Sunday, 6 February 2011

London Crawling!

Last Saturday I wanted to visit some of London's best beer pubs that aren't in Walking distance from The Rake! So I did!
I started off by getting to Cask Bar and Kitchen in Pimlico which has been getting lots of plaudits in the last year or so, The beer I had was called 22 from the Dancing Duck brewery and it was ok, not particularly outstanding but drinkable. I didn't want to stay very long here because although it is a popular venue for beer, there's something about it that makes me uncomfortable. Having the world's most boring ticker at the bar never helps - really guys, I honestly don't care how you got to the pub! But seriously I did like the fact that it was nice and quiet in there on a Saturday lunchtime, I like sitting down in a pub, just lazy I guess.

Next up was the Euston T(r)ap. This place with the outside seating is probably just about bigger than The Rake and I wanted to say hello to the new manager. Unfortunately when I got there it was closed due to a 'drainage issue'. I won't say any more than that, but this place is already busy in the evenings and it's reputation is growing.
I've mentioned this place before and I'm a big fan of it. Anywhere that promotes great beer in London is fine by me.
So it being closed I had to go somewhere else. Couldn't think of anywhere straight away so I went to the Bree Louise just round the corner from the Tap because I know the pub. It was somewhere to gather my thoughts. I had a warm half pint of Brewdog Edge, thoughts gathered I fucked off, The Bree Louise is probably top of my pet hates of pubs, it smells like a toilet and the gravity stuff is room temperature. It's gag-worthy. The bar staff were good though but I won't be going in there again.
I got a tweet from a friend suggesting that I find the Southampton Arms in Kentish Town, not knowing that area of London at all, I bought an A-Z and got the address off the interwebs. Off I went.
It's small. I was expecting quite a large pub for some reason, it serves only beer and cider from small independent companies(there goes Sharps then!). Nice place, I had a pint of W90 from Marble and sat at the bar, taking in this bustling little boozer. I have to go back when it's not so busy because I like this place, it's totally the opposite side of London but hey, if an old ticker can make the journey so can I!
So now I was off to my final destination, The Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington, much has been said about this place and not all of it great. Now the negative stuff I had heard was about the staff being 'too cool for school' - a quote from a ticker friend, and the beer being a bit hit and miss.
Well, I am now in a position to put my tuppence worth in. It's great. I Love it.
This is a regular haunt of Pete Brown, so I texted him earlier in the day to arrange to meet for a beer or two.
The Beer was on top form, I started with a pint of Dark Star APA which was lovely, served in a dimpled pint jug(awesome!) which made it better, by staff who were attentive, friendly and knowledgeable! I sat down at a table where I could see the whole pub and enjoyed my pint whilst I waited for Pete.
Great receptacle for great ales.
Realising I hadn't eaten all day I asked for a menu(if I had to moan about something it would be the lack of a menu on the table), and almost instantly chose the fish cakes. I had seen some come out whilst observing the pub and they looked delicious! Finished my tasty meal just before Pete arrived and I went onto one of the Fyne Ales, Jarl if I remember rightly, again top notch beer, in great condition and no sparkler to be found anywhere!(do you hear me northerners? sparkler not required!). At this point I have to mention that I was surprised by what Pete had been doing all day, he was doing a course that one of my mates runs on how to pitch a story, see even the best writers around still feel the need to get better, I guess that's why they're the best!
My third pint was Fyne Ales Avalanche another great beer from a brewery that is gaining a lot of ground in London, all credit to them.
We had another quick one before it was time to go. My trek back to South London was always going to be painful and I'd just like to thank the bloke who kicked me awake at Brixton, a harsh jolt but a necessary one!
Anyway I almost wished I lived in Stokey just for the Jolly Butchers but it's not my regular or my local, for me it's a special occasion place, something to enjoy all the more because you don't get back there enough.

10 comments:

The Beer Nut said...

Pleased to meet another dimple fan. Will you be getting them in at The Rake? An ideal way to spruce up a pint of Racer 5, I reckon.

Ghost Drinker said...

Great little old tale! I need to get to the Euston Tap, I've heard so much about the place. You said there was not a sparkler to be seen, was there any beer from Northern breweries to be seen?

Rabidbarfly said...

Marble, Fyne, Brewdog, Dancing Duck....

Leigh said...

nice...Will put some of those on the list! You need to get up here mate, It's Dimples all round!

Mark said...

The Jolly Butchers is a great pub. My mate text me during the week saying he was in there and he wants to move to Stokey so that it can be his local!

As for dimples.. they are terrible for swirling your beer to release all those wonderful aromas! Next you'll say that you didn't have your note book and weren't scribbling down eloquent tasting notes?!

Jason B. Standing said...

Oh wow, it's almost as if you fashioned your pub crawl from reading our London Beer Quest series...

Rabidbarfly said...

@Mark - when have I ever been eloquent with tasting notes?

UnfriendlyGhost said...

Dimpled mugs are brilliant, would love it if you had them at the Rake. Fyne Jarl is also fantastic, best thing I had at GBBF last year, would be great if you could get it on the bar...

Anonymous said...

He did. The other week Unfriendly Ghost.

Mark said...

Nice little round up. I like Cask for the same reason, nice relaxing place on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday to sit with a paper and a pint. The Mrs loves the food too, so everyone's a winner! ;)

BeerBirraBier.