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

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Catford Bridge Tavern SE6*

The Bridge Tavern, SE6

London’s Best Beer, and Bars updates
Southeast London: Other locations – Catford

(Antic)
Station Approach, Catford Bridge SE6 4RE
T 020 3066 2060 w www.catfordbridgetavern.com tw catfordtavern
Open 1600 (1200 Sat-Sun)-2400 (0100 Fri-Sat). Children very welcome until early evening.
Cask beer 4-7 (Changing unusual including local guests), Other beer 4 keg (Kernel, 3 British/international guests), 10+ bottles, Also 3 cider/perries, specialist whiskies, 18 wines.
Food Short but imaginative gastroish menu, Outdoor Tables on street, Wifi. Disabled toilet.
Quiz, occasional beer festivals and beer events, bar billiards, retro arcade games, functions.

The ambition and confidence of pubo Antic in rescuing and refurbishing this landmark Brewers’ Tudor pub right next to Catford Bridge station surely match those of the original builders in creating such a sprawling pile in the first place. Formerly known as the Copperfield, the pub had acquired an unenviable reputation and was closed late in 2011 by the local police after issues with drug dealing, noise and violence. Antic reopened it in March 2012, following a spruce up that’s revealed a spacious and relaxing interior with ceiling beams, floorboards, a mix of reclaimed retro furniture and the pubco’s trademark collections – billiard cues, kitchen cabinets, tennis racquets and ties.

One of Antic’s particularly beer friendly venues, the pub serves up local cask beer from the likes of Dark Star, East London, Ha’penny, Kent and Redemption alongside choices from more far flung but well reputed and unusual names – Blindman’s, Devilfish, Grain, Ilkley, Magic Rock, Moor, Thornbridge and the like. Further choice is available on keg – with Cotswold lager and guest kegs that might come from Ilkley, Kernel, Meantime or Sierra Nevada – and from a bottle fridge stocked with beers from Anchor, BrewDog, Harviestoun (the rather special Ola Dubh), Magic Rock, Mikkeller and Williams Brothers. Look out too for the cooked bar snacks, charcuterie plates and main dishes that stretch to river trout with mussels, cider and samphire or Jerusalem artichoke and couscous salad.

Disturbingly, this successful restoration of a genuine community amenity is already under threat of closure. Antic leases the pub from Punch which in turn leases it from a property company that wants to convert it to a potentially more lucrative convenience store. Neither Antic nor Punch supports the application but unfortunately Antic’s tenancy agreement means it can be required to vacate at any time. Both the local community and the operator are campaigning to keep the pub – more information including how you can help at www.catfordbridgetavern.com/save-the-tavern.

Update. The pub did in fact close temporarily for a few weeks in November-December 2012 but has since reopened following protection as a local asset by Lewisham council.

Pub trivia. Despite the local fame of the giant cat sculpture that adorns the local shopping centre, the name Catford is derived from ‘cattle ford’, where cattle were driven across the river Ravensbourne. The pub stands at one end of the bridge which succeeded the ford and is handy not only for the two adjacent stations, originally built by competing railway companies, but for the much improved green space of Ladywell Fields through which the river runs northwards to the Thames.

National Rail Catford Bridge, Catford Cycling NCN 21, LCN+ 22 Walking Waterlink Way

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