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The Hopsmiths (CLOSED)

Bars and pubs, Pubs Finsbury Park
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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A great new pub in Crouch Hill from the Late Knights Brewery in Penge.

Please note, The Hopsmiths is now closed. Time Out Eating & Drinking editors, August 2016.

Late Knights Brewery makes excellent beers and runs excellent pubs. Now there’s one in Crouch Hill, and most welcome it is. What neighbourhood could resist a beer haven that has 20 taps, each disgorging a well-chosen brew?

This is the second of 2015’s enticing additions to Crouch Hill, an area that can seem to be little more than a well-serviced four-way junction. It has good charity shops, endless local restaurants and a few better-than-decent pubs. But Max’s Sandwich Shop and now The Hopsmiths are pulling in visitors from further afield.

The Hopsmiths liquid offer is packed with kegged gems from the likes of Partizan, Beavertown, Weird Beard and – of course – Late Knights. The casks are own-brand, with taps 19 and 20 dedicated to ciders. Order halves if you want to get through the saisons, red ales, porters and wheat beers without forgetting which you liked best.

The kitchen buys locally (meat from ‘Tony the butcher’ and greens from ‘that veg shop on the corner’) and turns them into exactly the sort of food you’re dying to eat after two pints of stronger-than-you-realised beer. There are Sunday roasts, burgers and fajita plates that you could share but probably won’t. Snacks include pig’s head croquettes and fried sprouts. 

Given the impressive selection of consumables it’s a shame this bar isn’t more comfortable to settle into. Plastic chairs, basic tables and zero soft furnishings make your session feel a little like a piss-up in a Scout hall. But the bar staff are as friendly and helpful as the most eager woggle-wearer. And, as often happens when the customers are truly there for the beer, the warm atmosphere gives this bare-bones drinking den real character. Gather some company and plan on a late night. Remember, this is a game of 20 halves. 


Address: 29 Crouch Hill
N4 4AP
Transport: Crouch Hill Overground
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