"The Cock sheds its grimy past in favour of a craft beer flavoured future"All In London Rating
: Added Tue 28 Aug 2012 - Reviewed by T.A.O
First there was the Old Ship, a sort of gastro inspired afternoon drinking den. Then came the arrival of Lardo, the Italian restaurant that everyone wishes might open on their doorstep. Now it is the turn of The Cock to shed its grimy past in favour of a craft beer flavoured future. Just what is happening to Hackney Central and can we share it out with some other areas of London?
Once renowned for its less than floaty-light image and what seemed like a non-stop session of raucous karaoke, the old Cock pub went the way of the careers of all the ageing crooners its punters loved to ape Ė downwards. Which is good news because the name has stuck but inside the craft beer revolution has taken up its newest Hackney outpost.
Letís not sugar coat it though, the interior still feels like it is missing that finishing touch to make a really good pub into a great pub. Bare dangling light bulbs, classic heavy pub furniture and a black and white colourway are all well and good but it could certainly do with a soundtrack warming it up. No music here though, which contributes to an interior that is somehow cosy and impersonal at the same time. But weíll call it teething problems for now.
And so to the craft beer, one look at the bar and you know what this place is - you donít hook up somewhere between fifteen and twenty-five casks and kegs if youíre not serious. Itís awesome and thereís even cider too.
Highwire Pale Ale is excellent on this occasion, as is the stout from the Kernel and the Camden Hellís Lager. The ales presumably rotate and once youíve sampled a few all misgivings begin to disappear.
Pipe in some low level music, put something on the walls and The Cock will be the destination pub that Hackney Central has missed for so long. In fact, judging by the hip, young clientele, it might be already.
Official All In London review for The Cock Tavern