Craft Beer Co. Old Street only opened in September 2017. I remember it in it’s previous guise and I’ve walked past many times without going inside. It always felt like a local pub, for local people, with nothing in there for me. It all looked a bit scary, and scruffy too.
Not anymore, it’s all been painted a bright shade of … red? I would have taken a picture but it’s pissing it down, not a single over bowled at Lords all day. When I say raining, it’s chucking it down, and there’s no way I’m standing in the middle of Old Street at tea time with all that traffic; sorry, no exterior photo.
There is however a good few interior shots. Please note the before 5pm and just after 5pm images of the pub. Unbelievable, one minute your sat with the Mrs enjoying a nice pint, chatting with the bar staff. Next thing you can’t get to the bar. If you’d nipped to the lav in-between, you might have thought you’d ended up back in an entirely different pub. It was like turning the atmosphere on and off; one minute there wasn’t one and the next it was full of people chatting to each other, but not to anyone else unless they knew them.
Obviously I wasn’t chatting with the other customers because a lot of people in the smoke think your just a bit weird when you start to engage in unwanted and unwarranted conversation. Think again folks, might just be them that’s weird, the miserable so and so’s. I can’t blame them though. I mean they work hard all day for their exorbitant wages, just to blow it all on the rent and a couple of pints after work.
Apart from three of the cask beers and a cider, nothing under a fiver, and plenty at £6 and £7 a pint and above. I went for one of the five cask lines first; Electric Bear Above the Clouds IPA. Half of that, and half of Redchurch’s Urban Farm Sour Lager (keg) cost me £6.40. The cask was only alright, drinkable, but only NBSS 2.5, at best. The 25 keg lines looked interesting, pushing me that way for the next; Brixton Electric IPA (£6.50 a pint) and Mondo Dennis Hopper (£5.95 a pint). Both very nice beers too. The lengthily impressive keg line up was best perused via the menus on the tables; there really was a bit of something for everyone.
I got a bit worried about getting served with the post 5pm influx, I needn’t have, the staff were professional and efficient, and no one had to wait. Stood at the bar, I saw some worringly large rounds being bought and I couldn’t stop laughing at he bloke who asked for a pint of the Oud Beersel Bersalis Tripel on his mates tab.
The barman politely informed him it was 10% and £11.60 a pint, which prompted him to point to the nearest tap and ask for a pint of the Mango one; the bar man duly pulled him a pint of Lilleys Mango cider? Apart from the joker, people seemed to know what they wanted and Siren Sound Wave appeared to be a popular choice.
As well as the immediate increase in tempo, the after work drinkers also took away the tang of paint and varnish. Mind you, it’s nice to see that they had varnished the floor boards in the one room bar, which given it’s rectangular box limitations had been decorated quite nicely and adorned with a bit of repro breweriana. Mind you, they still had the original anaglypta on the ceiling. Maybe it’s making a come back?
Toilets, not bad, they should have taken some acid or similar to the urinal if they were going to use the original porcelain though. I’m not bothered if some trendy hipster says that yellow stains are the latest vogue, still looks like ingrained piss stains to me.
Looking around there’s a fair bit of beer being drunk. Strong beer that I’d be drinking in thirds and halves. All I could see was pint glasses in every hand in the mixed gathering. Thinking about it, if a rounds going to cost you best part of thirty sobs you want to make sure you get maximum benefit on everyone else’s round.
I failed to understand the reserved signs on the tables? They only do Pizzas and Pork Pies and the pizzas are delivered from a nearby outlet. The £10 for half a large pizza and a pint didn’t sound a bad deal though.
Verdict on the Craft Beer Co. Old Street ; No frills, simple, plain, pleasant, go for the decent keg lines and not the cask ales, the 5.05pm weekday rush is probably best avoided.