The Carpenters Arms, Shoreditch

http://www.carpentersarmsfreehouse.com/index.htm

This place is awesome. Its my favourite pub in the City Fringe – East London – Shoreditch area. About 2 mins walk east off Brick Lane. They have an exceptional beer range, with three on hand pump, some interesting “new” ales on keg and about 20 bottles, including the KING OF BEERS, Orval. There’s lots of wine which looks keenly priced and a very good spirits list. DuPont Calvados. In a pub. This is not a normal pub.

They really care about the beer here, with crystal clear beer, poured carefully. It’s very different to some beer pubs of the traditional Camra sort, or the self consciously trendy brewdoggish place just up the road. I’ve got time for both, but these guys find a glorious middle way.

Light woods and a high ceiling give a small front room an airy feel that it might not otherwise have. There’s another small back room, and also an attractive back yard for smokers and sun bathers.

Basically it’s an attractive little backstreet London boozer that’s been slightly modernised, but is fundamentally true to itself. This is very much a pub, not a bar. It’s open to anyone, and I suspect that whilst there’s a fair few local trendies in there all day, I’ve never felt uncomfortable or unwelcome wearing either pinstripes or baggy jeans and rugby shirt. Come one come all.

There’s some decent food; ham and meat platters, home made scotch eggs, roast beef sandwiches and the like. Apparently their Sunday lunches are good. All of these are great accompaniments to the beer.

Theres not much more to add. It’s just a bit too far away from the office for me to have a comfortable lunch, as i’m looking at my watch all the time, but if you’ve got time, this is a pub that invites you to linger.

And to go back.

As many times as you can

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2 thoughts on “The Carpenters Arms, Shoreditch

    • I prefer this place as the food is better, its more obviously a pub and whilst the beer choice isn’t quite as eclectic / interesting as M&T was, the Carpenters’ Arms has more beers that I know I’m going to enjoy. Last time I was there, I “could” have drunk 2/3 of the hand pump ales, 3 keg “new ales” and about 6 bottles of foreign origin. I didn’t as I had to go see a client. Also, anywhere that sells DuPont Calvados has a touch of class about it. Finally, it’s more comfortable. Obviously all of this is personal opinion – I basically prefer pubs to bars, so CA was always going to float my particular boat.

      M&T was aggressively modern and ever so slightly snobby about the beer, with every barman / girl that ever served me wanting to tell me all about the provenance of the beer I’d ordered. I never actually complained about this, as I’m a beer geek too, but it was the feeling of being judged that used to annoy me. Yes I know I’m not of your tribe and I’m wearing a double breasted suit, but I might not be what you assume I am.

      Having said this, I had some great nights in M&T, including your birthday and an afternoon post Columbia Market. The beer range really was excellent and it was always well kept and knowledgeably served. Basically I have multiple chips on shoulders and didn’t feel trendy enough for M&T. Same with its descendant Brewdog, which is nowhere near as good as it lacks M&T’s variety.

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