Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to hunt down their favourite beer-based tipple. Unfortunately quite a few of these places fall short when it comes to attention to detail. Product, price, atmosphere and attitude can all scupper perfectly good bars and shops into mediocrity. Thankfully, there are some exceptions. Mother Kelly’s bar opened in 2014 and seemed to get it all right. Great selection at good prices in a nice environment that didn’t feel compromised in any way. Most recently, the team behind the bar opened a bottle shop in Hackney, taking that attention to detail into a retail space.
Asking Andrew Danahy, one of the proprietors, about their inspiration for starting the shop, he said “The shop came about simply enough; we wanted to create a really really great bottle shop. Inspired by some trips to the States and seeing how the concept of the bottle shop has really taken off, we wanted to give it a go and do something special.“
The shop has a healthy selection of over 250 bottles of beer and 8 keg lines for growler fills. They also have barrel aged cocktails and ciders for takeaway, a selection of vintage ales from as early as 1902 and a couple of wines, inspired by their Bethnal Green neighbours Sager & Wilde. The most exciting part of the shop however, is their large temperature controlled cold room where most of the beers are kept cold, and most importantly, fresh as a daisy.
The shop also looks damn fine, with a touch of mid century modern charm that even made a group of ladies exclaim out loud how good it looked as they walked in the door. The selection of beer is a considered mix of local and international brews, with enough interesting and rare stuff to rival most other well-stocked shops in the UK. The link with the Mother Kelly’s bar obviously helps, whose takeaway bottle selection is impeccable too.
Talking to Andrew about how he sees the shop’s selection developing in the future, he says “we are always excited to see how local London breweries develop, and how the beer scene in general is developing around the UK. We are also getting underway with importing beer directly from breweries worldwide, so stay tuned for some exciting developments.”
As you’d imagine, the team behind the shop seem to have some clear ideas for the future. Andrew explains, “other than the continued focus on selling an amazing selection of beer and cider, we are looking to offer other bits that match and make sense to sell. Expect to find a cheese counter soon, great chocolate, and other bits and bobs. We believe that cheese and beer are a perfect combination and hope to explore that further. We’re also developing a plan for putting in a tasting room downstairs and hope to offer that in the coming months.” Andrew also explains that they will be soon looking to run tasting sessions, food pairing sessions and meet the brewer nights in the near future, as soon as they sort out their on-premise licence.
All in all, the shop lives up to the high standards of its sister bar and is a great addition to both the Hackney beer scene and London’s growing group of bottle shops. Let’s hope the Mother Kelly’s team don’t stop here, as they are definitely onto something special.
A little update: A new Mother Kelly’s bottle shop has opened on Church Street, Stoke Newington.
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