What’s he blogging about the Euston Tap for? Everyone’s been there haven’t they? They probably have, unless they’ve not been to London since 2010, when it first opened.
That’s the beauty of it to me though, everyone knows it’s there and exactly where it is, particularly if you’ve travelled down from the north. More so if you’re just down for the day or you’re staying in central London. It’s good because although there are loads of good pubs and bars in London, you can wear a lot of shoe leather out getting to them, and that’s if you know exactly where they are.
If you’re wondering which Euston Tap I’m on about, I’m referring to the beery one on the left (west) as you look at the station, not the other matching building which is the cider (east) side of the business. Essentially they are the same twin buildings, lodges to the original Euston Station.
I’m not sure whether it’s just me, but I always get an overwhelming desire to take a tin of Duraglit or Brasso to the immense copper plate behind the bar. It would look magnificent all polished up, along with the cask dispense taps. If like me, you’ve ever wondered where the beer that pours out of the massed ranks of taps comes from, it’s all down stairs in an underground tunnel, fabled to once have connected the two lodges.
I asked how the cask beer gets up to the bar? Apparently a compressor provides the pressure, exactly how, the lady that told me didn’t know, but I suspect it’s a similar premise to the Scottish Aitken type founts?
It always seems to me that the Euston Tap isn’t particularly somewhere that people go to for a drink, they sort of fall into it on the way to somewhere else, while waiting for a train, maybe purposely detouring, but not setting out to the taps for an evening down the pub. Okay, you could manage it if you got a comfy seat in the upstairs lounge, but seating in the very tight for space bar area is at a premium and if you are calling in whilst traveling you won’t easily get your case up the spiral staircase. It’s probably why the Euston Tap is never quiet and never busy, I mean it can’t get too busy because there’s not enough room, unless it’s a nice day and folk can sit or stand outside.
I’ve always been impressed with both beer selection and quality when I’ve called in. Generally, if you want it they’ve got it, unless you want something boring and relatively mainstream that is. Eight cask lines and nineteen keg lines and often exciting beers from interesting brewers. The can and bottle fridges, although not extensive, are pretty good too. They also do wine and a limited variety of spirits too.
On my latest visit I drank a Verdant Summit, easily NBSS 4, deliciously murky and tasty at £4.70 a pint. You could get a pint for £3.60 if you wanted, and I thought all the beers were competitively priced when compared with what we had been paying in EC2 the night before.
I think the staff realise that most of their customers know what they are doing when it comes to beer and you’re not met with, ‘What sort of beer do you like/ are you looking for?’ Although there’s always the exception to the rule, like when a burly northerner castigated his mate who was looking at the keg board by telling him, ‘Tha wants to be looking over here at the proper ales, them’s all Lagers on that side!’
So, apart from buffoons, who else was in? A lot of people staring at mobiles, a couple of tickers, several blokes with rucksacks carefully choosing, suits and brief cases, single women, younger lads with guitar cases going through the bottle fridges, people meeting other people.
And one smartly dressed chap who walked in and asked for a Coke – half a glass will do, please. Half a glass was supplied and no payment was insisted upon by the bubbly lass behind the bar, so he stuck a couple of quid in the tip jar. I liked that, a lot of people knock London, but that shows that all is well.
And yes, it’s part of the wider Tapped – Pivovar group and of course it’s in the Good Beer Guide.