The Draft House, a new breed of public house offering one of the widest ranges of draft and bottled beers in London, has opened on Northcote Road, Clapham, London. A second site will appear at the end of January in Battersea.
Created by long-standing operator Charlie McVeigh and the team behind The Westbridge in Battersea Bridge Road, The Draft House idea means a local public house with an unrivalled range of beer, honest food, fine wines and – of course – warm service.
McVeigh’s plan is to launch other Draft Houses in 2010 and beyond, starting with the conversion of The Westbridge into The Westbridge Draft House at the beginning of February 2010. The Westbridge is where the Draft House idea was born, as McVeigh and his team noticed that the more eclectic the beer offering, the busier and happier the place became.
McVeigh says, “We want to do for beer what our culture has done for food and wine in the past 20 years, namely to take it seriously. In beer terms this means being passionate about the sourcing, cellaring and serving of a diverse range of local and international beers of all descriptions.
“We read every day that fifty pubs a week are closing and beer sales are in inexorable decline. Yet, well-run pubs as well as regional and micro breweries of quality are thriving. We believe passionately that a public house with great beer, good food and genuine warmth still has a place at the centre of every community.”
The Draft House Northcote Road keeps 17 beers on draft and over 50 beers in bottle hailing from every corner of the globe – all of which are served in the correct glassware.
The house ale, Wandle, is sourced from local brewery Sambrook’s. The Draft House believes that discovery through tasting is a good thing. To this end The Draft House is one of the few pubs in the UK to serve beer in the little-known third of a pint measure, as well as halves and full pints. For those unable to make up their minds, the ‘Pint of Thirds’ does what it says on the tin – three beers, each served in a third of a pint glass. The Draft House is The Home of the Third.
The menu, designed by McVeigh and Head Chef Simon Noumar in conjunction with restaurant consultant James Kirby, features excellent beer matches such as Potted Gressingham Duck, Padron Peppers, Artisan Cheeses and Pints of Prawns. A notable and delicious original dish is Ox Tongue Fritters with Beetroot and Horseradish. All starters are served as sharing plates to encourage warmth and conviviality.
Main Courses include Beer-Battered Fish & Chips with Mushy Peas; Roasted Tuscan Sausages with Lentils and Baby Fennel; and Cockles and Mussels (in a Symond’s cider and cream sauce). Brunch Lunch specials, Afternoon Teas and Sunday Roasts are also available. A cheese of the week, sourced locally at Hamish Johnston on the Northcote Road, can also be sampled free by customers every weekday evening from 6-7pm.
The Draft House Northcote Road
94 Northcote Road, London SW11 6QW
Tel. 020 7924 1814
The Westbridge Draft House (launches February 2010)
74-76 Battersea Bridge Road, London SW11 3AG
Tel. 020 7228 6482