Monthly Archives: May 2011
Address Mason & Taylor, 51-55 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
The Blurb: Beer doesn’t have a cache. It isn’t like wine. People don’t treat it with the same respect or deference or wide-eyed wonderment. It isn’t considered noble. It is the preserve of the labourer; the man toiling in the field returns from his manual, earthy grind and is refreshed by the simple, utilitarian drink of the land. Even the Royal Family, guardians of all things English, refused to serve this country’s greatest contribution to the drinks cabinet at their latest little party. Why beer has never been able to raise its profile is a question too baffling for somebody as lowly as me to answer; I am after all merely a beer drinker…All I can do is report the facts and beer’s pedestrian reputation is an ordained fact. Until now. One of the best things to come out of my quest for London’s greatest Pub is not only the perpetual booze-tinged perspective I have gained of the world but the realisation that there are people who believe beer is capable of delivering a truly great experience. They recognise its variety, its ever changing character, its diversity and they champion its artisanal qualities. They go to the greatest of lengths to brew, source and showcase the very best of beer, flying in the face of Royal dictum – a veritable act of treason no doubt – and all because they, unlike so many, believe beer is worth it. Mason & Taylor is a pub run by said people: it is, quite simply, a brilliant place to drink beer. Everything about Mason & Taylor is great. The staff, the layout, the food and what else? Oh, the beer. The beer is just amazing. The range and quality are staggering. Micro-breweries are clearly a priority here – their beers proving how truly diverse the styles and flavours can be. But the care and attention doesn’t stop there. The whole place has been designed to attract pretty much any demographic – none of your dingy, insular, off-putting nicotine-stained back water tavern here. Instead we are given light and glass and wood. If beer is ever going to reach a wider audience and in doing so move up the social ladder then such surroundings will be instrumental in its progress. And who knows, if places as good as Mason & Taylor keep springing up then maybe, just maybe, one day a Prince will appear on a balcony with a pint of Brodies Citra…my money’s on Harry…here’s hopping (my apologies but I just had to get that in).
The Scores: Beer: 5, Food: 4, Ambience: 5, Accessibility: 3, Value: 4
Total: 21/25 Pints