Saturday 14 January 2012

Euston Tap & Cider Tap

The Euston Tap is one of the more welcome real ale houses to have opened in the Euston area, and popping in a couple of nights ago I was pleased to see the place is still going strong. I had a pint of a new ale made for them by the Nethergate brewery called One for the Road. Sadly it was a unremarkable pint. Although it was labelled on the board as "Wild Hopped" there weren't any exciting flavours coming through and it was all rather bland. Thankfully a pint of Ilkley Tap 3 was on good form and had in abundance the refreshing hoppy flavours that One for the Road was missing.

Euston Tap have opened a new venture across the road that specialises in "real" cider. After thinking long and hard they came up with the name Cider Tap. This is probably a better name then Euston Cider which as we all know is a euphemism for tramp piss. Although to be honest I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a glass of real cider and a glass of tramp piss. Let's just say I've never understood the appeal of cider. As far as I'm concerned the stench, colour and taste are all designed to warn people away from drinking it.

Going by the current rise of alcohol prices, in five years time you'll have to choose between buying
six bottles of Rekorderlig or buying a car.
I once ordered some Strawberry "Real Cider" for The Lovely Jemma from the delightful The Harp near Leicester Square. On sight of the drink TLJ was convinced I had actually gone outside and convinced a vagrant to piss into a half pint glass. It was a wretched sight and smelt like a corpse that had soiled itself. The look on TLJ's face after the first sip assured me that this half pint was going to be left untouched and unloved on the table. I tried a sip myself and was thankful my tongue didn't just pack it bags and leave my mouth after the offense I had subjected it too. I honestly don't know how anybody could drink the stuff and I imagine the makers can only drink it because their tastebuds have been eroded away by years of horrific acidic cider.

There seems to be two very different camps when it comes to cider. There are those where cider is a pint of Strongbow or Magners, or a glass of sugary sweetness from Sweden such as Kopparberg or Rekorderlig. Swedish ciders in particular seem to be priced ridiculously high and it would probably be cheaper just to mix some Strawberry and Blackcurrant Ribena together and shove some vodka in it. You'd get the same effect. The other camp of cider drinkers are the real cider fans, those who prefer to have their cider made in a bathtub by two bearded gentlemen from Dorset. Unlike beer drinkers where lager fans might go for a ale and ale fans may plump for a lager, there doesn't seem to be the same crossover with cider drinkers. And unfortunately real cider (and perry) just isn't getting the same fanbase as real ale is enjoying.

The Cider Tap bar.  I liked the rustic wooden panelling.

So I was not surprised to walk into the Cider Tap and find it fairly quiet. The Euston Tap across the road was packed and bustling. However the smaller crowd suits the small space and the atmosphere was pleasant. There were about 15 ciders on offer (excluding bottled options.) I went for a half of Hogans Dry Cider. I'm no cider expert but I managed to finish it so it can't have been to bad.

I wish the Cider Tap all the best but cider is already a marginalised market so aiming for a niche of the market may not pay off. Hopefully word will go round and business will pick up. But to be perfectly honest I wouldn't mind if the place became an extension of the Euston Tap - perhaps with a few cider offerings chucked in.


  1. Have you tried the Bree louise just round the corner from the Euston Tap?

    great selection of real ales and discount to CAMRA members

  2. I have been to the Bree Louise although I don't seem to have written a post about it! There is a good selection of ales but the inside is a bit grotty and dreary. It's nice when having a drink outside - if you're lucky enough to find an empty bench! The pies are great especially with the £2 CAMRA discount.