They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Assembly House NW5

The Assembly House, . Pic: Wikimedia Commons.

’s Best Beer, and Bars updates
North London: Kentish Town and Tufnell Park

() Regional
292 Kentish Town Road NW5 2TG
T 020 7485 2031 w f AssemblyHouseKentishTown tw assemblyhouse2
Open 1200-2300 (2400 Fri-Sat, 2230 Sun). Children welcome until early evening.
Cask beer 5 (Greene King, up to 4 sometimes unusual guests) Cask Marque, Other beer 2 keg, 2 bottles, Also 1 real cider, some single malts, cocktails.
Food Extensive enhanced pub grub menu, Outdoor 1 table on street, Wifi. Disabled toilet.
Sun jazz, Barcraft, occasional big screen sport, functions.

New national brewery Greene King must have noticed it faces something of a credibility gap with younger and more adventurous drinkers, and is attempting to deal with it in corners of its pub estate by soft pedalling on its core brands. For example the brewer has been careful to retain the separate identities and guest beer policies of the Capital and Realpubs chains since it took them over. The Assembly House is a pub in GK’s mainstream estate, but since reopening after a lavish refurbishment in June 2011, it’s been curiously coy about displaying the branding on site or online, and seems to have phased out the beers other than a sole handpump dedicated to Greene King IPA.

The other pumps are occupied by beers from established independents like Brain’s and Everards and more unusual visitors like Celt Experience or Mordue from distributors including Beer Rocks, with up to 20 different beers served each month. GK’s own “craft” lager is on keg alongside Staropramen and Blue Moon, and Budvar and Leffe are in the fridge. They’re served up by youthful, enthusiastic and relatively knowledgeable staff under the direction of manager John, who confirms he enjoys one of the least restrictive ordering policies of all GK managed pubs.

This is good news as there have long been other reasons to visit this bulky old landmark pub, not least its proximity to Kentish Town Tube and the Forum music venue. Built in 1898 in Flemish Renaissance style with an imposing corner tourelle commanding the view of Kentish Town Road, it was palatial in its day, and still retains a number of heritage features, most impressively a whole wall full of sumptuous engraved mirrored panels illuminated by a huge skylight in the back bar, a former billiard room. There’s also an original bar back and textured ceiling, set off well by the recent refurb which adds reclaimed furniture and a front bar with a more contemporary feel. The lengthy menu has a few individual touches – parmesan crumbled chicken, tempting salads – along with the usual GK beef and Abbot Ale pie-style fare.

Insider tip. Don’t be surprised to encounter one of the intermittent Barcraft nights, when fans cheer and cry over fantasy video gaming tournaments – a sort of big screen sport for computer geeks. Check the website for more details.

National Rail Underground Kentish Town Cycling Links to LCN+ 6 6A

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