mercedeses. A posh wine-drinking neighbourhood, maybe, but craft beer has found a lucky home there in The Horseshoe brewpub. Opened a few months ago by Australian brewer McLaughlin, it offers its two alternating brews on draught. For a young brew their Best definitely showed some promise. Add to it casks of Admans, decent bottled beers and very good food and you should be well saddled for the evening so to speak.

And if the thirst persists there is always the Young's house The Flask just a block away, where the bell is still rung for the last orders. Something never changes in this great capital city.

The Horseshoe is on my list for my November visit, as well as a visit to Southwark. Does the shop in Old Street have other interesting beers to offer? It is a shame that the bottle shops in London are a long way from the central areas.
The shop in Old Street is mostly a wine, coffee and tea merchant, but stocks around 60 beers, some of which are interesting, including the Pitfield Brewery range. Here is a link:
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?