Welcome to the fifth edition of Raising the Bar – a fortnightly review of an establishment that a beer fan (such as yourself) should really pay a visit to. Each entry in the series will lay out why said place should be on your beery agenda, giving the key factors as to why these venues are so special.
Long Arm Pub and Brewery – London
Consider a really good salad bowl for a moment. One you’d put at the centre of the garden table during a glorious summer’s BBQ, just in time to warm-up the appetites while the grill is starting to roar into life. A big fresh mountain of green, purple, red, yellow, orange and whatever other colours come to mind.
A selection of individual delicious parts that come together to create a marvellous finished product.
The whistle has just gone for half-time in a rip-roaring Premier League game. The big screen jolts to the studio, and the bar’s sound system switches back over to the folk rock melodies of Bruce Springsteen to pass the time before play resumes. Around you, pinball machines whirr and flash – and murals, evidently painstakingly drawn on the wall, bring new life to the brick.
Plates of tapas bites and burger buns dot the handful of big wooden tables, each of which is integrated with more handy phone charging sockets than even an Instagram influencer would need.
Hooked over the top of the bar surrounded by their smaller pint, half pint and third pint cousins, 2L stein glasses (Maß for the purists out there) catch your eye as you ponder what to order next. The smell of malt gently percolates through the room from the labour of the in-house microbrewery that supplies the pub’s beer.
There’s a lot going on at Long Arm in London’s Worship Street. It’s a pub that shows football yet doesn’t have an atmosphere of intimidation that some such venues find themselves with.
It’s a pub that brews all it’s own beers on the premise, serving black lagers, IPAs, stouts, saisons – you name it, and gives you a fine food range, from mini plates of mac and cheese croquettes to big ole burgers, to pair them with.
It’s a pub that has been sculpted to be unique and different in its market. And like many of the greatest artists, has taken the best parts of a whole load individual components and melded them into one delightful venue. And just like that great salad, the individual parts have all added up into something spectacular
Why you should visit in a sentence: This is a pub that has taken a number of individual pieces of what makes different pubs excellent and smashed them together into one fantastic venue.
Where – 20-26 Worship St, London EC2A 2DX. 5 minute walk to Old Street Station. 7 minute walk to Moorgate station. Both of which are on the Northern Line and also have other Underground and train services.
Selection on day of visiting (March) – 6 kegs, 5 of which are brewed on-site and one guest beer. These included a red IPA, a lager, a grapefruit saison, a black lager and an oatmeal stout. Guest brew was the oh-so-fine Wild Beer Co. – Bibble.
Highlight Beer – Long Arm’s Red IPA (RIPA) was the perfect balance of the cloying stickiness of a west coast IPA and the grassy characteristics of the red malt.
Food Menu – Burgers (7 to choose from), fries, small dishes such as chicken wings and ribs, as well as some fine-looking shakes and sundaes.
Price of an average beer – £5.50 a pint with 2L steins for the price of pints between 4 – 6PM on Monday – Friday.