Another week, another new Brewdog bar opening in London – that’s how it sometimes seems. The Scottish brewery’s Dog Eat Dog hotdog bar opened in Islington a few weeks ago, and now this central spectacular in the heart of Soho joins its roster of branches in every corner of town.
No great surprises in the styling, which has the same prison-yard chainlink-and-concrete thing as the other bars. No surprises in the craft beer selection, either – it’s typically great. Twenty taps represent Brewdog (we enjoyed the limited-edition Hop Fiction at £2.80 a half) and there is a healthy influx of guests. San Diego’s Stone brewery had an Anniversary IPA at £4.70 a third, which might seem extravagant but was worth it, exploding with fragrant Pacific Northwest hops. There’s something for the hesitant lager fan as well as the dedicated explorer of craft beer’s outer reaches.
What was surprising at Brewdog Soho, however, was the food. We’re used to pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, things served in plastic trays with checked greaseproof paper. Here, it’s subtle, seasonal, light, vegetable-heavy: someone here can really cook. There was a jar of lightly pickled ‘market’ veg, a small plate of pearl barley and wild mushrooms, an avocado salad with micro herbs. Maybe not traditionally booze-friendly food, but it cements this new bar’s position as more than just another post-work beerathon.