The Brewhouse, Islinton, EC1

The decor of the Brewhouse is part cosy pub, part city bar, with a microbrewery dominating the rear

The decor of the Brewhouse is part cosy pub, part city bar, with a microbrewery dominating the rear - Credit: Archant

Those who have enjoyed the many and varied delights of Islington Town Centre after dark will be very aware of the premises the Brewhouse now occupies on the corner of Torrens Street.

It has, over the years been, had a variety of guises, most recently a part of the BRB chain, which all had one thing in common - plenty of booze and late night antics.

But the Brewhouse represents a new dawn for the old girl. Alcohol is very much at the heart of the operation - although this time it’s brewed on site with maximum quality control - and the food also now takes centre stage. Inside, it’s a healthy cross between cosy pub and down town bar, with plenty of standing room, cosy booths and some nice lighting.

The back of the place is dominated by the microbrewery that gives the place its name - big, jolly looking tanks that emit local sounding tipples such as the Britton, Hotblack Desiato, Myddleton or Granita Pact. You can order a flight of beers (or indeed, take part in a brewing day with in-house mastermind Pete Hughs) and settle down for some of the honest, hearty, but at times surprisingly refined food.

It ranges from the calorific, yet deeply satisfying dirty dog (a whopping ‘furter smothered in chillies, cheese, etc) to the wonderful, rather delicate seafood chowder: a light, yet flavour packed fish soup severed elegantly in a hollowed out brown loaf.

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Somewhere in between was the triumphant beer can chicken, a whole bird cooked, naturally, on top of a beer can. The ale ensures moist meat, with a sweet dark glaze, and once carved up by the chef, with lashings of crispy fries and corn, it was another belly-busting but tasty sharer.

A special mention must be made of the ‘ridiculous’ burger, which came recommended and more than lived up to it’s moniker. As subtle as a house brick, and a bit of a mess, the two massive patties, bacon, cheese and chilli is all a bit much except, presumably, after a few ales.

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Which is, I suspect, where the Brewhouse will do well. It’s a beer drinker’s paradise supplemented by good quality pub grub, with a few more sophisticated numbers thrown in for good measure.

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