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


Crown and Anchor SW9

’s Best Beer, and Bars updates
Southwest London:

Crown and Anchor,

, specialist ()
246 Brixton Road SW9 6AQ
w tw crownanchorsw9
Open 1630 (1200 Sat-Sun)-2400 (0100 Fri-Sat, 2300 Sun). Children welcome until early evening.
Cask beer 7 (Unusual, often local guests), Other beer 13 keg, 50 bottles, Also 3 real ciders/perries, some specialist spirits.
Food Gastroish daily changing menu, Outdoor Benches on street, Wifi.

Turning decaying pubs with a fearsome local reputation into decent and successful drinking (and eating) houses through the medium of craft beer has become something of a trend in the London licensed trade. One of the early pioneers was the Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington (p158) and now that pub’s owner Martin Harley is working his magic south of the river. When originally researching my guide I struggled to find recommendations in Brixton, so Martin’s reworking of the Crown and Anchor is particularly welcome. Admittedly it’s a little outside the town centre, among a rather ragged parade of shops, but it’s still a welcome addition to this diverse community.

It’s a big Victorian boozer with some heritage, claiming amongst other things to be the home of London’s first rock’n’roll club, but its original interior has long since been effaced and knocked through. The new owners have wisely stripped it back to big plain glass windows, bare brick and pillars offset by arty light fittings, but the old bar counter has been preserved and restored and there are a couple of unusual arches at the back. The pub adjoins Slade Gardens, a little known but rather pretty park, opening up opportunities for al fresco drinking.

Seven changing cask handpumps line up by style and strength from light to dark and strong, with local suppliers like Ascot, By the Horns, Redemption and Windsor & Eton joining craft beer favourites Dark Star and Thornbridge. BrewDog and Camden Town get two keg taps each, and Huyghe’s politically incorrect strong ale Delirium Tremens is a regular feature, joined by Brooklyn, Paulaner, Schremser and changing guests. Regular British mass market brands are conspicuously absent. The bottled list combines Londoners like Brodie’s, Camden Town, Kernel and Meantime with US and Belgian classics – don’t expect serious rarities but there may be a few surprises. The food menu is shortish, imaginative and changes daily – beer battered monkfish, broad bean and goat cheese risotto and German sausage platters are typical choices.

Underground Stockwell, Brixton Bus Groveway (numerous Brixton, Oval) Cycling Link to CS7

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