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Craft Beer Co Old Street, EC1

1 Vince Street
Phone: 02073360275

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about Craft Beer Co Old Street

As my review below from 2009 shows I was less than enamoured with the old Nelson Retreat pub, and it wasn’t just because of the Arse shirts on the wall. But this is a much better pub now under the direction of the Craft Beer Co. and in keeping with the continued improvement of the Old Street area.
Well described by previous reviewers the Ale pumps, which do resemble a line of Humphrey Milk straws (one for the teenagers there ) , included three from Thornbridge including Lord Marples and Wild Holly as well as the current Champion beer Siren’s Broken Dream Stout. A good beer enjoyed in a now good pub.

Previous Review: 23rd October 2009
An unremarkable single bar pub convenient for Old Street station. Another example of a pub where the number of flat screen teles available outnumber the number of real ale handpumps.
For the record these were London Pride and Deuchars IPA on the evening of my visit and the pride was far from inspirational.
Couple of framed Ars***l shirts on the wall show where the landlords tasts lie, but even without this I could see no reason to return.
Even if you want a quick pint close to the station there are better options on the south side.

On 21st December 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about Craft Beer Co Old Street

The manager of their Covent Garden outlet mentioned this new venture, so I decided to give a try. Their outlet just on the edge of Covent Garden, still holds the record for their choice of 15 cask and 30 keg. But nevertheless, this new Old Street branch had a choice of 8 cask and 25 keg. We called in here quite late on a Thursday night, so the place had quietened down a tad, so getting a seat and service at the bar was easy. We went for the house beer, which was a decent pale ale brewed by Kent Brewery. Nothing really to add descriptively apart from the unmissable red and white handpumps lined up along the front counter. The upper interior walls were painted blue and the lower sections were finished in plywood panels. I would call in again if in the area, as there is a comprehensive choice of beers.

On 9th January 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Craft Beer Co Old Street

All change from its former incarnation as the uninspiring Nelson's retreat: now painted in a penetrating red and completely stripped out and remodelled inside. Limited amount of seating, and any decor is pretty much academic since the eyes are inevitably drawn to the bar counter with an impressive run of 25 keg taps offering craft beers in a very diverse range of styles. Of course, real ale is available too, with five of eight handpumps in operation during this pre-Christmas visit (so I guess it's usually more), and I opted for the BBF Milk Stout. Outside, there is a small 'L'-shaped paved 'garden' at one end. Overall, much better.

On 29th December 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6199 recommendations about 6199 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Craft Beer Co

The latest venture from this popular craft beer chain, this is well positioned to capture punters in the trendy Old Street/Shoreditch area. As others have mentioned, the pub is very easy to spot on approach thanks to a horribly misguided bright red exterior which makes it look like a football pub painted in the local team's colours. Inside, it's a remarkably simple layout, with a shallow, but very wide room centred around a long servery on the back wall. The room is bare boarded whilst the servery itself is pretty much entirely nondescript, with the exception perhaps, of the huge keg dispense line that characterises these pubs. High tables and padded stools line the front wall under some fairly large windows, whilst standard tables and chairs can be found at either end of the room, including a few in small recesses at either end which offer a modicum of privacy. The walls have been painted in a quite pleasant dual-colour scheme which goes some way to making up for the atrocity outside and there is a nice patterned ceiling too, but the room is notable for it's total lack of decorative features - no pictures or paintings on the walls, no decorative furniture, no TV screens, nothing. There is a door in the rear left corner which leads out to a small smoking patio which I shall refrain from calling a garden. It has a few seats, but it really is a pretty unpleasant spot and despite having the only free seats in the entire pub, I opted to stand at the bar rather than sit out there.
The keg line supports a selection of 25 craft beers and ciders from UK micros and small batch overseas producers. There was also a decent cask range comprising their own Craft Pale and Bitter, Dark Star Revelation, Pig & Porter Strong Pale, Redemption Hopspur, Bristol Beer Factory Milk Stout, First Chop Pod and Siren Broken Dream. A surly barman poured me a very average pint of the Revelation which was well below the standard I've come to expect from this chain.
I have to say that I feel this chain has lost its way recently and that this is another disappointing opening following on from their underwhelming Limehouse branch. Whilst it's still a good place to find a wide selection of obscure cask and keg beers, it seems that issues with quality are now starting to rear their head. That, combined with the bland, uninspired interior, marks this place out as the chain's worst effort yet and I was surprised to find I enjoyed the nearby Draft House branch much more.

