Words and photos by Tom Dowson.
At just over one year young and with a Timeout “Best London Pub 2013” nomination already under its belt, the Crown & Anchor pub on Brixton Road has established itself as well-stocked gem of a boozer with locals.
Over a cheeky half (or two) manager Bajram Luta shared a few of the reasons behind the Crown & Anchor’s success. “Being a freehold pub and not tied to a brewery we’re completely free to choose the products that we want to stock. This is great news for our customers – we’re able to offer real choice without a premium price.”
“We specialise in real ales, ciders and craft beers, many of which are local, but we’re also expanding our wine list to suit the taste of our customers.” As I digested Bajram’s passionate and logical reasoning I ingested one of their homemade scotch eggs. “Good huh?” I sheepishly nod at his rhetorical question, embarrassed at the speed with which this scotch egg of beauty met its demise, “bar a few staples, we change the menu on a weekly basis to reflect what’s in season – we also offer suggested beers and ciders to accompany each dish. If you’re not a fan of the suggestion then the staff will help you out – they’ve tried them all.”
All? I checked, they have 20 beer and cider taps on this particular day (up to 25 at its peak), 35 bottled beers (predominantly Belgian trappist beers), 12 wines, the usual spirit suspects and a comprehensive food menu comprising of sharing plates, mains, specials and desserts.
Bajram reassures me, “Yeah, the staff have tried them all. We can’t offer suggestions and serve food and drink that we’ve never tasted – we owe it to our customers to be in the know.” Even if my gob wasn’t full of sauerkraut and sausage from the
German Sausage Platter, I couldn’t argue with that.
The Crown & Anchor is a stylish and fuss-free venue that’s perfect for a post-work pint, date night or Sunday lunch with the oldies/kids. What’s more, they have a midnight licence on weeknights and a 1am licence on a Friday and Saturday.