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Monday 8 March 2010

London's Best Independent Pubs - The Gunmakers

The Gunmakers

I was recently invited to a tasting of Redemption Brewery ales at The Gunmakers pub in Clerkenwell. The event was organised by Siany of Qype, and hosted by the very knowledgeable Jeff Bell, the pub’s landlord.

The evening started off with an expert low down by Andrew Moffat, the founder of newly opened Redemption Brewery, on the two ales we were to try – the light and refreshing Redemption Pale Ale @ 3.8% and the darker, stronger Redemption Urban Dusk @ 4.5%.

Both ales had very distinct flavours and character, and despite not being a huge ale drinker, I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Jeff, a former lawyer, spoke eloquently about the ups and downs of life as an independent publican and his passion and care for the carefully chosen beers. It was fascinating to learn how important the publican is in ensuring that the ale kegs are stored in the best possible conditions to avoid staleness.

He is clearly a man who loves and believes in what he does, and his enthusiasm was contagious and inspirational.

The food was also excellent with main dishes priced between £4 and £15. I tried the “Beer battered Atlantic cod with hand cut chips, peas and tartare sauce” @ £12. The batter was crisp, encasing a succulent fillet of cod that was utterly delicious and fresh. The accompanying chips were perfectly cooked and chunky.

Other Qypers raved about the “rump steak in ciabatta with rocket, tomato and peppercorn mayo” @ £8.75.

This very attractive pub is tucked away in an obscure side street off Clerkenwell Road, an unlikely place to stumble upon but well worth a visit in my opinion.

Cost: the ale tasting was complementary, but beer prices were around the London average, fish and chips @ £12 (not complementary).

Likes: excellent fish and chips and rump steak sandwiches, knowledgeable and friendly staff, good quality beers.

Dislikes: kitchen closes at 9:30pm.

Verdict: A real gem of a place, selling excellent beers and food in intimate surroundings. Jeff and his team are knowledgeable and friendly and I thoroughly enjoyed my evening with them. Highly recommended.

Gunmakers on Urbanspoon


  1. Great write up of a very enjoyable evening. You're spot on re your likes and dislike. This is so like an ideal local, it's almost a stereotype. And the food is really very good indeed.

    One great thing about it is that the beers change week to week, and they're always unusual and sourced from all over the country.

  2. wow, Luiz, even though I am not into ales, I almost felt like listening to this man and his story! I guess anybody who is passionate about something (!) is interesting to listen too; it does not hurt that the fish and chips were yummy either!

  3. @ Grubworm - hi Aaron, one of the nicest things about the evening was finally meeting you there! It was a pity we did not have much time to chat but I believe we will be meeting again on the 24th. Looking fwd to that.

    @ Taste of Beirut - dear Joumana, Jeff was indeed inspirational. I am not into ales much but maybe I have had some bad ales in the past which put me off. Gunmaker's ales are excellent and I enjoyed them thoroughly though.

  4. Hey! Stop telling people about this pub. It's busy enough as it is! Ha ha! My favourite place for a beer. You can't beat a pub where the people running it, and working behind the bar, actually care about the beer they're serving up. These people don't just care about the ale, they're passionate about it.

  5. Hey Anonymous, I missed a heartbeat as I read your first line! Ha ha! I was so pleased to have found this place too.


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