Continued from Croydon market…
The trip from Croydon to Dulwich is a journey through time, rather than postcodes. Where recent Beer Guide entries in the Cronx have been a throwback to the good old days when the Pride was drinking well (here and here), the Peckham-Palace-Dulwich triangle has some of the most cutting-edge bars in the country, standing on a par with Bethnal Green.
Gipsy Hill seemed an unlikely spot for a Beer Rebellion, and it was eerily quiet on Saturday lunchtime, but that’s the only thing I can say against it (apart from the handled jug, of course).
I can think of a few folk who might not share my enthusiasm for the styling, but any reservations Mrs RM had about the living room look lasted as long as the first half of a 6.6% Cloudwater collaboration beer (Optare I think). This was the point in the day when Mrs RM asked me why people were wittering on about The End of Cask, when Cloudwater make such good keg. I had no answer.
The East London Brewing Stout was very good (NBSS 3.5), and cheaper than the keg, but I thought I’d made the wrong choice. Again.
This place must have been great, as my notes record the music was live versions of Tears for Fears and Depeche Mode classics, normally an unforgivable crime.
Two more exciting bus trips brought us to Craft Central, Peckham Rye. Ignoring my instructions, Mrs RM made an unplanned stop here;
Now I’m a man of the world, even if it’s not your world, but I was totalled unprepared for Babettes, hiding behind that gorgeous Truman façade. Staff,glass in hand, dancing with customers to the Cure (what is this ’80s obsession SE London ?), chaotic service, no hand pumps.
It all felt like we’d gatecrashed a party or something. Then the groom offered me a bit of wedding cake.
We could have made our excuses and left, but we never get invited to weddings these days (OK, one), so bought a bottle of Partizan and hid in the corner, looking very conspicuous.
Mrs RM decided she needed the loo just as the speeches started. All four took less than two minutes, and were very touching.
All the best to Jack, Chin Chin and good luck with the baby. You make a lovely couple.
We bailed out before they moved on to Climie Fisher and Johnny Hates Jazz, pleased to tick “Gatecrash a Wedding” off our bucket lists.
Two minutes later we were at the Beer Shop, which is a stunner in the style of Heaton Hops. Apart from having a vacant loo, it had cheery young people, smiling dogs, exciting beer and a Bow Wow Wow soundtrack. Most folk were half our age, but do we care ?
As they say in CAMRA magazines, my notes were getting a bit hazy by this time, but the sole cask (Park Brewery I think) was a solid NBSS 3.5. Beer Shop is all about the keg and bottles though. I’m sure you can guess what Mrs RM chose from the menu.
That was Mrs RM’s lot, though she’d have loved to see the Ivy House, Nunhead’s star. The chips from Silver Fish Bar were consolation for missing that one out.