The newly opened microbrewery in west London combines the characterful and atmospheric dark wooded 17th century coaching house that is the George & Dragon at the front and an imposing, airy space to the rear with a large island bar. This room is dominated by copper fermentation tanks along one wall, no mistaking its brewery credentials.
Headed by Master Brewer, Conor Donoghue, previously Head Brewer at The Lamb Brewery in Chiswick and The Botanist in Kew, the brewery is launching with four beers. Achtung! is a lightly carbonated, 5% German style wheat beer with a hint of banana and clove and a good malty, bitter finish. The easy drinking 2 O’clock Ordinary is an amber coloured, medium bodied best bitter with a rounded acidity, a malty tail and finish with a satisfying bitterness. The best of the lot is the golden coloured pale ale Early Doors which comes in a both cask and keg. The keg version has a good hoppy, citrus, almost soda pop like nose. It is refreshing, sparkling with dense bubbles and has a fragrant lemonade flavour with a good bitter finish. The cask version is flatter and loses some of the vibrancy of the keg version. Same with the cask version of the stout, Dark Matter, which has a good chocolatey nose and a light body with an intriguing savouriness. Niche and seasonal beers will also be introduced in due course such as a fruit beer and a golden ale for the summer.
The two part menu has a selection of British pub classics with an American accent of bar snacks and burgers and dogs, incorporating the beers when possible. The hefty Old Smokey burger is a meaty mix of beef patty, smokey bacon and pulled pork with smoked chipotle sauce. It is a little elaborate and rich but the pulled pork is perfectly sweet, soft and flavoursome. A pulled pork sandwich would be a welcome addition to the menu. Though the pulled pork fares less well in the bar snack of ‘Early doors’ pulled pork and sweet potato hash which got a little sweaty and soggy. The pulled beef brisket chili has textural strands of beef instead of mince, a good spicy kick but is lacking in depth and complexity of flavour. The chips are nonetheless excellent, fluffy inside and crispy on the outside, as chips should be. The food will certainly improve after an initial bedding-in-period as there is plenty of evidence of competence on show.
This pub is well worth a visit for any beer lover, both for the beers and the great bar space at the rear. It is a welcoming and comfortable venue, full of character and a great addition to the growing number of microbreweries around the country.