A pub without a bar, but lots of lovely suds to try in Brockley.
This tap for Penge’s Late Knights brewery is a contradictory sort of place: it’s a bar without a bar. In place of the time-honoured wooden counter topped with taps and staffed by cheery bartenders is a stack of casks in a corner of the room. Beside them, a wooden barrel has been turned into a plinth for three kegs, and nearby there’s a fridge of bottles. This breaking down of boundaries is a bold move, and not an unwelcome one: drinkers feel less of a separation with the people who are serving their bevvy.
In other aspects, LBD is just a nice pub with comfy seats, a little garden and a kitchen serving very good burgers. Late Knights’ brews are brilliant, and buying them from their makers means they’re great value – try the straight-from-the-cask Morning Glory best bitter at £3.40 a pint. Other breweries’ products are available too – we had a hawkish American Pale Ale at £4.50 a pint, all the way from the Deep South (Peckham Rye).
So will this earth-shattering approach to serving beer change London pub culture for ever? Probably not, but we like it. And if every brewery in the city had its own dispensary like this there would never be an excuse to drink bad beer again.
by Euan Ferguson