Euston Tap, NW1 2EF
- 020 3137 8837
- West Lodge, 190 Euston Road, NW1 2EF
- noon-late Mon-Sun
'Craft beer'-focused pub near Euston Station, located in the west gatehouse by the entrance to the bus station, on Euston Road. It opened in November 2010 and is faced by a very similar sister pub originally dedicated to cider (The Cider Tap) but later converted to cask and keg beers and now known as the East Lodge. Another sister bar is the Waterloo Tap.
The building is Grade II heritage listed, which means minimal changes can be made to the fabric of the building, accounting for some of the building's oddities. The pub is on two floors. The bar is on the ground floor, in the centre of the square space, with beer fridges behind, and bar stool seating only. There are no tables downstairs, only standing/leaning room along the walls. The upstairs level, accessed via a circular iron staircase, has tables with banquette seating around the barely-decorated walls (architectural plans are the concession to artwork), no windows (except for a skylight), a single unisex toilet and another with only a urinal (due to lack of space). Outside is a small garden area with some cover available and more seating than is available inside.
One certainly cannot fault the range of beers available here, over 27 taps. There are eight for cask ale and 19 for keg beers, all dispensed via a series of taps mounted on the wall behind the bar. The ale taps are not traditional hand-pulls, for those with an interest in such things (see Pete Brown's blog for more information).
Ales are sourced from a variety of brewers, but Thornbridge and Marble are intended to be among the regulars (including Marble Dobber and Pint, and Thornbridge Wild Swan and Bracia on the opening night), with Bath Ales, BrewDog, Bristol Beer Factory and Ossett also showing up on Ewan's early visits, as well as any number of more recent London 'craft' breweries in its subsequent years of operation. There's always at least one that is competitively priced for the area, and other casks are priced according to strength.
The keg beers include interesting British as well as American and continental beers, one example being a Great Divide Douple IPA at 10% (£4/half-pint), Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, and others less extreme. They usually always have a Czech beer like Bernard and Bernard Dark available, as well as something German. Large fridges border the island bar along the back walls, with hundreds more beers from across Europe and the States (with a particular focus on Mikeller beers from Denmark, as well as London-brewed beers).
It doesn't take much for this pub to be uncomfortably rammed, but on brief visits during the daytime this doesn't seem much of an issue, just at the usual weekday after-work hours.
Ewan's verdict: There's a lot to love about the beer offering at the Tap, but I would consider it best for briefer visits to sample interesting beers (for which purpose I've greatly enjoyed it), rather than as a location for an extended session. Given its station location, it understandably attracts plenty of passing trade, so quickly changes character depending on what trains are arriving or leaving, but on a pleasant evening it can be nice to stand outside with friends. However, given its physical limitations, it's a pub that understandably divides opinions.
Accessibility: One step to get in, but the only toilets in the building are up a very tall, small, circular iron staircase.