A fantastic little pub.
Tucked into a small space next to an alley overlooking Smithfield Market, the Old Red Cow is one of London's less assuming craft beer pubs. Should you endeavour to the City of London for good beer (which you should) the Old Red Cow is a pub you must seek out. What has been done in such as small space is to admired: two floors, two bars, 80+ bottles on the menu, 4 cask ales, and 12 on keg. They even serve food (although I'm not concerned with such pish). What deeply impresses so much about this pub is their apparent ability to so precisely have captured a brilliant snapshot of Britain's contemporary craft beer scene, in 16 beers. You have representation from Camden Town, Windsor and Eton, Harvieston, Thornbridge, Moor, Redemption, Bath Ales, and many more, since they refresh their selection on a regular basis. All of these guests are well known and, to a degree, fashionable beers, but deservedly and unreservedly so. The selection also manages to refrain from relying on ordinary beers to appeal to the unenlightened; Stiegl Goldbrau is probably the most "ordinary" beer available, which is a fine thing for a pub to be able to boast.
The pub itself is clean and modern feeling, but retains the traditional character of the building it is situated in. Music plays, but only at a volume to add atmosphere, not contending with conversation. Smatterings of breweriana decorate the walls; it is truly a hideout for beer fans through and through. One hiccup for some may be the price of some beers, however quality beer does tend to cost over £4 a pint these days. If a knees up on cheap fizz is what you want, then this might not be the place for you, However is you are willing to part with 50p more for a pint that will genuinely excite you, then heading to the Old Red Cow would be an excellent choice to make.