22/04/2017 at 11:56 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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In April 2017, Artie took us for a crawl around the Hoxton area.

We started out at the Electricity Showrooms near Hoxton Square, an attractive pub with some interesting beers on, though just a couple on cask; these were good though, we had both, Bread & Butter from Vocation Brewery in Hebden Bridge, and Pint from Marble in Manchester. What really let the place down though was some ridiculous doorstaff searching people on entry, asking people in their 40s for ID, and confiscating soft drinks being carried in bags. All this at 6:30 in the evening.

7seasons.jpgStill, that was just a rendezvous point, and the next venue was pretty special. 7 Seasons is one of the new generation of specialist craft beer bottle shops which also have space inside to drink on the premises, still pretty uncommon in London. The range is superb, over 400 beers from around the world. We had quite a variety of beers between us, but personally I had a delicious Mikkeller Session IPA, while Artie’s 1000th unique beer on Untappd was also a Mikkeller, a Citra IPA, and a fine way to mark a milestone.

A short walk along Hoxton Street – setting for Richard Ashcroft’s famous walk in the Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony video – brought us to Howl at the Moon, a smallish but busy corner pub with a reputation for interesting beers. On this occasion three of the six pumps were devoted to cider, and the beers were all quite strong for a session; we had a mix of Aurora from the pumps and Beavertown Gamma Ray from the taps.

We left shortly after the music volume was cranked up and headed for the George and Vulture, a Fuller’s pub and the tallest pub in London apparently, with a modern interior and tasty-looking pizzas being cooked at one end of the bar.

Next up, one of the legendary pubs of London, the Wenlock Arms. Its bar of 10 handpumps, and large number of ciders and keg beers, may be bettered in some of the newer and larger specialist craft beer joints, but this one is not only a humble local pub, but provided this sort of range long before it was fashionable, and had to fight for its very existence when a developer tried to replace the pub with flats. So it was great to be back, and we enjoyed a combination of Siren’s Sound Wave, Mariana Trench, and Oscar Wilde Mild. All were delicious.

Around the corner lies the William IV, where we called next. It’s an attractive pub and the staff were very friendly, but the range of interesdting pump clips behind the bar were sadly not representative of the offer this evening, which consisted only of GK IPA on the pumps.

Off now to the final pub, the Three Crowns, a nice revival for an attractively tiled pub that was closed down for quite a while but is back, looking good and serving some good beers under the new management which took over just this month, including on our visit Hackney Kapow and Brew House Small Batch.

We did head for another couple of pubs but they had stopped serving, so we had a quick debate on the Pub of the Crawl before heading to the tube. I’m pleased to say that an old favourite the Wenlock Arms was named Pub of the Crawl. Congratulations!


Old Street West

24/01/2012 at 00:03 | Posted in Crawls | Leave a comment
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Early crawler Ian started us off on a rainy night in January in the Artillery Arms on Bunhill Row and ended up in the glorious Sekforde Arms and a curry.  Where we went inbetween is lost in history, even Ian himself can’t remember.  One or two of the bars were not real ale pubs as the format had not been completely established but the one thing it did do is open our eyes to the possibilities.  Not knowing exactly where we were and discovering new places appealed to the explorer genome.  It was only the second time we had done it but we realised being at the mercy of a pub crawl master in an unexplored part of London was a fun experience and it made us want more.

Additional trivia – Archie and Phil struggled to find even the curry house, which was extremely good, until we stumbled across it on the Clerkenwell crawl some years later!!

Shoreditch pub crawl

26/06/2011 at 13:02 | Posted in Crawls | 1 Comment
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For June 2011, Tony took the lead for a wander around Shoreditch, with a couple of atypical bars thrown in for luck.

The crawl started off in traditional fashion, with rain and traditional pub near a station – in this case, the Old Fountain, close to Old Street station, which has 7 real ales on and also has lots of London brewers’ beers in bottles, which helped it to the title of CAMRA City Pub of the Year 2011. From British to Bavarian as we called in at the Bavarian Beerhouse for a half-litre of Bavarian beers – something of a first for our crawls which normally stick to more traditional pubs!

After this slight foray, we headed up to the Wenlock Arms, which is an absolutely classic pub with a very large range of ales on, and which used to be the brewery tap for the Wenlock Brewery.

We tore ourselves away from the Wenlock Arms and headed back towards the City Road to call in at the Eagle, which features in the nursery rhyme Pop Goes The Weasel!

Another backstreet local next, this time Shepherd Neame’s Prince Arthur in Brunswick Place, although sadly its ex-professional boxer landlord Dixie Dean wasn’t in evidence on this visit.

From here we headed into the livelier area of Shoreditch, with The Reliance swiftly followed by another unusual one for us, the Strongroom Bar. The Strongroom is attached to the Strongroom recording studios, which is used by many big names.

Finally, from here we headed across Shoreditch, past the site of The Theatre, built by James Burgage in 1576, and on to Mason & Taylor, a modern craft beer bar with a huge range of beers on tap and in bottles. This was largely the end of the crawl, except for a trip to one of the beigel shops in Brick Lane for a post-midnight snack, and then (at least for Dimo and me!) a final quick beer in one of the bars in Brick Lane, whose name escapes me now!

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