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The Beer House, Waterloo, SE1

Opposite Platform 2, Waterloo Station Concourse

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Beer House

A basement bar in a railway station (previously known as Coopers and then the Wellesley), so expectations should not be high. It is also not obvious to locate with the entrance now partially hidden behind one of the staircases up to the new gallery level. However, once inside, the refurbishment in a modern style is certainly an improvement. It is also a bit less crammed than most such SSP establishments, and it really isn't too bad. With five of the six handpumps in use on this visit, I found the 'house' beer The Beer House (£4.65, less 10% Bite Card discount), IPA and Abbot from Greene King, Doom Bar and London Pride available on this visit.

On 2nd March 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 7001 recommendations about 7001 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Beer House

I descended the wooden staircase with some trepidation while recalling what a dingy drinking hole this place was in a previous guise,but was pleasantly surprised by a decent refurb.With a wooden floor throughout and a mix of wooden furniture ,the interior has a good lighting system which eliminates gloomy corners.Light jazz muzak was playing and there was just a single departure screen by the entrance.Opposite the bar is a raised section which leads to the loos,controlled by keypad access.
Food is a major feature here with menus at every table offering breakfast,light bites and mains from £6.50-£9 ,hardly rip off pricing although I didn't sample the quality.
The exterior signage makes a lot about their range of real ale and craft beers but on my trip the six handpumps were drawing national brands in the shape of GK Abbott,Old Speckled Hen,Old Golden Hen,St Austell Tribute,London Pride and a Beer House brew ,at 3.8% most likely rebadged GK IPA.There are 15 keg taps with a sign listing 6 of these as "craft" and a fridge containing some continental beers.I am sure SSP are trying to cater for a slightly trendy younger crowd ,and the place was clean and tidy but the unexciting real ale selection would curb my enthusiasm .

On 20th January 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2338 recommendations about 2338 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Beer House

Basement bar in Waterloo train station serving 6 real ales,"craft keg" and food. Does the job when killing time.

On 22nd November 2013 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2822 recommendations about 2764 pubs]

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Roger Button left this review about The Beer House

Formerly a Gents toilet before embarking on a career as a bar under a series of different names, this basement bolt hole can be found opposite platform 1 on the concourse of Waterloo. This is the latest of the Beer House projects that have found there way into London's main line stations.

The layout is as it was prior to the recent refurbishment but it remains a quite soulless and bland establishment with little that grabs the attention. The carpets have now made way for bare floors taking a bit of the warmth away and just a few display cabinets with some bottled beers and a couple of TV’s are left for the wandering eye to focus on. A PIN No is required for the bogs which does at least deter hoards of stray commuters looking for a free leak.

The ales are pretty disappointing for a venue that sells itself its beer range, the 6 ales badged on my visit being a brace of Greene Kings (IPA and Abbot), Fullers London Pride, Sharps Doom Bar, Shepherd Neame Spitfire and the only one of personal interest Castle Rock Harvest Pale (which was not available). Prices are ridiculous with Spitfire chalking up a hefty £4 (although Bite Card holders can get a healthy 20% discount). If you don’t think you’ve paid enough you can always leave a tip on the little silver tray offered with the change. They are Cask Marque accredited and to be fair the quality was far better than I had expected. Food prices were surprisingly realistic with the usual pub grub fare available for around £7-£9.

Overall this is a mundane place but it is an improvement on the Gents toilet and can be useful for that missed train or for meeting up but it's hardly a place that you would spend an evening in.

On 12th February 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1239 recommendations about 1233 pubs]

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Graham Coombs left this review about The Beer House

Basement bar in what many years ago was a Gents toilet, opposite platform 2 on Waterloo station concourse, which underwent a substantial refurbishment in November 2012 to become one of SSP's 'Beer House' bars. Furnished in a reasonably comfortable style with much woodwork, it has one long bar with various areas of seating off it. The draught range is not especially exciting (London Pride, Doombar, GK IPA and a guest), but it does offer a vast selection of bottled beers from UK, Europe and further afield, together with some keg 'craft' beers. All are fairly heavily priced however, although a 'Bite card' gets 20% discount. It is somewhat more salubrious than in its previous guise as The Wellesley, but still gets pretty busy at peak times so be ready to elbow to the bar. Tolerable for a quick pint before the train, but you will still find better pubs off the station.

On 16th November 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2598 recommendations about 2542 pubs]

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E TA left this review about The Wellesley

This bar has taken a dive in standards over the last few months. Its subterranean location doesn't help as ventilation is problematic and there is an air of damp about it, especially when crowded. It is rather soulless. There were two ales on - I had GK IPA which was much too cold and served with a sneer by a troglodyte. Its single redeeming feature is its convenience (for the train, I mean, not the one you need a code to get in), so I would come back if pushed for time or carrying heavy luggage, although there are better pubs within 5 minutes' walk.

On 29th May 2012 - rating: 3
[User has posted 2866 recommendations about 2833 pubs]

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Nick Johnstone left this review about The Wellesley

This place was a toilet once and not much has changed.

On 29th April 2011 - rating: 3
[User has posted 98 recommendations about 98 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Wellesley

The Wellesley is actually not too bad for a station bar, but of course one doesn’t have high expectations of these subterranean places. There’s a carpeted raised area to the right as you approach the bar, with some comfortable seating, and an ornamental feature of a metal range fireplace on the left. There were TV screens showing Sky Sports, and the usual array of one-armed bandits and games machines for those needing some entertainment while waiting for their trains. But this is not the sort of place one chooses to visit – you’re in here because you’ve got some time to kill while waiting for a train, and in that respect it serves its purpose as somewhere you can get a pint of (overpriced) ale while you wait. They had Bombardier, London Pride, OSH, and Young’s Bitter on when I paid my brief visit the other day. The London Pride was £3.50 a pint, so I won’t be back until the next time that I have some time to kill before my train leaves. The toilets still have dimplex locks and they’re still asking if you want any crisps, etc.

On 2nd May 2010 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Wellesley

A visit purely due to a train delay and a full bladder. Sadly the toilet code has changed since my last visit so I was embarrassed into buying a drink. Despite this, having found my nadir of station bars some years ago in Birmingham New St, I now consider these places more objectively. A below ground level bar, at least serving real ale, usual suspects, ie Pride, Youngs, Deuchers, but you need to keep on top of the staff re filling your glass. My pint initially was so short I thought the cask had run out. It does however serve a purpose and the beer was ok.

A good place to play watch the punter try the toilets having pretended to seek out a friend before finding out the code is needed.

On 28th February 2009 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1694 recommendations about 1668 pubs]

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Philip Carter left this review about The Wellesley

This pub is downstairs, so any luggage you may have with you, will have to be carried. Gets very busy with passengers. There is no drinking outside, so a few people drink on the stairs. Has a small area for non smokers and toilets that needs a combination code to access. Sells real ale. Used to be called Coopers.

On 24th February 2007 - rating: 6
[User has posted 757 recommendations about 720 pubs]