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Beer of the Week (w/e 19th January 2020) with ROBCamra on the Pub Forum

Zerodegrees, Blackheath, SE3

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
29/31 Montpelier Vale
SE3
SE3 0TJ
Phone: 02088525619

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Graham Coombs left this review about Zerodegrees

Situated at the top of Blackheath village, near the heath, this shop conversion is an ultra modern, ultra cool sort of place. Entering past the brewery section, you find yourself in a large open space, with dark artily-plastered walls, with a large bar to one side. Various high-tech furnishings include a table made from an aircraft flap. Further back is a tabled area, again with lots of space, fronting the large pizza kitchen. Continuing round are more tables packed in close round the back of the beer fermenters, which provide a rather interesting view of the brewery. Further seating is upstairs. There are also a few tables out the front, although traffic on the one way system can be a bit of a nuisance. The beers are mainly of Czech or US types, although there is quite a large variation of recipes. Half a dozen regulars are augmented by whatever is available of seasonal specials; check the beer menu and boards behind the bar for details. Beer is dispensed through a large European-style font direct from tanks rather than by top pressure, however I found it slightly gassy and suspect blanket pressure is used. There were some interesting and tasty beers however. Food is mainly pizza and pasta, but also with unusual flavours like Peking duck or Jamaican chicken. Certainly not a traditional pub, but I suspect you could have a very enjoyable evening here.

On 1st February 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2113 recommendations about 2067 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about Zerodegrees

Having visited the other Zerodegrees bars in Cardiff, Reading and Bristol, I was keen to see how their London branch, in the heart of Blackheath, measured up to the rest. My initial impression was that this was by far the smallest of the four branches, before a trip to the toilets uncovered a vast part of the pub that I hadn’t realised existed. The front section is a reasonably pleasant spot, set in an interesting swirl-patterned, concrete floored room with a crooked servery along the left hand wall. The room has been decorated in gastro-pub grey and offers an odd mix of seating with high stools under the front windows and along a ledge opposite the bar, whilst standard tables and chairs have been sparingly arranged through the rest of the room, including some down the right hand wall, next to an old disused fireplace. Further back, the setting is more like a formal dining room, with pre-set tales in front of an open kitchen. On entering, you’ll notice the pub’s own brew plant is to the left, behind the servery, but it’s only when you pass the bar and kitchen and enter the previously undetected rear part of the pub, that you get a feel for the size of the operation. This rear part of the pub has a much more industrial-feel to it, much like other Zerodegrees bars, enhanced no doubt by all the brewing equipment. Steps lead up to a mezzanine-style area with lots of formal seating, but no customers, whilst a similar area can be found beyond the brewery in a space reached by descending a curved staircase at the far end of the first floor. A separate bar can be found upstairs as well, presumably saved for private functions. The menu revolves around pizza, pasta and mussels – I tried what turned out to be a very good pizza which was served in good time by a friendly barmaid. I was fortunate to bag a window seat, which gave good views out over the nice front patio area and across to the Common.
The core Zerodegrees range was available, although this was difficult to ascertain initially, as all of the taps are on the bar back without labelling, so I had to check with the barman who provided me with a menu and explained that unfortunately neither of the seasonal beers were available. The remaining options were Pilsner, Pale Ale, Wheat Ale, Black Lager and Mango. A pint of the Pale Ale was £3.95, which seems competitive for the area, especially for a (‘craft’?) keg beer.
This place, like the chain as a whole, was a bit of a mixed bag. The beer was pretty good, if a bit too cold and over carbonated, the food and service was very good and the interior was a mismatch of smart contemporary bar and cold, impersonal drinking barn. Overall, I felt the positives outweighed the negatives and I’d be happy to come back for a meal or to see if anything interesting was on the bar.

On 5th September 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2394 recommendations about 2394 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Quinno _ left this review about Zerodegrees

Smaller and faintly more intimate than the other ZD outlets (Cardiff, Reading and especially Bristol). Internally it’s an opened-out front room, sparsely furnished, with a surprisingly larger area to the rear for dining which is also home to the brew kit. The front is quite light due to the traditional large Victorian shop front windows. Like the rest of the ZD chain, it’s quite an echoey place but the lower ceiling and general décor is much less industrial utilitarian, though the copper stud bar front is a nod. The Prisoner-style ‘egg pod’ chair was an unusual touch and quite the talking point. Seating out front in a decent garden patio with nice boho views toward the heath. Usual ZD menu, pizzas and mussels and pasta. ZD homebrews on, with a seasonal Winter Ale which was quite palatable. Unlike the Reading outlet, the beer here isn’t ‘real’ as they add CO2.With a bit more homeliness this could easily be the best in the chain.

On 7th January 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3960 recommendations about 3948 pubs]


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Roger Button left this review about Zerodegrees

One of 4 Zero Degrees brewpubs (the others are in Raeding, Cardiff and Bristol), this branch has recently reopened following a major refit that has left the place barely recognizable from its previous incarnation.

