London – Hackney (Borough of) – Shoreditch – Old Street Craft Beer Co

This is the next outlet of the Craft Beer Co that I’m working around, which seemed to me to have a frontage that didn’t shout out classy crafty beer. It’s in an on-trend area, well sort of, near to Old Street and WhatPub note has previously been called the Canvas Bar, Nelson’s Retreat, Gluepot and the Murphy Tavern. It seems a challenging location to make work, but I suspect the Craft Beer Co can make something of this.

The interior of the bar is minimalistic, retro and also very slightly exciting with those beer pumps. In the past, the left-hand side has been a kitchen area, but it’s all been opened out now.

A sweet little niche area at one end of the pub. The staff member was friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable, with the environment being comfortable and relaxed. I can’t say that there were many other customers, although a few more trickled in as the early Friday evening progressed. They don’t do food themselves here, but they can order pizzas in and I think that’s a decent compromise.

But, this is why I visited, for the beer choice. The glass looks quite empty here, but this is a third of the 8th Anniversary Pecan Cookie Stout from Westbrook Brewing Co, with my previous beer from them at the Beer Merchants being spectacular. This one, which was slightly cheaper, was again beautiful, with a richness of flavour and competing tastes from the pecan and vanilla. OK, I’m getting over-excited again, but this really deserved to be called decadent, smooth, full in flavour and soothing. My friends Gordon, Steve and Bev will mock these words, so I hope they don’t read them, but what do they know about beer……

So, another way above average pub and I’m delighted to see that it’s in the 2021 Good Beer Guide. Indeed, with one exception, every single pub in the chain is in the guide, so I’m delighted that CAMRA has recognised just how good these pubs are. They have a large number of bottles and cans here, but the main selection is so well thought out that I haven’t needed to go looking into that option.