This blog post was originally going to be about Williams Ale & Cider House, a pub near Spitalfields Market in London that specialises in craft beer and that terrible alcoholic apple drink. I'd heard good things about the place and was looking forward to it. Walking in on a Saturday lunchtime it looked like a cosy little boozer, with comfortable booths lining up one side of the bare brick walls, and a large bar with a goodly amount of hand pumps offering a varied selection of ales. Not many customers in but that is to be expected of a City pub at 12pm on a Saturday. So far so good, and I was looking forward to a nice meal from the tempting menu and a tasty ale. Walking up to the bar I asked if any food available. "We don't serve food until 4pm" came the reply. Ah.
I'm fond of the craft beer scene but one drawback, especially in London, is the odd hours craft pubs can sometimes keep. To open the pub at 12pm but not serve food until 4pm was baffling to me, especially in Central London on a Saturday. The barman could see the dejected look on my face and mentioned that their sister pub around the corner should be serving food. As me and The Lovely Jemma were ravenous and on a schedule we sadly had to leave the Williams and head to the aforementioned sister pub Kings Stores. After confirming with the friendly barman that they were indeed serving food we took a seat.
This pub has been recently done up and it looked good, if a bit generic. There is a separate restaurant area but unlike some other places you wouldn't feel left out just having a drink here. I went up to pursue the beer selection - as it's a sister pub to the Williams I was expecting a solid selection of ales. There were a couple of crafty offerings from Signature Brew and Trumans. Alongside were more traditional brewers - Triple fff and also Greene King IPA. That's odd, I thought, why is IPA being sold in a pub that is clearly trying to appeal to the younger, trendier drinker? I ordered a pint of the Triple fff Citra Sonic and a Fish and Chips and sat back down to do some investigating.
I looked up the pub online and found out that both this pub and the Williams are both owned by the "Metropolitan Pub Company" - which in turn is owned by Greene King. Mystery solved, and a canny move from GK to edge into the lucrative (in London at least) craft beer market. The pint of Citra was in good condition and I was getting a slightly fruity, pleasantly hoppy finish after every sip. The fish and chips were pretty good as well. TLJ went for the inevitable pulled pork,as this is a craft pub, and from the small taste I had it was pretty good if a little too sweet. The place is off the main drag inbetween Liverpool Street and Spitalfields so stayed quiet on the sunny Saturday afternoon we were there, but I imagine it gets busy at weekdays. Unfortunately due to its location between the City and Whitechapel I imagine it attracts a terrifying combination of suited wankers and bearded hipster tossers that would make me want to claw my eyes out in horror and despair. Worth a visit on a weekend afternoon though if you're in the area looking for a cosy bite to eat.
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