We posted about our favourite local beer pubs a few months ago, but things change fast in this part of town, and now there’s a new kid on the block. And not just any new kid: we’ve been joined by Craft Beer Co, whose bars deliver a jaw-dropping selection of beers on both keg and cask.
The new Covent Garden site is the company’s sixth – others are in Brixton, Clapham, Clerkenwell and Islington, with one more out in Brighton – and wisely doesn’t mess with a winning formula. Its long bar boasts 30 keg and 15 cask taps, and staff are quick with recommendations and samples. Those cask taps say it all; despite the name, this isn’t a place that’s entirely devoted to new-school, US-influenced brews. It’s about beer in all its glorious variety, and CAMRA card-carrying ale purists will find plenty to enjoy too.
Add in a big range of bottles and a spirits and everyone’s happy – with the possible exception of wine drinkers. Opening hours are generous too, with the doors open until midnight Sunday through Wednesday and until 1am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
It’s not what you’d call cosy, though there’s plenty of space across two floors, with a small on-street outdoor area too. You may still have to battle for a table, as the West End location attracts passing tourists and casual drinkers as well as beer pilgrims; inevitably, it’s a less exclusively hipster-y crowd than you find at, say, Brixton or Islington. If you find serious beer nerds a bit of a bore, that could prove to be a good thing.
With all that beer to choose from you’ll need some food, and it comes courtesy of Forty Burgers, with a short-but-sweet menu that ranges from no-frills to all-out taste assault (‘Heat’ features both blue cheese and hot sauce; ‘Elvis’ features peanut butter and fried banana). There’s also a veggie alternative with halloumi and mushrooms. They pimp their fantastic skin-on chips too – try them topped with bacon dust or parmesan and truffle oil.
Address: 168 High Holborn, WC1V 7AA
Walking time: 9 minutes
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