Aby Jones is let off the lead for a booze cruise at Brewdog.
Most of us know Brewdog; we know that when you see that little black pooch on the side of a can, you’re going to get a damn good beer. But not everyone knows that you can drink a full range of their creations on Coldharbour Lane. I swung by on a Monday evening to see what’s pouring.
Brewdog was at the forefront of the craft beer scene, but now the dust has settled, it seems to have eased into its role as the provider of “Willy Wonka” beer creations, served simply. They whittle down the crazy craft beer scene to give customers a varied, quality selection. It’s not just their own stuff, they also have guest taps from other breweries, so you’re not just drinking the homebrew(dog).
The space and decor is made for beer drinking. It’s a little dark, a little American, a little modern, a little classic, a little man-cave. The whole vibe is set up for the after-work drink, a chilled Saturday afternoon, a pint on the way in or out of Brixton, but also feels like a place you could secure yourself a nice space for a solid session at the weekend, in an otherwise very busy Brixton.
Incredibly exciting to the seasoned crafties, but somewhat intimidating to the novice beer drinker (?), is the 22-strong tap selection and chalkboard descriptions that greet you when you hit the bar. How to decide between a Hazy Jane and a Nine to Five Wizard? Ask, they know what they are talking about. With such an incredible spread of beers, you can opt for a “flight” of tasters, which gives you four third-pint tasters. Once you’ve met your beer match, slink into a booth and have a scan of the menu.
Drinking beer necessitates lining your tum, and what better combo than beers and burgers? The menu is exactly what’s required; straight up salty goodness to soak up your liquor. Mondays means 2-4-1 on all vegan food at Brewdog. As a beer lover and vegetarian, it was nice to be catered for without having to choose a miserable mushroom in a bun. I went for the “beyond meat burger”, a plant-based burger that tastes like real meat. It definitely has that naughty “burgerness” that we veggies miss so much. The vegan mayo is as good as the normal stuff, perfect for dunking your sweet potato fries.
I had just enough room for some classic mac ’n’ cheese and spicy buffalo cauliflower pieces. My meaty man friend tucked into a chicken burger (Cluck Norris!) with a kick, which got some positive grunts and a very messy beard. (Napkins will be required).
I don’t want to bark on about the beers (yes, pun intended) but, for those interested, highlights for me were: Elvis Juice (grapefruit IPA), Lost Lager (hoppy lager) and Beatnick sticky toffee pudding (a stout). If you’re having food and you don’t know what to pick, they do a beer-food matching on the menu which can give some pointers. They make drinking different beers, easy. The whole thing feels a little “constructed” but has good beer and straight-up food at its core.
The space is purposefully a bit of a beer cave, heavy green furniture, dark wood and illuminated signs, but ultimately finds a nice balance between spectacular beers and a straight-up Brixton bar environment. It’s not too cosy, it’s not crazy trendy, the exterior is a trifle soulless, it’s just very Brewdog.
If you are a hop fanatic then this place screams heaven in terms of the range, but for those who don’t know their hops from their elbows, it’s an excellent spot to begin tasting, or just to have an easy pint and a burger.
419 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LH | 020 3026 2500 | brewdog.com/bars/uk/brewdog-brixton | @brewdogbrixton