Great food AND beer
Published 18 April 2019

Galvin Hop, London

Make the most of the bank holiday weekend with our picks of the best places for beer and great food

The Wigmore, Marylebone, London
Cask, keg, can and bottle get shown equal respect by the devotees working behind The Wigmore’s handsome bar. Whether it’s raw, unfiltered cask bitter from the Moor Beer Company, or a bottle of Kernel’s Table Beer, the range is broad and offbeat – what would Del Boy make of Peckham’s very own Gosnell’s Hopped Mead? Orbit Beers chips in its Nico Koln Lager and The Umbrella Brewing Co its alcoholic ginger beer to confirm there really is something for everyone here.

Brigadiers, City, London
Just as much attention has been given to what you drink as to what you eat at Brigadiers, and as there’s Indian food on the menu, and that may well be football on the telly, it’s off to the beer list we go. They have their very own Brigadiers Lager on tap (brewed by Kingfisher) and all draught beers are served in two-thirds of a pint glasses or four-pint growlers. IPAs get a good outing – Soundwave by Berkshire’s Siren Craft Brew, or Wild Brew Co’s Nebula with its soft tropical flavours. Bottles of Belgian beer and the Dutch-brewed Caramel Fudge Stout add to the fun.

Galvin Hop, Spitalfields, London
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to spot the copper tanks above the curvaceous pewter bar from which comes unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell Tank Beer, which is delivered weekly from the Czech Republic (or Czechia if you’re up with the times). Given the place carries the Galvin marque, this ‘pub deluxe’ is packed a good deal of the time.

The Dancing Man, Southampton
The lofty beamed brewery tap of Dancing Man Brewery is the place to go for a thorough workout through the company’s casks – warm up with Bone Dry session IPA (3.4% ABV), move onto a traditional pale ale (Jesus Hairdo, 4% ABV), step up a gear with Necessary Evil lager if you dare mix your drinks (4.5% ABV), and hit your peak with the creamy nitro milk stout, Bovine Intervention (4.5% ABV).

The Urchin, Brighton
The world is their oyster when it comes to craft beer at The Urchin. Things start close to home with the house-brewery Larrikin’s very own Larrikin Pale or Elder Wit (wheat beer flavoured with elderflower and lemon zest), which are among a host of brews produced in the pub’s basement. They’re joined by other locals such as Uckfield’s Abyss Brewing’s red ale, Fuego, and a raft of bottles from all over the world, including Belgium’s finest.

The Broad Chare, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
The good people at Wylam Brewery a couple of miles across the city brew the pub’s own Writer’s Block, a dry-hopped pale ale, which may or may not improve the mind’s creative processes. An ever-changing vanguard of cask ales might include the equally local Tyne Bank Brewery’s copper-coloured bitter, Monument (from just over a mile away, that one), or Yorkshire’s very own Black Sheep.

Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd
There’s community spirit in abundance at the Bunch of Grapes, where eight beers await at the pumps, plus two ciders, with a further five crafty numbers proffered via keg. It adds up to a broad church covering all the styles from Oakham Ales’ easy-going session IPA, Citra, to Siren Craft Brew’s award-winning hefty coffee porter, Broken Dreams.

The Drunken Duck Inn, Ambleside
Barngates Brewery was born in 1997 and from its premises next to the historic Lake District pub keeps the pumps flowing with its award-winning ales. If the pastoral setting suggests traditional values are rigidly stuck to, think again, for this brewery’s output is modern by design. How about their own Weiss beer, or Vienna Amber lager? They didn’t have those back in Wordsworth’s days. Brathay Gold is hoppy and bittersweet, and the Pale Beer, at just 3.3% ABV, is a true session beer.

If you prefer to enjoy your beer at home, pick up a copy of this week's Waitrose & Partners Weekend featuring all you need to know about beer and showcasing the best there is to offer from Waitrose & Partners.

Published 20 April 2019