January 24, 2018.
Our next stop on our London pub series was recommended to me by a Londoner living in Toronto as one of the best spots in London to enjoy some of the UK’s finest craft beers.
It would be foolish to not take the advice of local knowledge so I planned a visit to The Craft Beer Co Clerkenwell location while visiting London.
Conveniently, the Clerkenwell location of The Craft Beer Co was only a 20-minute walk north-west from my hotel.
Clerkenwell is a trendy but still gritty (which I like) neighbourhood in central London.
It’s home to creative businesses, stylish bars, pubs, fashionable shops and is also home to the massive Smithfield Market which specializes in meats and livestock.
The market open at 2:00 am and select pubs in the Clerkenwell neighbourhood are licensed to open at 5:30 am to feed and refresh the market workers.
As I turned the corner on to Leather Lane, the street was filled with the energetic presence of people enjoying a street market.
Vendor tents had popped up in the middle of the road, it was 1:00 pm so just at the tail end of lunchtime. Very cool.
I slipped past the crowd huddled around the front door to the pub and settled in to a high table across from the long bar gleaming with dozens of shiny beer taps. The pub was full of the chatter of people enjoying a lunch hour refreshment to break up their work day.
As I browsed the clipboard menu that was already at my table I witnessed a metamorphosis as the stylish lunch crowd finished their beers and dashed back to their respective places of employment leaving me and a few other afternoon boozers with all of those beer taps to ourselves.
Menus are great but for me the key to a great pub/bar/restaurant experience is tapping into the knowledge of the staff, especially if a business specializes in something particular like craft beers.
My server didn’t disappoint. He was courteous, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about discussing and recommending craft beers.
The atmosphere of The Craft Beer Co Clerkenwell is fabulous. Tall windows shower the space in natural light which made for a very pleasant afternoon at the pub.
I enjoyed several delicious craft beers from around the UK, made some new friends, one of which was a Norwegian airline pilot who brews his own beer at home and another newly retired city worker enjoying his first few days of retirement at the pub.