Monday, October 10, 2011

Top 25: The Euston Tap

Our first of 25 visits to the top London pubs was not too far afield. We went to the Euston Tap, conveniently located right outside Euston station. The tiny building that hosts it is a lodge once part of the Euston Arch demolished in the 60s. The bar area is simple and polished, there is seating outside and on the first floor, which can be reached by climbing some spiral stairs and is a bit claustrophobic. It looks like they did what they could with the space they had, but the Euston Tap is certainly better for a quick beer while waiting for the train rather than for a more relaxed pub evening; unless you're seating outside, that is.
The selection of beers and ales definitely makes up for these few inconveniences. They have 150 bottled beers, 20 kegged ales and 8 rotating live ales. Yum. I've been at this pub a few times this summer and always was lucky enough to have a really good time sat in the garden area. This time we were upstairs, which was less pleasant, but I nonetheless recommend this little gem, especially if you happen to have an hour to spare before catching your train. Hopefully my fellow pub explorers will say whether they agree in the comments.

But now to the beers that we tried. Unlike most of our beer tasting sessions, the marks and comments are personal to the person that had the beer. I gathered here as many comments as I could get, plus I include some tweets that were sent during the evening.

Thornbridge - Brother Rabbit. Light gold colour, with a floral smell. It's grassy and hoppy at first taste, more bitter at the swallow with hoppy aftertaste. Easy to drink, refreshing, but not outstanding 3/5

Brewdog - 5am Saint. Dark amber colour. Distinct flowery smell. Bitter, hoppy at first taste, but richer, earthy with notes of caramel and elderflower at the swallow. Pleasant and filling 4/5 (Kegged)

Birstol Stout. Opaque brown with creamy head, sweet malty aroma, mellow first taste, peaty & smoky bitterness on swallow 3/5 (from tweet)

Brewdog - Punk IPA. Light gold, slightly cloudy, delicate fresh elderflower nose, deliciously bittersweet with fennel in satisfying swallow 4/5 (kegged) (We tried this before, also with excellent marks) (from tweet)

Thornbridge - Raven Dark IPA. Very dark amber, cloudy. Not strong smell, slightly soapy. Foamy head. Hoppy, quite bitter and rich at first taste. Smokey and better balanced at swallow. Rich experience, but a bit hard to finish! 2/5 (from tweet)
Also reviewed later by GB, see below.

Dark Star - Sun Burst. Golden colour, light smell. Hoppy, but with hints of honey at first taste. More bitter at swallow, with honey aftertaste. Simple, refreshing. 3/5 (from tweet)

Hewitts - Unhung hero. Pale gold, gently fruity but somewhat uninspiring nose; sweet & sour lingering aftertaste. Middling beer: "it'll do". But also: bad smell, soggy, like a wet dog. Spicy at first taste. 2/5 (from tweet)

Kernel and Thornbridge - Burton Ale. Red-orangy colour. Light, yeasty smell. Bitter-sweet at first taste. Quite sour at swallow. Not too enjoyable to my taste. 2/5 (from tweet)

An finally, reviewed but without marking...

Thornbridge - Raven. Dark red-brown ale with hop and lime in the odour, light and sweet first taste, sour and sappy with pithy grapefruit finish. (from tweet)

Dark Star - Partridge. Classic bitter-colored, aroma of ash and bracken; soapy but wheaty on swill; bitter, slightly off malty swallow. (from tweet)

Bristol - Vintage 1000th brew. Beautiful dull russet, almost odorless, hint of berry; weirdly sour first taste, syrupy liquorice & bitter caramel. (from tweet)

We now look forward to our next top 25 pub visit! Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. I pretty much concur with Raffaele's assessment, except that I would be a bit less forgiving in my description of the Euston Tap. The beer quality was fine, and it has an excellent selection (almost as good, in fact, as the Bree Louise just around the corner!), but the venue was actually pretty disapointing. The upstairs room was uncomfortable (close, warm, terrible acoustics, too many tables crowded into the space), and I'm sure the toilets are not disabled accessible. The food menu was risible (although to be fair they basically order in takeaway pizza from a nearby supplier), and the bar staff not particularly helpful or knowledgeable about anything. (I asked a question based on dietary requirement, and the server first gave the wrong answer, then admitted he didn't know, then claimed to be unable to do anything to find out, all the while showing obvious impatience at being asked a question at all.) They obviously do a roaring trade from the nearby station, and feel no need to make an effort at customer service.

    Honestly, despite the good beer selection, I shan't be going back any time soon.