London – Wandsworth (Borough of) – By The Horns Brewery Tap

I’m slowly, but very surely, working my way around London’s breweries and this one in between Tooting and Wimbledon is also listed in the Good Beer Guide (which I’m also working my way around). So, yesterday I made a booking on-line for today, and then was on course to arrive half an hour early so went to sit in a nearby graveyard to wait. Incidentally, I liked that it let me make a booking for one person, I inwardly tut when I see somewhere only allows bookings for two or more people.

There was a friendly welcome from the staff member, who explained the ordering process which was done on-line using a QR code. It clearly wasn’t entirely packed with customers as the staff member knew my name when I said I had a reservation, but I’m always happy that I’m in the right place. The ordering system was all efficient and easy to use, and the environment was comfortable. It’s not the largest indoors space, but there are several tables and the outdoor area gives them more flexibility on numbers.

I was given the chance to move my reservation outside into the hot external seating area, like everyone else seemed to be doing during my visit, but I was quite content inside in the cold. I’ve had enough of London’s heatwave…. I’d actually had enough of the heatwave yesterday about ten minutes after it started, but I digress…. The cricket was also showing on the television and the staff member mentioned I could turn the volume up if I wanted. I didn’t, but I liked the engagement and I also liked the ready supply of power points dotted around.

There’s an in-house pizza oven and the taproom surroundings are industrial and what I consider to be on-trend and exciting.

The reasonably priced pizza menu is visible in the above photo (click the image to enlarge it).

The brewery’s web-site seemed to focus on IPAs, but I noticed they had two darker options available and so I went for half a pint of each. The Lambeth Walk is a porter made by the brewery and it had a pleasant taste with an aftertaste of chocolate and coffee, although it wasn’t quite as rich a flavour as I had expected. A nice beer though and it tasted well-kept (it should since they made it here so it’s hardly gone far) and was at the appropriate temperature. I don’t like porters that are served at some point near freezing, although I might have forgiven that today given the heat. Anyway, it was all perfectly served.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the Deep Funk which is also made here, it’s what they call a farmhouse stout (is that a thing?) and it’s a rye kettle soured stout mixed with a graf, which is effectively a beer cider (I had to Google that). I wasn’t sure whether I was ordering an artisan craft product or an expensive snakebite, but either way, I liked it. A complex taste, or as much as beer and cider mixed together can be, and there were some interesting flavours going on. The mixture of sourness and sharpness worked for me, although I’m struggling to put that effectively into words. It’s not hugely well rated in reviews, but it’s something different and I like trying new concepts.

Anyway, I liked this brewery and the taproom set-up, it was a relaxed environment and the staff were friendly and everything was organised. There’s usually a wider beer range I understand, but I was entirely satisfied with what they had. I’ve mentioned already that the whole look is quite on-trend, but I don’t think they’ve tried to create that deliberately, it’s just a by-product of friends interested in making craft beer. All really rather lovely.