If you enjoy beer, do yourself a favour and pop down to this pub in Pimlico. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, an inauspicious affair attached to a housing estate, but within lies a blissful beervana. It must surely be the most bountiful collection of beers in London, with more than 400 bottled varieties, ten real ales and a further ten keg options on draught.
There’s quality as well as quantity, with a whole host of scarce and sought-after brews that you’d struggle to see elsewhere – be it in pubs or specialist beer shops. Big brands are conspicuous by their absence and every month the pub hosts a ‘Meet the Brewer’ night featuring an up-and-coming brewery. Moor and the Bristol Beer Factory are coming in March, while Alvinne, an awesome Belgian craft brewer, is dropping by in April.
Half the cask handpulls are dedicated to a trio of craft brewers witha keen following in the beer world – Thornbridge from Bakewell, the Sussex-based Dark Star brewery, and Brewdog from Scotland.
There are lustrous lagers too, including Moravka, an excellent English pilsner brewed in Derbyshire, and, in the shape of Rothaus Pils, a beautifully balanced bottom-fermented beer from the Black Forest in Germany. If you normally go for Guinness, then make a move for Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast, a 7.5 per cent Danish oatmeal stout brewed using myriad malts and good coffee.
The vast bottled beer selection can be perused through the doors of several chillers situated on both sides of the bar, but a better bet is to ask for the beer menu, a seriously weighty tome kept behind the bar.
Its pages proudly present the best of craft brewing in Belgium, Italy, Germany and America with some genuine rarities and limited-edition, elusive brews on offer.
In a marked departure from most pubs, all the beers are available to take away and be savoured at home. The cask ales and keg beers are available in two, four our eight pint containers. However, there’s no reason to rush home as, while the basic decor is not going to steal any prizes from the likes of the Connaught Bar, it’s an entirely comfortable spot to sip.
Bereft of Sky Sports and fruit machines, it’s a simple set-up with benches and a scattering of tables, softened with cushions, candelabras and some soft background tunes. There are a few beer mats on the wall, but it’s not too nerdy, and, with a unisex after-work crowd, it’s by no means the exclusive domain of the beardy beer bore.