Tim Hampson's Beer Blog

The quest for the perfect beer

Euston taps into beer culture

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Pubs bring old buildings back to life and the Tap is now a temple to the diversity of beer culture. It opened in 2010 and has given vibrancy and vitality to a disused railway parcels office which stands as one of two gate houses at the entrance to the bleakly depressing 1960s façade that is now Euston station.Built in 1837 the Grade II listed building is the last vestige of the once imposing Doric arch entrance to the original station. The archway was built as a grandiose portal to the brave new world of travel which the railways bought.

A bar which taps into the new age of beer culture

But the Portland stone structure was demolished in 1961, with the rubble being dropped into the River Lea in East London to fill a hole in the Prescott Channel. Today the Euston Tap is an entrance for people to craft beers from across the world. Two large imposing doors lead to the small downstairs bar, which is dominated by a large American style back bar and its array of beer taps. Either side stand two tall fridges filled with bottled beers. To one side a spiral staircase leads up to a somewhat austere upstairs bar, but you are there to drink beer and not the decoration. But it is downstairs where the action is – it might be small but it has a big atmosphere, and soon the owners plan to knock out the two false exterior walls which were used to fill the space where once large impressive windows were and install replacements. Then even more light will be thrown upon the craft beer revolution.

On one wall hangs a copy of the Meilgaard beer flavour wheel, which helps drinkers identify the different tastes and smells a beer can have. And what a choice of flavoursome beers there are – eight cask and 19 kegs – with a range of beers from the UK, America, Belgium Germany and even further afield and if this is not enough there are more than 100 different bottled beers. Altbiers, kolsh, kellerbier, fruit beer, pumpkin beers, Black American IPAs and pumpkin beers there has to be something which suits everyone.The beers are presided over by staff who passionate and articulate about exotic, delicious and highly drinkable beers. They have the arduous task of looking after the Tap’s cellar, which is entranced via a manhole cover and housed underground in a former rifle range. The space is so small and narrow that much of the equipment had to be taken apart so it could be got in and then reassembled. But it is the rare and unusual beers which are in most people’s sights, including several from the innovative Thornbridge brewery in Derbyshire, from America the impressive hop happy Odell’s IPA and several Czech masterpieces including an unfiltered Bernhard lager and something from the tyro Matusska brewery.

Regulars might remember that the winner of this year’s Master chef Tim Anderson once stood as a Colossus behind the bar.

Coffee is now available for those who prefer a different kind of brew and there is a small beer garden.

Euston Tap, Euston Station, West Lodge, 190 Euston Road NW1.

Written by timhampson

August 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Posted in craft brewing

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