Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Jolly Butchers


Surprisingly, to me anyway, there is a bus a five minute walk away from home number 2 in London E1, direct to the door of the Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington. Stoke Newington sounds far away and exotic, but despite the half hour plus on the bus, it is only two or three miles away from the City and is a posher pause on a cosmopolitan journey which takes you from a war damaged and never repaired East End, through to Vietnam and Turkey all on the same straight road. From the top of the 67 you could see the changing environment, with so many pubs that are no more, but once populated every corner. A lost world and a reminder that fings ain't wot they used to be.

Pete Brown wrote about the Jolly Butchers here and we thought it worth a visit despite the somewhat ambivalent remarks in some pub comment sites. To me, it seemed to be trying to do something right and different. We arrived at around 15.30 and Sunday lunch was still in full swing. The pub seemed populated by Observer subscribing couples, studiously reading the unreadable, while ignoring each other and a plethora of young people drinking coloured cider. It was an anthropologist's wet dream. We were singularly disconcerted to find ourselves the oldest there by a good 20 years.

The beer choice was good. Two from Dark Star, one each from Thornbridge, Brew Dog, Crouch Vale and Brodies. I started on the Brew Dog Trashy Blonde which was tired really, with diactetyl and wet dog - no pun intended. E had Crouch Vale Brewer's Gold which was as good as it always is. Then a couple of Dark Star American Pale which didn't disappoint. But we both knew that the real draw was yet to be sampled. Jaipur. That's your man. It was full of condition and so very tasty.

We had a great spot from which to observe proceedings and you know, we both liked the place enormously. It was buzzing and pleasant, light and airy. The food looked good, the place was clean and well looked after and the staff were unremittingly pleasant and helpful. You could tell the intentions are good. It is a big space though and it may not be so conducive on a wet Monday night, but putting that thought aside, we'll certainly go back.

Of course there has to be a down side. Stupid, handled, dimpled glasses do nothing for the presentation of modern beer and of course we come to temperature. All the beers varied between 17 and nearly 19 degrees C. What is all that all about? Getting the cellar and dispense temperature so wrong is spoiling a good ship for a hap'orth of tar. This is a good place. It should be great. Sort it out.

10 comments:

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

A Sears air conditioner modified with a morebeer.com temperature controller and some fiberglass insulation makes a decent cellar. Do I need to come over there and fix some pubs?

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"Eddie Rowles" said...

Totally agree about the dimpled glasses at this place (where I'll be tomorrow night).

It seems to be an affectation that a few other pubs share, such as the Southampton Arms nr Kentish Town (which is quite similar to the JB in many respects - good beer choice but yummy-mummy overtones) and the Betjeman Arms at St Pancras.

Tyson said...

Anon

He's not that bad. Anyway, everyone should have a hobby.

jesusjohn said...

Have you been to the Duke of Wellington on Balls Pond Rd? I find that most agreeable and I've had good experiences with the beer. Very good food, too.

http://www.thedukeofwellingtonn1.com/

Oblivious said...

Tandleman's do many pubs have the ability to cool their real ale or are they just relying on the ambient temperature of the cellar?

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Erlangernick said...

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"Eddie Rowles" said...

JJ - we popped into the Duke of Wellington a few weeks ago - one beer was badly off but was replaced without a murmur.

There is another pub close to the DoW that is worth a visit - the Scolt Head (http://www.thescolthead.co.uk/index.asp) - which has a decent range of beers.

The only problem on our visit was that the only place we found to sit was in the dining area - where you can't sit unless you're eating (and we weren't) - regardless of the fact that there were only a few diners.

I wouldn't have minded but there were loads of people sitting and eating at the bar - why weren't they told to f*ck off to the diner area?

A shame as it was a decent pub but this sort of attitude pisses me off...

Tandleman said...

Pity almost none of the comments address the main point. Gruss aus Deutschland.