2012 Pigs Ear Festival to celebrate Cockney Beer

So as we head towards the end of August and enjoy the last few weeks of summer, it’s also time to start thinking about the delights winter holds in store for us. So here is a message from my friends at East London and City CAMRA! – I hope to see you there!

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Leyton Technical, E10

Pint and mural of bicycles

Olympic Inspired – bicycle mural inside the Leyton Technical

The Leyton Technical is one of  Antic Pub Co‘s latest ventures in East London. A “pop up” pub in a disused corner of Leyton’s municipal offices, it opened just in time for the opening ceremony. With a brief gap between the games letting me off the shift working, I managed to nip in an Friday 17th and take a look.

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Tap East

So the #lympic games have finally arrived and with it a flux of new temporary bars.  However despite the burgeoning London pub and beer scene the offical ™ beer of the games is actually Heineken lager, from The Netherlands who stumped up the most brass for the sponsorship. Personally I would prefer it if we could import their cycling culture but I’ll save that rant for another day!

That said, all is not lost and there are several places in easy walking distance of the stadium where you can tap into this scene. The obvious place to start is Tap East:

Tap East - Stratford Westfield Centre

Tap East

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Post Office Vaults, Birmingham

Blimey – I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since I wrote anything down…probably down to avoiding beer for much of January; I didn’t go out of my way to drink blackcurrant and soda anywhere new!  Last weekend, I headed out of town again (even though I do have a list of London pubs I’d like to check out).  After a short venture to Lichfield, I ended up at the Post Office Vaults, New St, Birmingham.

Post Office Vaults

Post Office Vaults

This opened just before Christmas and is handily located just up from the Victoria Sq entrance of New St station. Inside it is very much in the current idiom of pub – beer but trendy; beards and beer guts are not mandatory. Décor and beer selection-wise it reminds me much of the Port Street Beer House (Manchester) and Euston Tap (London).

Inside

Inside

The bar has a good range of 8 ales, two Midlands house beers with the rest of the pumps devoted to guests.  In front of the pumps you can spot around a shots worth of beer being used to help customers identify light from dark etc – I’ve never seen this used before, I wonder how many customers try to drink these and whether it reduces the number of tasters handed out?!

At the bar

At the bar

Atmosphere was pretty good with a nice buzz of happy people enjoying a night out. It’s always going to be on the warm side being underground which could get a bit stuffy in summertime. Beer wise it was good too – though I didn’t get around to trying anything in a bottle, which is a big selling point.

It’s nice to see Birmingham growing a beer scene, especially as demand has grown so much it’s often impossible to get into The Wellington around the corner. Definitely worth a visit.