Friday, 22 March 2013

[PUB REVIEW] - Craft Beer Co, Clerkenwell

Come, beer geeks - come one, come all.

The Craft Beer Company are a rising force in London's beer revival. Starting almost two years ago, they deliver a whole host of beers, served along with their branded mission statement. Visiting any Craft Beer Co Pub, it's obvious the primary goal is to deliver modern and exciting beer, both in the utmost quality and quantity.

The Craft Beer Co. Pub in Clerkenwell is situated down the colourful Leather Lane. Walking into the pub, you are met by a large open space, flanked by high seats and tables, and the bar in front of you. They stock 16 beers on hand pull and a further 21 on keg! Generally the beers are presented in a way that allows you to sample a large part of a few breweries' range at once. These are generally younger and more modern styled breweries, such as Thornbridge, Tiny Rebel, Ilkley, Dark Star, Fyne Ales...the list goes on. Craft Beer Co. are great at flagging up the rising stars of the UK brewing scene, but aren't afraid to throw on a few old favourites too. The ales are priced in brackets based on their strength, so connoisseurs and sessions drinkers alike are catered for. On keg, the range becomes more exotic, generally comprising high abv, speciality and mostly imported kegged ales. Whilst the kegged beers can become quite pricey, you are paying for unique beers that you'd be hard pushed to find anywhere else. That aside, Craft here are enforcing a new style of ale drinking, whereby you are encouraged to savour brewing rarities by the half, and at a leisurely pace. Mikkeller frequent these taps, due to their ongoing relationship with the Craft Beer Co, as well as American breweries you'll likely never have heard of.

Further to this, there is around 70 or so bottles available in the fridge. Once again this is a rotating stock of complete rarities and imports that you'll spend a long time trying to procure elsewhere. Once again, the pricing here can get quite steep, but the beer available should be bought and drunk in a style befitting fine wine, such is their rarity on these shores. A full menu complete with tasting notes accompanies the fridge selection, so as to guide you through the world of the brewing unknowns and internationals.

The pub itself has quite a bright clean feel, with plenty of space and more seating upstairs. The stand out feature is the old mirrored ceiling, decorated like a clock - a relic from the pub's previous incarnation. However the main draw of the Craft is certainly what's on and behind the bar. If you like beer, whether to session great ales or sample new discoveries, the Craft Beer Co in Farringdon is somewhere you should really make an effort to visit.

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