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The Pembury Tavern, E8

90 Amhurst Road
E8 1JH
Phone: 02089868597

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

Tris C left this review about The Pembury Tavern

A first in here the other night into a rather strange looking building on the five points junction, which gives its name to the eponymous brewery.
The pub was here by at least the 1850s but was rebuilt in 1866 for Truman's. Due to a fire, it was closed for some time from the 1990s until 2006, reopened as a 16-pump beer heaven by Milton's, paradise lost for some as this is as of Autumn 2018 the tap for the Five Points brewery, with now just six pumps, possibly with one cider but otherwise Pale, Best and Railway Porter with two guests, one of which I couldn't make out. On arrival, I was greeted by a man taking a pee against the side wall, though judging by his demeanour and garb, I doubt he was a punter, thankfully.
The interior is quite a spacious U-shape with a modern boarded floor, part wooden panelled walls, otherwise green paint about as far up the walls to head height, white thereon up with either a white ceiling in the main bar area or mungy brown to the side wings which can be partitioned off with full height green curtains. Lighting comes from hanging opaque white lamps - which jostle with plenty of modern ceiling fans - or spherical opaque white sconce lights. There's very little décor save for a few framed Five Points flyers; decent music played at an acceptable level so as not to compete with the quiz which was probably the easiest I've witnessed. The modern bar array is finished with white glazed tiles to the back, then green to the bar front, all of which matches the overall colour scheme. Furniture is eclectic with old school chairs rubbing shoulders with brethren made from tubular steel and ply. The overall effect is a little like drinking in a prison canteen, not cosy but with a surprisingly good atmosphere from the 3/5ths full pub, patronised by mainly younger - but not young - drinkers and an old boy, possibly the owner of the aforementioned dog. The lavs are good and modern with two cubicles no less, though accessed down what appears to be a fire escape from an office block. The staff were friendly and efficient.
Ales: as above with my pint of Pale coming in at an incredibly agreeable £4.20 and good it was too. I also plumped for one guest ale, Pig & Porter's Purest Green at £2.40 a half, the pub having just come to the end of a green hop festival. This was a great drink, tasting almost as if it had spent a short spell in a whisky vat.
This is a very interesting pub and I'd come again if in the area and use it frequently if I lived locally but as I don't, I feel that this isn't really a destination venue so it's unlikely that I'll return.

On 20th October 2020 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1001 recommendations about 986 pubs]

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Graham Coombs left this review about The Pembury Tavern

Set in the vee of a road junction, this rather nice Victorian pub has been knocked though into one large room, extending into a side area, with polished wood flooring and a 1930's club sort of feel. The bar billiards table is a rare survivor for the area. Most ales from Five Points, who own the pub, but including guests from Siren, ELB and Redemption, and a selection of crafty stuff. A very civilised place for a good pint or two but beware it does not open Monday to Thursday lunchtimes.

On 4th December 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2271 recommendations about 2218 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Pembury Tavern

bought by Five Points Brewing

On 14th February 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2761 recommendations about 2703 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Pembury Tavern

An extremely large corner pub offering the full range of Milton beers, plus a couple of guests ales. The pub was quiet on our Tuesday lunchtime visit and we had just visited the Cock Tavern down the road, which was also very quiet. On this visit we found 5 Milton beers, 2 guest beers and 1 cider on handpump. We opted for the Colchester Metropolis, which was decent enough. The young barmaid was friendly and chatty.

On 2nd November 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The Pembury Tavern

Well worth visiting at any time for the impressive beer offering and 14 of the 16 pumps were in operation when we popped in for a late lunchtime visit.
A very impressive range of Milton Ales, including Citra, Pegasus, Sparta and Nero were complemented by four or five others from outside the Milton range and a good pint of Sparta was had.
As others have mentioned, this large odd shaped pub is one which really need the sounds and vibes of a decent crowd in to make it come alive, and on previous weekend evening visits it’s had this and the good feel that goes with it. But, as alluded to in Johns review below unfortunately with a just few late lunchers and an old boy and his dog to keep us company on this visit it more resembled a museum.

