Craft Beer Co., N1 9PP
- 55 White Lion Street, N1 9PP
- 4pm-11pm Mon-Thu; noon-1am Fri-Sat; noon-10:30pm Sun
The basic format of this chain's other branches in Clerkenwell and Brixton (not to mention its parent, Cask) is retained here, in terms of the extensive range of cask, keg and bottled beers, as well as a (far smaller) selection of wines and spirits. However, this branch moves towards more of a traditional pub setting, with a separate (red-carpeted and heavy-curtained) room to the side of the main bar and entrance, breaking up the pub into sections and consequently reducing the noise and making the atmosphere less rowdy than it can get in the other locations. It has also generally been quieter when Ewan has visited, including on a Friday evening and (particularly) on a Sunday afternoon. Music was playing on these visits, but not too loudly.
Around the bar are three large, solid, high tables with plush velvet-covered benches, as well as two large armchairs towards the rear. The carpeted seating area is up a few steps with plenty of tables for 4-6 people, and there's another (uncarpeted) area to the rear of this space (sometimes booked for functions, and which can get loud when it's full). There's a beer garden outside to the other side of the bar from the carpeted room.
The bar itself offers 10 cask handpulls as well as 16 keg arrayed in two rows of taps one above the other to the side of the (fairly small) bar area photo. Most of these change regularly, though the Camden Town offerings and own-branded ale and lager are fairly stable. Prices for the cask ales are not unreasonable for this part of London (around the £3.80/pint mark as of mid-2014), though some of the more obscure imported keg beers can get far more expensive (£5/half or more for some).
Food is a standard burger offering across the chain, though made with some care and priced to match. Beef burgers have a nice pinkness to them and are served in brioche buns, as has become standard. There's a vegetarian option involving a portobello mushroom and lots of melted cheese, which Ewan very much enjoyed on a September 2014 visit. Side dishes like fries are also available on their own, and come with a range of artisanal condiments.
Accessibility: There's a very shallow step at the front door, but the carpeted seating area is a few steps up from the bar, and the gents toilets are on this level also.