Friday November 4th was Black Friday – at least according to the craft beer bar The Euston Tap. They were playing black songs: Black Hole Sun, Back to Black, Back in Black, Paint it Black… The blackboard was full of black beers: Hardknott Code Black, Kernel Double Black, Matuska Black Rocket… That’s a blacklist to celebrate.
What could be the cause for celebration? Goth Night? Impending meltdown of the Euro? No! it was in fact, the eve Euston
Tap’s first birthday. Crikey, a year already! Or perhaps: How can it be only
a year? It seems like so much has happened.
“Can I have that poured with the sparkler?”
A year ago, in my post on the opening of the Euston Tap, I said I wanted it to be more than a beer geeks’ bar:
“I’m hoping The Euston Tap has the clout and capacity to light the blue touchpaper [for the craft beer movement in London]. It does look like the great use of a landmark building, but is it the landmark for craft beer in the UK I’m hoping for? “
In the twelve months since then, as well as putting on beer fan events such as the BrewDog
IPA is Dead launch, it has shown itself to be a pub with its aim on a wider audience. Its situation right next to Euston
station means it is ideal for a drop-in; a great waiting room, whether you’re Neil Morrissey
, or a group of Arsenal fans bored on a Saturday afternoon when snow postpones the match.
Of course, its offering is led by the great range of exciting beers of all styles from all over the craft beer world, on cask, in keg, and in bottle. But there’s no disdain in pouring a glass of Sauvignon Blanc
, or serving three office lads Jack and Coke (although Johnnie Walker Black Label would have been apt tonight). And if anyone is looking for their usual national brand, knowledgeable staff point them towards suitable alternatives. And I don’t mean another bar.
For me, the success is measured in how well it draws in a wider drinking audience. As Adrian Tierney-Jones puts it in his excellent new book Great British Pubs
, “[At the Euston
Tap] beer continues to find new and exciting ways to engage with the drinking public.” Tonight, that part of the public is exposed to almost an entire bar of beer drinkers with glasses of deeply black beer that isn’t Guinness – and some of which is lager. Maybe some will be curious.
Many Happy Returns!
Euston Tap website
Euston Taps beer list” for 5/5/11
Buy Great British Pubs by Adrian Tierney-Jones