In the summer of 2016, the roving Beer Kat pub planted Holloway Road on London’s craft beer map, for a little while, when it popped into a vacant, sprawling three-storey space to host a series of tap takeovers from noted UK breweries like Beavertown Brewery, Siren Craft Brew, and Tiny Rebel Brewing. Until then, this heavily trafficked artery linking Highbury & Islington with Archway in northern London was rather thin on pubs and shops selling the good stuff: there was The Lamb and, well, that’s about it, unless you count The Coronet.
Sadly Beer Kat is long gone, but at long last The Lamb has good company in good beer on lovably scruffy Holloway, from bottle shops like Indiebeer and Provisions to, most notably, the House of Hammerton. Taking over a space previously occupied by The Wig and Gown pub—John Lennon and Yoko apparently once swapped “their cut hair with a pair of bloodied Muhammed Ali shorts” on the building’s roof—this spacious, bricked-and-wooded taproom from Islington’s own Hammerton Brewery offers 20 draught beers and 4 cask ales, including the full range of whatever Hammerton has available. There are 80-plus bottles, too; IPAs, pale ales, and dark ales dominate the list.
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In addition to serving the freshest Hammerton brews in London—the brewery itself is just around the corner—the pub pours a number of guest beers and hosts periodic tap takeovers, including one held in November for respected Leeds craft brewery Northern Monk Brew Co. No kitchen, but you’re free to bring your own food or have it delivered. The menu for nearby hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint Amigos is conveniently tacked onto the back of the drinks list.
It’s a shame that Beer Kat didn’t stick, but Holloway Road is at least in good hands again.
House of Hammerton is located at 99 Holloway Road in London. 020 7607 2643. Open Monday to Wednesday 4pm – 11:30pm, Thursday 4pm – 12am, Friday 4pm – 1am, Saturday 12pm – 1am, and Sunday 12pm – 11:30 pm.