The bar has now effectively moved into the adjacent building and what was the restaurant area no longer seems to be part of the premises. The brewing equipment is now situated in the original bar and entrance hall and a new upstairs bar has been added. The old mezzanine atop the spiral staircase is virtually the only remant to have escaped the refit although this is set up for diners.

As for inprovements, it’s hard to see any. I was quite keen on the previous innards of an oil tanker style of the original and whilst there are a few elements of industrial plant décor by way of exposed duct pipes it does now look like 101 other functional modern bars that can be found in anywheresville. It seems to be more geared for diners than it was previously although the main bar area does have ample exposed floor space for the crowds of vertical drinkers that it probably attracts at peak times. The new upstairs bar does at least have more of a traditional feel to it but appears to be used only at peak times or for private functions.

Of course such an outlay for the “improvemnets” has inevitably been passed down the line and the beer prices appear to have been suitably hiked to £3.95 a pint (£4.20 for the speciality beer). Previously a trip here didn’t burn a hole in the wallet and the Happy Hour (which also now appears to have been consigned to history) made this an ideal and unusual visit for an early evening. It would also appear that they now also operate a strict door policy (essentially no trainers on Friday and Saturday nights) which has upset a few of the old clients.

All in all, very much a backward step from all angles except that without all the old metallic surfaces you can now get a better mobile phone signal!

On 20th December 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Malden man left this review about Zerodegrees

The pub, no bar I think, has a curious interior with exposed service ducts and pipes, bare steel beams, a metal bulkhead wall randomly daubed in various colours. Central bar with divided seating areas, food servery to a rear corner doling out mainly pizzas it seemed with a food eating zone adjacent, some colourful modern seating to the rear and a mezzanine with two steel staircases wrapping around two rear walls. Some exposed painted brickwork soften up the harsh clinical interior a bit and the open to view brewery equipment provide some novelty interest.
I thought I'd be open and give it a try, the barmaid was very friendly and helpful and gave me tasters of the beers, I found them all however too cold and too gassy despite the assurances at the entrance about the natural ingredients, non-pastuerised nature and so on.
What really coloured my opinion however of this place was the attitude of the person I took to be the manager. Having selected a half of Pale Ale after rejecting the Mango taster, I ventured up to the mezzanine where I felt I could view the room and sit and record my observations. This jumped up nobody appeared below and shouted up that the area was closed and to come down, no "please", no "sorry but". No sign either and why not rope the stair off. I did as I was told like a chastened child and came down and challenged his attitude. He walked off, no response at all. He then repeated this with another customer about 5 minutes later. Sort yourself out pal, you have the customer skills of a moron. I wouldn't mind but what harm would I be doing sat at a metal table on a metal terrace drinking my beer. Anyway, thankfully I hated the place anyway so have absolutely no desire to return, the beer was cold and fizzy, the manager is an idiot and I do not like drinking in a ships boiler room.

On 22nd June 2013 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1685 recommendations about 1662 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Roger Button left this review about Zerodegrees

Centrally situated in Blackheath Village near the heath itself, Zero Degrees is part of a small chain modeled on US style craft brew pubs.

The smallish entrance leads through to a cavernous modern interior that would ordinarily have all the ambience of a warehouse. Until recently the décor was quite harsh with predominant battleship grey steelwork making feel like the inwards of the Ark Royal but this has now been spruced up with a few splashes of colour and a few O°’s depicted in large modern fonts.

The floorspace is split roughly 50/50 between the bar area and the restaurant. There is not much seating around the bar area itself but it does open up to the rear and a winding staircase leads up to an additional balcony section. There is also some seating on the front patio with views over Blackheath. On the downside the upstairs hike to the toilets may get the better of some of the less fit clients. There are a few flat screens and a big screen usually showing sport (ESPN and Sky both shown) and music can be intrusive at peak times.


The restaurant section is separated by a low screen but is in full view of the drinking area as is the openkitchen with its kiln oven. Pizzas and pastas are the main dishes with prices generally ranging £7-£12 for man courses. I have eaten here once and thought it was pretty good quality and decent value.

Of the beers, there are usually 5 available, brewed on premises in the vessels that can be viewed through the glazing behind the bar. The regulars (Pale Ale, Pilsner, Black Lager and Wheat Ale) are supplemented by a rotational speciality beer, (Mango on my last visit). I have pretty much tried them all and whilst I enjoy the varieties, they are sometimes not a hit with ale purists due to them being served a lower than expected temperatures and that they are effectively not “Real” Ales. Prices are comparatively cheap for the area, especially during Happy Hour (Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm) when everything is £2.20 a pint. Normal prices are hardly wallet busting with the regular beers at £2.90 and the speciality beers £3. There are also various takeaway pitchers kegs up to 50 litres.

Service has always generally been pretty good, even at busy times and the customer base is quite mixed and trouble free.

This is the only branch of Zerodegrees that I have been to (there are others in Reading, Cardiff and Bristol) and whilst I am generally not drawn to such places, it does offer something different and doesn’t go out of the way to drain your wallet. I visit Blackheath a lot for various reasons and this has become one of my regular haunts.

On 25th October 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]