Thursday, 11 August 2011
Craft Beer Co, Clerkenwell
In groups of four they arrive, all sweaty anticipation: paunchy geeks with ratty grey ponytails, who look like they spend daylight hours in darkened rooms playing Dragon Age 2 and listening to prog rock. Latter day pilgrims, they’ve come to worship at a new temple of Dionysus, Clerkenwell’s Craft Beer Co. ‘Look, Dora! They’ve got Magic Rock Dark Arts’ gasps a Hobbit to his Hogwarthian Miriam Margoyles-ish missus, herself a practitioner of the dark arts, I’d wager. Dora coos fondly over countless spouts spewing Cotleigh Seahawk, Redemption Hotspur and other ales I’ll presently come to know. Bottles of Cigar City Humidor, Blithering Idiot, Smuttynose Porter and Gorbals Affyerheid (or did I hallucinate that?) are pressed on me by simpatico staff out to make converts to their beery cause. I'm given Clerkenwell Lager , 'brewed for us by a sort of wandering Danish gypsy.' And a definite cut above Carlsberg too, I say. ‘Try this beauty’ urges a Merlin look-alike proffering me a sample phial of Dresden stout. ‘It tastes like smoky bacon.’ And it does; the 85p saved on a packet of crisps, I’ll put towards a pork and black pudding ‘hand raised’ pie. The range of craft ales, allegedly the biggest in Britain, is astonishing. So too, a selection of premium bourbon and Scotland's finest. I canter on dutifully, beer-blinkered to those appealing distractions. Who knew ale could be so expensive? At £25, does Horny Devil throw in a free lap-dance? Seriously though, I'd urge you to make strides for this fantastic reconfigured corner boozer... and be sure to wear an elasticated waistband if the amber stuff floats your bloat.
82 Leather Lane EC1 7430 1123 http://www.facebook.com/thecraftbeerco