30 July 2023

Beer Guide London Visits 26 – The Elizabeth Line

By admin

After a month at work while the new system went live I was getting desperate to get out and about again. Fortunately the long Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend gave me ample opportunity to do just that. My first choice was to visit some bars by using the newly opened Elizabeth Line. I’d been using the Heathrow to Paddington stretch as a route in to London for some time but now the central section was open allowing travel to the East of the City. Unfortunately it still involved changing at Paddington, full through service was still some way away. I planned to cover the new line end to end and then work back, jumping off at stations which had a Guide entry nearby.

I’d heard good things about the new line and they weren’t wrong. The Elizabeth Line is a fantastic addition and a complete game changer for accessing the eastern side of London for me, so quick and easy.

We don’t have a Guide entry in the Abbey Wood area so it was back on the train for one stop to Woolwich and the first bar of the day, Salt Craft & Pizza (Woolwich). Formerly the home of Hopstuff Brewery it has now been taken over by Salt from Yorkshire who plan to use it as their London base. Unfortunately the staff were unable to confirm whether or not Salt beers had been brewed in London when I visited. Otherwise the place was unchanged, albeit easier to get to with the new station, and the pizzas still smelt amazing.

Frequency of trains on the new line means it is incredibly easy to spend the day nipping backwards and forwards and I only had brief wait before the next westbound train. Two stops later I was at Canary Wharf where a short stroll brings you to BrewDog Canary Wharf. Given it’s location I’m sure it gets very busy, or at least used to, but as I only ever visit at weekends and bank holidays it is always very quiet, but never empty. It’s an interesting building and one of their bars that I have a bit of a soft spot for. It’s BrewDog so you know what you are getting, but you are assured of finding something on the list that takes your fancy.

Another one stop hop got me to Whitechapel where a 5 minute walk along the Whitechapel Road brings you to the White Hart Brew Pub. This imposing corner pub was the original home of One Mile End before it moved to larger premises in Tottenham. At the time of this visit there was a good choice of One Mile End beers plus guests from other London breweries. Subsequently, however, the brewery has closed and the pub has been removed from the Guide due to decline in beer range.

The next couple of stops along the line, Liverpool Street and Farringdon, have a plethora of Guide entries between them but I had visited the majority of them relatively recently. Instead I opted to head on back to Paddington and explore from there as it was a while since I had been in the area.

First up, and fourth stop of the day, was the Royal Oak W1. This is a sister pub to the Prince in Stoke Newington although the beer range isn’t quite as good. It is, however, a decent selection for this part of London and a very pleasant corner pub in which to while away an hour or two.

It was time for the underground to take over now for the short journey to Warwick Avenue and a stroll to Real Drinks Maida Vale. At one time this was one of three branches of the Real Drinks group, but is now the sole survivor. The emphasis is slightly more on wine but there is still a decent choice of beers to be had and enjoyed in this leafy part of town.

It was a pleasant day and still relatively early so I opted to walk the back streets of this part of London to get to my 6th stop of the day, Union Tavern. This is a Fuller’s pub but not really branded as such, and the beer range is definitely more interesting. It likes to showcase other London breweries and also good beer from further afar. On my visit I caught the beers still available from a recent tap takeover by Full Circle Brew Co of Newcastle. The main bar is quite small but it has a canal side garden down the flight of stairs.

By now the beer munchies were kicking in so I made my way to the Wood Lane area of Shepherds Bush and the excellent Prairie Fire at the Wood Lane Arches. This is a BBQ place that accompanies it’s excellent food with an extensive and well chosen beer selection. Should you not wish to eat then you can just sit in the tap room arch and enjoy the beers.

I rounded off an excellent day by breaking my journey home in Twickenham and a quick(ish) visit to the ever excellent Brewery Market.