Beer Rebellion, Norwood

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11 Jan 2015
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
This friendly pub is owned by the Late Knights micro brewery (based in Penge in South East London). Listed as a 'micropub' by Wikipedia it is a converted shop opposite Gipsy Hill railway station and has a modest bar area (four stools) and three small stool-height tables on the opposite wall. There is a downstairs space with more comfortable seating but no bar.

Late Knights beers are available from cask and keg. When I visited in early January they had 'Morning Glory' (Best Bitter), 'Worm Catcher' (IPA) and 'Frosty Morning' (dark ESB style) all being served from cask and all in perfect condition.

Beer from the London Beer Factory and the local micro Gipsy Hill Brewing Company are regularly available, with 'Chelsea Blonde' and 'Beatnik', respectively, from cask when I visited.

A large range of bottled beers from interesting micros (and canned beer from Beavertown and Pressure Drop) plus cask cider, whisky, bourbon, wine and fancy soft drinks ensure that most visitors can find something to enthusiastically drink.

Food is available from an in-bar kitchen area (aggressive extractor fans stop the cooking smell from overwhelming the bar) and beer snacks include posh crisps, beer sticks (spicy salami), pork pies and 'beerkins' (battered gherkins!) This is not a restaurant or 'gastro' pub though the burgers and hot dogs are made from local good quality ingredients. (I tried the Bratwurst.)

There are no gaming machines, jukeboxes or big screen presentations of sporting events so this is a great pub for convivial conversation with friends. The background music is never intrusive (I recognised the Stranglers and David Bowie from the play-list).

Children (lightly supervised) are welcome and though there is step-free access there is not much space for pushchairs.

Pub friendly dogs occasionally visit with their owners.

Great beer, friendly and knowledgeable staff, tasty, good quality food and space to socialise (or not) make this a destination pub worth a special journey not just a 'local' for the lucky residents of Gipsy Hill.

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