On 26th November 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about Craft Beer Co

The former Nelson's Retreat has been completely remodelled by Craft Beer Co. and it now has the look and feel of a modern real ale and craft keg bar.There is a wooden floor throughout,open plan apart from two small alcoves at either end,with a series of round tables and chairs in front of new metal framed windows.The only decoration is a series of Bass mirrors and the absence of soft furnishings means that sound bounces around the interior with the muzak adding to the cacophony at busy times.
There are 25 craft keg taps on a very long serving gantry and to the side 8 handpumps offering on my trip house Kent Brewery Pale and Bitter,Siren Craft Hit the Ice,Redemption Pale,Trades Union Pale,Revolutions Chocolate Milk Stout,Ansbach & Hobday ESB and Pig & Porter Fatal Flaw (jerked out of the end of barrel by an inexperienced barman ).
It's functional without being memorable,I just popped in for a quick one and would be tempted to return mainly to see what was on the 8 handpumps.Close to Old Street tube.

On 25th November 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2088 recommendations about 2088 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about Craft Beer Co

As mentioned hard a to miss pub given its Strawberry Red exterior, also I found the interior a little bland and uninteresting. However there were eight cask beers available on handpump, I had a rather decent pint of Pig and Porter Fatal Flaw, for those keg minded and cash to burn there is a choice of twenty five Craft taps. An ok place to grab a good beer but not the nicest of surroundings.

On 19th November 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1354 recommendations about 1340 pubs]

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john gray left this review about Craft Beer Co

Ugly red outside and dull featureless interior like some 60,s estate pub Outside space at the side but uncovered.Loads of beers.Dull

On 21st October 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about Craft Beer Co

The garish bright red exterior makes this a very easy pub to find, thankfully for me as I was slightly disoriented on leaving Old St underground which sits under the middle of a huge roundabout with numerous subway exits. The pub is calmer inside with pastel blue walls and with various brewery mirrors on show. It is all very new and smells like a new car, in fact workmen were in still fitting out the ladies toilet. High tables with unblemished brightly coloured stools in the front windows, more regular seating at each end of the rectangular room.
The tables all had small clipboards containing the drinks menu for the day, the bar has a long piece of red tubular piping containing I reckoned 25 keg taps which includes a few ciders, on cask there were eight, Craft Pale and also Bitter, Gun Brewery S.M.A.S.H., Bristol Beer Factory 12 Apostles (£4.50), Redemption Fellowship, Pig and Porter Secrets We Share, Siren Liquid Mistress and First Chop Hop.
I note that this establishment has a bit of a chequered past, it has taken a completely new direction now so that has to be good. I enjoyed my early lunchtime drink in here but had to move on thanks to an unbearably loud group of four hipster types a few tables along who felt the need to conduct their business at full volume accompanied by false pretentious laughter. Not the fault of the pub obviously.

On 30th September 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about Craft Beer Co

You can't miss the bright red exterior but inside it has quite a plain retro feel with brewery mirrors on the walls. 8 real ales,21 keg and 3 cider taps on during my visit.

On 22nd September 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2736 recommendations about 2679 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about Canvas Bar

Once The George IV and rebuilt post-World War II in a prominent location and known as Nelson's Retreat until 2014 when the name changed to Canvas Bar; some roundels to the front indicate that this was once a Watney Combe Reid pub. This was a bit of a dodgy boozer and I was wary of it whenever I walked past. It didn't look great the other night, but as it was a long walk to our next stop and we needed a pee, we popped in for a swift half. It was almost deserted early evening and what few people were in attendance didn't appeal. There's bare brick throughout and the floor is covered with patterned tiles. There are leatherette sofas and pouffes and seemingly no tables, just a few semi-circular rests to the windows, covered with Perspex which was partially shattered. Lighting is coloured, typically red or blue and music is muted. Given the number of shakers, the place seems to revolve around cocktails, though I didn't see any being ordered, probably due to the fact that it was almost empty. The pub had a token beer, Poretti lager at an insulting £3.00 a half.
At best, this isn't my sort of thing and it's not at it's best so there's no chance I'll return.

On 26th May 2016 - rating: 2
[User has posted 998 recommendations about 983 pubs]

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