American inspired London brews.
Duke's Brew and Que, based near Haggerston Overground Station, is an establishment born of London's modernistic brewing community. It has brazenly combined a largely Americanised style of craft beer brewing, with an unabatedly American food menu. Popping into Duke's is well advised, whether you simply fancy sampling their range of top quality beers (some brewed on site don't ya know), or whether you want to make an evening of eating your body weight in delicious BBQ meat as well. Offering five beers on hand pull, and a further eight on keg, visiting Duke's as a restaurant goer is by no means a necessity. A further strong range of dozens of beers in bottle (Moor, Meantime, Sierra Nevada - all excellent stuff) cements Duke's as a haven for beer explorers.
Duke's in-house brewery, Beavertown, fits perfectly to the feel of the entire joint; charismatic, inventive American style craft beer without abandoning its London roots. I was lucky enough to try Moub, a 4.2% Brown Ale, which was full bodied, with delicious chocolate and toffee nutty flavours, rounded off with a tangy, dissipating bitter finish. Another in house brew, Smog Rocket, was a 5.4% smoked porter, which I can only describe as an excellent representation of the style, a bold smokey flavour that perfectly complemented the BBQ food.
The building itself compacts this ambitious project into a surprisingly small space. All contained within one room, from left to right, a vibrant and bustling open kitchen in one corner, that proudly displays Beavertown's brewing equipment. This flows through into the restaurant area, then onto an American style bar. The functioning mix of bar/pub/restaurant that Duke's successfully collaborates, is mimicked in the decoration; the room combines clean white tiles, with traditional pub features and bare wood, as well as adding an element of the industrial into the room, with steel girders and raw metal fittings. The music that plays isn't out of keeping with the vibrant youthful attendees of the establishment, also helping to add legitimacy to the American style bar down one end (complete with yankee bar stools).
Utterly worth seeking out, even making an evening of it. The flavoursome beers, the mountains of delicious food: everything is bigger at Duke's Brew and Que.