Category Archives: Pub Types

The various types of pubs, bars, wine bars, et al.

Craft Beer Pubs

Since this blog was created, indeed probably since the last time it was updated, the term “craft beer” has become a much-ballyhooed part of the beer scene in London. There are still only a handful of pubs that might justifiably be called “craft beer pubs” according to the recent use of this term, but I’ll need to address what exactly it is before I can address the pubs themselves.

The Euston Tap (Euston NW1)
Figure 80. The Euston Tap (Euston NW1).

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Temperance Inns

In a post last month, I tried somewhat flippantly to question what exactly a pub was by presenting a hotel bar called London Pub (fig. 54). It seems, however, that there may be more examples of when a pub is not really a pub, namely the temperance inn.

The Lord Roberts (Upper Woodcote CR8), now closed
Figure 63. The Lord Roberts (Upper Woodcote CR8), now closed.

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What’s in a Name?

Sorry for such a long gap between posts. I’m working on something now, but just while we wait, here’s a brief one.

In my last post, I tried to settle on a definition of a pub so as to discuss the phenomenon of the gastropub, which to a certain extent is overtaking the very form of the traditional pub itself. We talked about the look of a place, we talked about the drinks available, the decor, the expectations of its drinkers, all kinds of things.

I therefore present this photo, of London Pub (Bloomsbury WC1, fig. 54), on Woburn Place.

London Pub (Bloomsbury WC1)
Figure 54. London Pub (Bloomsbury WC1).

Is it even a pub? Despite its hopeful name, this could be considered a bar — and a hotel bar, at that.

The Gastropub

Unlike many of the previous topics, this one promises to be contentious, for it concerns the much discussed phenomenon of the gastropub. Everyone it seems has an opinion about them, roughly ranging from grudging acceptance to downright loathing. Given that even how to define such an establishment is itself debated, for me to discuss them I must start to offer some personal opinions, so I’m moving decisively to the first-person for this post. You may differ in your definition, but that’s to be expected. There’s no single defining element at work, though I’ve heard people trying to argue that things like serving handmade/hand-cut chips, or having a chalkboard with food specials, are the sole feature making a place a ‘gastropub’. Perhaps, though, they could feature on a checklist we might come up with, or a mathematical equation?

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The Pub Chain: Courage

The idle traveller around London is still frequently exhorted to “TAKE COURAGE” by pubs (fig. 34), and even occasionally other buildings which retain their old signage. This is, of course, no mere public-spirited advice; it is advertising. Where nowadays the imperative has been hijacked by Fuller Smith Turner’s brewers and amended to “Take Pride”,1 the original harks back to the brewery firm founded by John Courage in 1787.

The Amersham Arms (New Cross SE14)
Figure 34. The Amersham Arms (New Cross SE14).

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