Hops & Glory

Bars and pubs Islington
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(3 user reviews)
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 (Toby Keane)
Toby Keane
 (Photographer: Toby Keane)
Photographer: Toby Keane
 (Toby Keane)
Toby Keane
 (Photographer: Toby Keane)
Photographer: Toby Keane
 (Toby Keane)
Toby Keane
 (Toby Keane)
Toby Keane
Venue says: "Book for Christmas. Special set menu inc whole suckling pig (for ten-15 to share), whole roast beef rump and turkey breast with trimmings."

NOTE: Since this review was published, the Hops and Glory has begun serving a new food menu which it describes as being 'centred around European country cooking.' The Time Out Eating and Drinking Editors

Forget the anthem ‘Land of Hope and Glory’: this sounds much more appealing. It’s a new name for an old boozer at the Essex end of Essex Road. Until December 2012 it was known as the George Orwell, a tribute to the writer who lived nearby in Canonbury. There’s no record of him actually drinking here, but he did enjoy a pint, so you never know.

Also, it does fulfil several of the requirements for the perfect pub, as laid out in Orwell’s famous ‘Moon Under Water’ essay. It’s two minutes from a bus stop (Ockendon Road), there’s a garden, and the architecture and fittings are ‘uncompromisingly Victorian’. He might not have approved of the piano (though it remained unplayed) and there isn’t a ‘ladies’ bar’.

But plenty of Londoners will approve, as the Hops & Glory is full of the sort of things that make pubs good. Buffed-leather sofas, a big mirror behind the bar, candles. A blackboard lists the current selection of 13 beers on tap and 60 in bottle, and a fine selection it is. London brews get a good look-in, which is always welcome: a pint of the limited-release Camden Cavalier was particularly well received. Hops & Glory joins the Craft Beer Co, the Earl of Essex and the Railway Tavern in what’s becoming a neat little ale trail through Islington.

To eat, there are boards of meat, cheese and pickles, and toasties – but this being Islington, they’re filled with the likes of Spanish jamón and artisan cheddar.

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Hops & Glory says
The Hops & Glory is a recently refurbished, award-winning dining pub and craft beer brewery in the middle of Islington, Dalston and Canonbury. We take great care in our selection of speciality beers, sourcing from local producers where possible.

Our kitchen is headed up by Chris Slaughter and Skye Bond, and focuses on simple, British, country-style cooking to give our guests a country-pub-in-the-city feeling. We offer dinner every night of the week and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. On Sundays we have a special Sunday roast menu in addition to our weeknight food menu. Due to popularity on Sundays pre-bookings are highly recommended. However, we always do our best to accommodate walk-ins whenever possible.

We offer beer and food matchings for £75 for two people. Each session lasts one hour and is held by our beer expert – and Imbibe's Pub Personality of the Year – Durham Atkinson.

Annual beer and food events include our IPA festival on August Bank Holiday, 'Saisons Greetings' at the beginning of summer, and our Australia Day celebrations with a proper Aussie-style BBQ in our beer garden.

Bookings can be made via email info@hopsandglory.co.uk or via telephone on 020 7226 2277
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Venue name: Hops & Glory
Address: 382 Essex Road
N1 3PF
Opening hours: Open 4-11pm Mon-Wed; 4pm-midnight Thur; 4pm-2am Fri; noon-2am Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun
Transport: Canonbury rail or bus 38
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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As someone who is biased towards favouring the East London drinking scene, I’m tragically unacquainted with Islington’s star venues. The Hops and Glory is such a pub, proffering 15 taps of an expertly curated beer list alongside a worthy selection of over 100 beers in bottle. Unsurprisingly, they’re microbrewing in the basement and also offer a curated beer tasting sessions. These are conducted by their resident expert, Durham Atkinson, who incidentally owns the bar and is responsible for its focus on offering an unassailable range of beer.

We were booked in for a tutored tasting session, including samples of 6 beers, three grazing plates and a tour of their basement brewing space, for a Saturday afternoon. A short walk from the Canonbury Overground station, the pub is situated on a quiet, leafy neighbourhood corner. Taking a contemporary incarnation on rustic charm, the interior incorporates handsome wooden features, a blend of plush booth seating with cozy tables and some industrial touches. Think hunting lodge meets urban living and you get the idea.

There was a good range of local beer on tap, including IPA OK from Long Arm Brewing Co and other examples from British breweries, such as Siren and Oakham, alongside a hefeweizen from German brewery Paulaner Gruppe. More comfortable offerings included Brooklyn and Camden and on cask, Darkstar was represented. However, where Hops and Glory really excels is its bottle collection, which features atypical Trappist and wheat styles in addition to a global range of everything from lager to stout.

Sitting down for our tasting, we were introduced to Durham and he launched into the basics- first, the ingredients used to make beer, then the history of brewing and even an explanation of purity laws and how these have influenced some styles. The evolution of certain beers was discussed and Durham comfortably chatted about some London breweries and the pub itself. The selection of tasters included a generic pilsner from the bar to start. From here, we worked through an Anchor Steam Beer, a Five Points Pale, a farmhouse saison from St-Feuillien, Lagunitas IPA and a Lindemans Kriek Cherry Lambic.

As we progressed through the beers, which were generously poured between two of us, our small plates arrived as they were ready- although we were engaged in deep conversation about the beer, which steered our attention away from the food, each dish was appetising and surprisingly tasty. We enjoyed a piece of gooey Welsh rarebit, a rich chicken pâté with gerkins and toast and golden goujons with creamy centres.

Following our tasting, Durham led us downstairs to the microbrewery, a makeshift use of the cavernous space beneath the pub. Brewing on a small kit, they currently have their in-house pale ale, which wasn’t on tap that afternoon, but we were offered a sample from the tank. They’re hoping to experiment with different styles and make their pale ale more widely available soon- they were scheduled to brew a new batch the following day.

We had a wonderful afternoon discovering The Hops and Glory and their expansive beer collection with Durham- the tutored beer tasting session was intimate and informative and Durham was a first-rate guide. The quality of food paired with the beer impressed us both and the pub itself had undeniable charm. We’ll hopefully revisit soon, especially for the excuse to leave our comfortable confines of Hackney Wick.

Lucy Loo

We tried Hops & Glory last week when they were offering a 50% off food offer to launch their new menu. It was great. Definitely the sort of pub you'd love to have as your local. Traditional but classy decor. Good, upmarket pub grub. My friend had a steak, I had halibut with samphire, and we shared a chocolate dessert which were all top notch. We'll definitely be back to try the Sunday roast which sounds delicious.

I'm not a big beer drinker but they specialise in craft beer, and have a microbrewery on site so if that's your thing, then that's another reason to go! 

Nic Rennison

This is definitely my favourite pub in Islington. Definitely an upgrade from when it was the George Orwell. It's a lovely, friendly place - great staff, good food, excellent selection of beers on tap and even a few of the famous Hawksmoor cocktails on the menu for good measure. The bartenders are really friendly, and you're welcome to take dogs in there. They do tasting evenings, and often have a piano player in there. Board games, beers and good hotdogs! My new favourite local for sure.