Described as a “minimalist modern space”, the new “Small Beer” public house in Topsfield Parade could not be more different from its shabby old predecessor the Henry Reader.
With its “sympathetic brick walls” and “amusing light bulbs”, this pub really is all about the beer. There’s a dazzling 18 cask and keg taps with a huge selection of ales, including various trendy artisan craft beer breweries you’ve never heard of.
Mad Hatter Winter Ale, Electric Bear IPA from New Zealand and Moose Mousse Chocolate Stout from Aberdeen may not be to everyone’s taste, but Crouchenders have generally posted positive comments since the pub’s opening, saying that there’s a “relaxed vibe” about the place and that the music “is not too loud.”
The Reader was a mildly popular boozer with a loyal following of sports watching, pissed up old geezers, and there have already been the usual bad tempered mutterings about the “relentless march of gentrification” in leafy Crouch End. But come on people, time marches on.
“They could do with more comfortable seats”, was one comment we read, but that could probably be said about quite a few of the trendier bars in London. There does seem to be a theory that artisan beer drinkers prefer to sit on narrow, distressed rustic benches and to perch precariously on stools with 10 inch wide seats and legs hastily bolted together from Meccano.
The staff at Small Beer have been described as “very informative” and there are beers for all dietary requirements if you are, for example, gluten or wheat free.
Small Beer would seem to be the answer to many a real ale obessed Crouchender’s prayers, and, hey, where else can you get Irn Bru as a mixer?