Welcome to part two of this epic bus journey, covering some of London's best beer pubs. So far in Part One I have been to five pubs. Starting in Clapton and working my way down to the Islington border. Part Two of the journey will take us from Islington to Holborn, featuring six pubs.
As before I have listed the closest bus stops and I have added Google walking maps links to make things easier.
So now it's time to jump back on board and head to the first pub!
Bus Stop: Essex Road Station
The North Pole is located about five minutes walk from the Essex Road Station bus stop, directly down New North Road. Click here for directions. As soon as you walk in to The North Pole, you immediately feel at home. The bar is situated within the main area, which also allows you to see the open kitchen. I have not eaten here yet but, the food I did see, looked delicious.
Sticking to the rules of this crawl, I am again drinking no more than two half pints per pub. My first beer was Dark Star - Carafa Jade. This beer has a beautiful red colour, thanks to the Carafa malt. The Jade hops give it a berry aroma, with a slight citrus finish. A great beer to start any crawl with.
My next offering from the impressive line up at the bar was Buxton Brewery - Axe Edge IPA. Buxton is a brewery that I am getting in to more and more. Every beer by Buxton is full of flavour and this is no exception. Pale in colour and loaded with hops. Axe Edge may be 6.8% but, goes down smooth with a dry finish.
The North Pole is a fantastic pub and I could of stayed for many hours. All the employees are very friendly. So do not be afraid to ask for their advice on which beer to drink.
I have been back since I originally wrote this and I tried the pulled pork burger. All I can say is wow! If you are hungry than you have to eat here. The burgers are awesome.
Tip: Ask for a loyalty card. It's free and you can earn yourself a free pint.
Bus Stop: Islington Green
There are two ways of getting to the Earl of Essex. You can jump on the 38 and get off at Islington Green bus stop. Click here for directions. Or you can walk directly from The North Pole, though the back streets. Walking between the pubs takes, up to ten minutes. Click here for directions.
The Earl of Essex has an amazing range of beer. I counted 14 keg and six cask taps on the bar. The first thing you will notice, is that none of the taps have pump clips. To find out which beers are on, you have to take a look at the enormous wall mounted board. Every beer is clearly labelled as keg or cask and has the price per half / pint. If you head towards the back of the bar, you will find a micro brewery. The new Earl's Brewery is now operational. The first beer was not ready during my visit, but will be available soon.
My favourite beer was the Cantillon - Gueze. Cantillon has to be one of the best Begian breweries. Brewing spontaneous fermentation lambic beers, in Brussels since 1900. I have not had a Gueze before on draught. The beer pours a cloudy yellow colour, with slight vinegar aromas. It has a very sharp / sour taste, with a dry as a desert finish. It may not be to everyones palate, so you have been warned.
Tip: Opens at 3pm on Mondays and from 12pm the rest of the week.
Bus Stop: Angel Station
The Charles Lamb is a short walk though the back streets from The Earl of Essex. Click here for directions.
The Charles Lamb has to be one of Islington's hidden gems. Like The Earl of Essex, this pub is situated away from all the hustle and bustle of the town centre. As soon as I entered the pub, I felt welcome. The Charles Lamb has a good selection of beer but, it's the food that really stands out. The French inspired menu looked superb. I can almost guarantee that the pub gets very busy with hungry diners in the evening.
My choice of beer was the rarely seen on draught, Schremser - Roggen Bio Bier. This Austrian beer normally found in bottles, is a top fermented organic rye beer. The beer is naturally cloudy, burnt orange colour. It looks similar to a wheat beer and is slightly sweet. A charming beer which, I found a pleasure to drink.
To get back to the bus stop, click here for directions.
Tip: Opens at 4pm Monday - Tuesday, 12pm the rest of the week.
Bus Stop: Tysoe Street
The Exmouth Arms is a pub I have reviewed before. Exmouth market is a great place to stop. Not only have you got a great range of beer and food available at the pub but, the market is also home to various food stalls. I could not visit The Exmouth Arms without having some sliders. Possibly some of the best sliders in London.
To accompany my meal, I had a glass of Toccalmatto - Tabula Rasa Saison. Try saying that a few times over. This saison is straw coloured with a slight haze. Loads of fresh citrus flavours, that complimented my meal. Toccalmatto has an exciting range of beers. Well worth spending your money on.
For more information on The Exmouth Arms, click here for my last review.
Tip: Avoid at lunch times as it can get very busy with office workers. Opens at 11am everyday.
Bus Stop: Clerkenwell Road
The Craft is a short walk though the back streets from The Exmouth Arms. Click here for directions.
This is a pub that needs no introduction. This is the original Craft Beer Company pub and still the best. The range of keg and cask taps is mind boggling. To have just a couple of beers here is virtually impossible. The Craft is a pub that is worthy of spending the whole day in. I however did not have that luxury.
With so many beers to choose from, I opted for Tempest - A Face With No Name. The last time I had a beer from Tempest was in Newcastle. Just located North of the border in Scotland, Tempest brew some excellent beers. I am unsure why we do not see them more in London, as I believe their beers will sell very well down here.
Tempest couldn't find the malt they were looking for, so they decided to roast their own to use in this beer. The result is a malty ruby coloured beer, with sweet caramel tones.
The bus stop to the next pub is called Clerkenwell Road but, the bus stop is on Rosebery Avenue. Click here for directions.
Tip: Opens at 12pm everyday.
If you are feeling hungry and pork pies / scotch eggs are not your thing, I recommend Pieminister on Leather Lane. Open everyday with a range of pies, to suit everyones tastes.
Bus Stop: Bloomsbury Way
This is the final pub in what has been an amazing adventure in beer. The bus stop is almost right outside. So you cannot get lost.
The Whippet has established itself as firm favourite with London's beer drinkers. The pub does get very busy and customers will often overflow in to the pedestrianised area outside. All the beers are dispensed from a central brick column, which the bar is built around. All the beer names and pricing are written above each tap.
I have to admit I could only face one more beer, which was Buxton Brewery - Wild Boar. My beer was naturally hazy and poured a straw yellow colour. It looked more like a white wheat beer, than an IPA. Appearance aside, I did really love this beer. Lots of hops and bags of grapefruit citrus flavour. A very refreshing IPA, that was perfect to end the day with.
Tip: Opens at 12pm every day. Closed Sunday.
So that concludes the route 38 pub crawl. I really hope that I have inspired others to try out this pub crawl for themselves.
My tips for a good pub crawl.
1. Start early, so you do not have to rush.
2. Be realistic about how much you will drink in each pub.
3. Check the opening hours of the pubs before you set off.
4. Make sure you have cash on you, not all pubs accept cards.
5. Drinking beer is a pleasurable experience, so enjoy yourself!
Don't forget to share this pub crawl with your friends.