Opened in November 2010, the Euston Tap has managed to establish itself as the smart choice for any hop-headed beer enthusiast with a comprehensive assortment of craft beers without any of the snobbish pretention.
Ambience and Décor
Inhabiting a stately and impressive 19th century stone lodge slap bang in front of Euston train station, the Euston Tap instantly arrests your attention with an air of quiet grandeur from the outside. On entrance though, it’s simple and cozy with a small square bar overlooked by a plethora of quirky pump clips. At either side of are fridges with bottles priced from as low as £4 all the way up to £40+ and above these are two large chalkboards that tell you what the day’s casks and kegs contain. The walls are adorned with old blueprints of the station and poster of a beer “tasting wheel”. It’s really a no frills beer experience. No games, no annoying fruit machines and no stag parties asking for 25 pints of Fosters.
The homely upstairs area has much the same story. Just tables, chairs and toilets. What more do you need?
Clientele and atmosphere
During the week, you’ll typically find swathes of middle-aged men propping up either side of the bar. The intimate dimensions downstairs means you might easily find yourself naturally slipping into conversation with a total stranger across the bar. The lack of any external distractions and focus on the drinks means friendly conversation is encouraged and it’s a great spot for a midweek pint if you enjoy a funny story from a curmudgeonous but well meaning old ear bender. If that’s not your scene however, just slink away upstairs for a quiet one!
Later in the week it’s a slightly different story. Post work drinks on Thursdays and Fridays see the place brimming with commuters and hipsters who come for the excellent beer and who you often see spilling out onto across Euston grove. There’s a heated terrace and seating outside for those chilled summer nights although you might find the constant buses and frantic pace of passers a slight annoyance.
Drinks and Food
This is where the Euston Tap really shines. With eight rotating cask ales and a staggering 20 kegged beers, there’s no excuse for drinking the same old fizzy pond water you might find at your local Weatherspoons. Whether you like them mild and malty or packed with hops there’s a beer to suit everyone’s taste – and wallet for that matter. Pricesvary from under £3 for a pint of cask (Always at least one at this price), to £4.50 for a half. And the best part is the entensive menu - which is never the same day to day as some casks running out in a few hours. In the summertime you might find slightly more emphasis on pilsners and continental lagers and floral IPA – in the winter expect thick porters, chocolaty stouts and malty ambers to warm your cockles. Thornbridge, Magic Rock, Dark Star, Kernal, Camden, Bernard, Buxton, De Molen, Mikkeller, Brewfist, Brewdog and dozens more breweries make their way onto those chalk boards so there’s always something new to try and the barman are usually happy to let you try before you buy provided you don’t take the mick. And if you’ve exhausted the Casks and the Kegs then look to the fridges, which are packed with 100 different bottles varying from the easily affordable to the insanely expensive.
To eat, there is a selection of New York style Pizzas freshly made and delivered to your table or a variety of nuts, crisps and other salty snacks. Pizzas are around the £10 mark and never disappointing if you are peckish. There’s not a great deal of choice to work with but what can you expect? This place is about beer. Pure and simple. And to be fair – after four pints of Magic Rock’s cannonball you’ll probably be eating the beer mats anyway.
A healthy mixture of old and new. It generally depends on what the barman are in the mood for so you might be aurally assaulted with Tulisa’s latest offering or have your heart soothed with some classic soul to while away those winter evenings.
An intensely pubbish, chatty boozer with some of the finest pints you’ll find in London. You might find the intimate atmosphere a bit overbearing at times but if there’s a group of you it’s easy enough to escape outside for some al fresco drinking. A mix of traditional pub values with modern “craft on draught” has got to be a winning combination.