Sunday 15 January 2012

A local problem?

I was recently out with friends in one of my local watering holes which for those who are interested in such specifics was the Railway Tavern in Crouch End, North London. I had been there for a couple of hours and things were panning out as they usually do; I had sank several jars that were not quite up to the stringent standards of my palate and I was flapping my gums about PROPER craft beer to my friends who were not the slightest bit interested. Quite frankly I was three sheets to the gale force wind so there really was no stopping me. The trouble is once your brain decides that from now on, life is all about the hops exploding on the tongue then many beers that you used to like do not provide sufficient kindling, this is the downfall of the craft beer addict.

At some point in the evening my beer addled brain ‘decided’ to complain that none of my beer was locally brewed. My brain then sent words to my mouth and into the ears of my friends who weren’t that bothered. I had been on Harvey’s Best (dull, dull, dull from Lewes, Sussex) Sharp’s Doom Bar (You all know this well enough, all biscuits and blackcurrants, not that bad really and from Rock, Cornwall.) and the old faithful, Tim Taylor Landlord (always reliable, zesty English bitter from Keighley, Yorkshire). As my friends were not receptive to my ranting I inevitably turned to Twitter to vent my frustration at the fact that I wasn’t drinking locally brewed beer at that EXACT moment in time. All this nonsense spouting from a man who spends a small fortune each month on imported American beers, I know what you’re all thinking…

There are currently more breweries in Britain THAN THERE HAVE EVER BEEN, it is an exciting time to be an ale enthusiast and the best thing is I still think that the industry is a long way from reaching it’s apex. London is now home to some exceptional breweries including, The Kernel, Brodie's, Redemption, Meantime and Camden Town to name but a brilliant few so why aren’t more local pubs stocking locally produced beers?

Well, slap me in the face with a wet kipper they are, I WAS JUST IN THE WRONG PUB. Don’t get me wrong, the Railway Tavern is a great pub with a brilliant atmosphere, great staff and has a decent, rotating selection of cask ales to satisfy the tastes of most beer drinkers that aren’t demented hop obsessed anomalies like me. It turns out there are plenty of pubs near me selling locally brewed beer, most notably Redemption which is in nearby Tottenham, in fact after I’ve finished blogging I might try and see if the girlfriend fancies a trip to the Three Compasses round the corner as I’m working up quite a thirst.

When I was, shall we say, a little tiddly the other night I was furiously mashing notes into my iPhone about how my local pubs don’t stock local beers but thanks to the amazing power of THE INTERNET I was proved wrong, I was just being lazy. I truly believe that a craft beer REVOLUTION is coming and that more and more pubs will start stocking locally crafted product, more breweries will open and they will have their own bars and that the quality of the product will keep getting better and better. I for one am very much looking forward to it and I excitedly await a time when more pubs sell takeaway and I can wave my 2.5 pint growler in the face of the public shouting “I’VE GOT SOME AMAZING BEER IN HERE!” Vive la revolution…


  1. Er I think you will find a trip top the Compasses was actually my idea you pillock.


  2. if you're looking for London-based real ale, Fuller's is reasonably common (especially West), and they usually have a fairly decent rotation of seasonal beers.

    1. I enjoy Fullers beers Chris, their London Porter in particular is superb. Definitely one of the better large breweries in the country.