Southerner, WC2R 3JG
- 48 Essex Street
As of late-2014, the building is occupied by a brewpub called Temple Brew House. Before that it went through a period of a few years as a German bar called Bierschenke.
The information below is retained for people who want to know what it was like as the Southerner.
The brewery behind this anomalous pub is Speight's, based in Otago, New Zealand. Moving on from a temporary bar atop Temple Station just down the road, they've now taken over what used to be the basement bar of adjoining Daly's Wine Bar, and added their beers to the selection, as well as one or two other Kiwi touches.
Two distinctive bronze fittings dispense four Speight's beers from seven taps: their regular Gold Medal Ale, Distinction 'premium ale', Old Dark ale, and Summit Golden Lager, on a July 2009 visit photo of beer taps. There are also draught taps for Steinlager and Mac's Gold (as well as Guinness). Two handpulls for ale are currently unused. There are also some bottled beers and a range of wines and champagnes. New Zealanders will note the presence of L&P in the fridges, a citrusy soft drink, as well as a small range of snacks from back home.
The bar's style is as expected from its wine bar provenance: a fairly bland selection of wooden tables and small nooks (there are also a few tables out on the street, upstairs) photo of interior. Most prominent are the sports screens, which play fixtures of interest to the ex-pat crowds (test cricket on Ewan's visit), though the sound isn't too loud. Staff, however, are very friendly, and on a Saturday afternoon it's not too busy, though filling up by the time we leave around 6pm.
There are some fairly standard food menus on offer, which weren't sampled on my visit.