On 14th July 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Pembury Tavern

Has it really been this long? It has and finally I revisited the Pembury. It certainly seems a bit more homely and lived-in these days, some of the walls have been painted green and there’s still the well-maintained bar billiards table as well as a selection of board games. The usual large selection of Milton beers with - as usual - a lack of condition, mine was a pretty insipid half. It’s worth a visit but next time I think I’d head to the fridge instead.

June 2008
Can't really add much to RogerB's excellent review below, as I agree with most of what he's said. The ale/cider range is super (16 handpumps is it?), well served and the oversized glasses are always a bonus, plus there's a decent wine selection. And I'm always up for a game of bar billiards.

But as a pub? It just doesn't work for me. It's too cavernous and (dare I say it) clinical with no atmosphere and character a lot of the time. It feels like a big beer hall - which is fine when very busy but can be off-puttingly quiet and oppressive at other times. Worth seeking out for the ale (mainly Milton) and cider range, but I would struggle to want to stay beyond a couple. Perhaps as time passes the place will take on a more cosy air - I hope so. I will try it again a year or two down the line. Rated 7

On 7th January 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4042 recommendations about 4030 pubs]

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Aqualung . left this review about The Pembury Tavern

I haven't been to the Pembury Tavern since it's brief spell as a Banks and Taylor pub over twenty five years ago.

If someone had told me back in the day that in thirty years time over half of the pubs in this area will have closed down, then I would have straight away nominated this as one of the favourites to go. In those days it had a terrible reputation for drug dealing, violence and all sorts of trouble.

Now it survives as a GBG entry with decent looking food and interesting beers. On my Saturday afternoon visit it was quite busy with many who appeared to be off to a football match. Maybe they were heading to Tottenham via the nearby Hackney Downs Station.

The bar sports four banks of four handpumps, nearly all in use but at least one had a cider. As has been noted most of the beers are from the Milton brewery in Cambridge. I went for their Nero which at £3.20 was cheaper than other competing alehouses in the area. It turned out to be a black beer and was in excellent condition.
Happily There seemed to be no evidence at all of the usual global corporate abomination's keg dross.

Definitely worth a visit.

On 5th May 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Pembury Tavern

Nice but very spartan interior.The sort of pub when busy has a real good feel but when quiet feels like a museum.Doesn,t appear to be owned by Milton but tied to Milton beers which to me are a bit hit and miss.Very busy on quiz night and they have 3 or 4 beer fests every year.

On 1st February 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Pembury Tavern

Milton ales predominated during my visit on Saturday lunchtime. They all had an ancient theme – Nike; Dionysus; Tiki; Nero; Pegasus; Sparta; Minotaur; and Abeona all being available, plus a couple of ales from other breweries. The pump clips for the Milton ales offered no clue as to ale style, so I took a lucky dip for the mid range ABV Pegasus, which turned out to be a decent drop of ale. A wall board might be helpful in giving punters a clue as to ale styles when they offer so many rarely seen ales. There’s enough room for one on the walls, and they do have a board for the range of decent bottled beers that they do. There was a food menu on a board above the bar, but pizzas (or “le pizze” according to the menu) seem to be the main food item.

The pub itself is something of a monolith standing on a major junction in Hackney. Inside there’s nothing traditional or cosy about it, being essentially a sanitised drinking space. But on the plus side there’s a pool table and bar billiards – oh, and ten ales as well. This is a destination pub for the ale drinker or someone looking for interesting bottled beers – just don’t expect a traditional boozer.

On 16th October 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Pembury Tavern

First visit to this pub having heard good reports,I wasn't disappointed,of 16 handpumps 10 were on early afternoon ,good management in quiet times of day,wasn't put off by the large barn like interior, although I could imagine it would be very noisy when busy.As with the pub most if not all the beers were new to me so I asked who I took to be the Landlord for a recommendation ,hoppy,citrus and not to high an ABV ,I was pointed in the direction of Buntingford Galaxy, an excellent choice and proved to be beer of the day.An enjoyable visit and it won't be my last.

On 27th June 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1357 recommendations about 1343 pubs]

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