Craft Beer Co Lands In Angel
It’s only a minor exaggeration to claim that Craft Beer Co has become an institution. Their Leather Lane establishment was probably not the first craft beer pub in London, but it was the most exciting by a long mile. It’s also the the most talked about within the beer community. This is mainly down to their professional take on this trendy liquid and their ridiculously well stocked bar, with more cask and keg pumps than nearly any other pub in the existence of man.
Thankfully, the craft beer crew have been spreading their wings lately, with new pubs opening up in Brixton, Brighton and now in Angel. As a past resident of the area I was pumped to see the new joint. Straight through the door it was obvious it’s business as usual – more than twenty keg lines, ten cask pumps and the obligatory fridge full of alluring but eye wateringly expensive bottles, all ready to be poured into the greedy gullets of the beer seeking clientele.
Decor wise it’s a bit of a mishmash so to speak. Part old man pub scattered with junk, part something a little more contemporary. Thankfully this one did not have any of the awful bird light fittings found in the Leather Lane joint, but they’ve kept the huge pictures of brewers doing their thing (mainly brewing), with some lovely shots of Mikkeller brewing in Nørrebro. But enough about the decor, you won’t even pay attention to it after a couple of sips. Let’s talk beer!
The selection was pretty British and Danish centric with beers from Thornbridge, Magic Rock, Dark Star, Tiny Rebel, Beavertown, Mikkeller, Evil Twin and a few Americans popping up such as Pizza Port and Southern Tier. I started off with the Southern Tier Creme Brulee, just because I had surreptitiously missed this beer so many times. I wanted to get it out of the way. To no one’s surprise it was intensely sweet, with a cream soda vibe that was interesting in both a good and a bad way. This is where ‘all beers in their right place’ come into play, as this would be a great dessert style brew. It was just a little too saccharine and sweet and I couldn’t finish it. At this point I would like to come clean about one small bugbear I have with the Craft and Cask pubs – they don’t sell thirds. With such a huge selection it’s pretty crazy to think they don’t offer any form of tasting flights or other ways to try the stronger beers in a more manageable serving.
After an excellent Evil Twin Shoreditch Hipster Ale, my final brew of the trip was Tiny Rebel’s Baby’s Got a Temper, a small batch oak aged double IPA. It’s an intensely powerful beer. Exactly the kind of flavours you want from a DIPA, a beautiful balancing act of extreme hopping extraordinaire. My brain was telling me it was reminiscent of Magic Rock’s Human Cannonball, which is only a good thing. I couldn’t get much oak, but I am still to be sold on oak aged IPAs anyway, as dry hopping always lends itself to freshness rather than age.
Sadly, this was somewhat of a fleeting visit, but after this taster session I am really looking forward to coming back and sitting for hours, handing over all my money to them in exchange for some of the best beers in the UK. As a final note, the new N1 premises had a beautiful old mirror sign, done by the aptly named Brilliant Sign Co. I urge you to check out their work, it’s pretty damn awesome.