Islington, the past and the future!

2012 will always be a remarkable year for me, not only because of the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee but also due to the rapid growth of The Craft Beer Co. It seems like only yesterday that it was merely an idea on a piece of paper and now its about to become a collection of four unique pubs with a whole family of wonderful people in those pubs caring for our incredible beers and customers.

This time two years ago as the proud proprietor of CASK Pub and Kitchen I was astonished by the reaction to the offer; every day people were saying ‘you must open another one’. This got me thinking and the decision was taken to start The Craft Beer Co. It took considerable time to find the right venue but we did eventually find a little gem on London’s historic Leather Lane with its beautiful mirrored ceiling. Every conceivable problem found its way to try and block our path, we thought many times we would never open, but we did and the reaction was staggering.

From day one I knew that we needed the best possible people on board if we were going to be successful and luckily we persuaded Tom Cadden to become our first manager. Since then we have added a host of amazing people to our team and it is due in large part to their passion and dedication that we are so successful.

At the beginning of 2012 I would have never believed we would add three pubs this year, but that is just what we have done. We opened in Brighton, recently Brixton and now Islington.

We are often these days referred to as a ‘chain’, which is a term I personally hate. That said, it is true that, like a chain, we are only as strong as our weakest link. We are simply a small family of great pubs with amazing beers and people behind the bar.

I would hope the Craft logo is not seen as a brand but simply a promise of quality, that our passion and dedication to selecting and showcasing the very best is trusted.

We have no firm plans for 2013 as yet but one thing is absolutely certain, we would never consider any growth if it threatened our standards and the quality of what we offer.

We would not be where we are without the tremendous support of so many wonderful people to whom we are very grateful indeed. We will be working very hard to try and get even better in the future.

Come and visit Islington as we are very proud of its unique decoration and atmosphere. We never want to be boxed into a corner about how a ‘craft’ pub should look or feel, the only guarantee should be the world class beers, spirits and wines on the bar and warm, friendly and knowledgeable service!

Founder of The Craft Beer Co

4 Comments. Leave new

Johanthan Samdan
November 21, 2012 10:33 am

I hope the future is bright and crafty for you all!

I just wanted to say that I visited Islington on Saturday night and cannot speak highly enough of it. I look forward to visiting again soon.

Thanks Lewis – we’ve put lots of love into Islington and really hope you enjoy it!

As an American lover of quality beers, be they craft or traditional, I was considering a trip to Leather Lane last Sat night while on a trip back to London. The announcement of a new pub in Islington may have altered my course, but I was definitely not disappointed by either the beers on hand or the pub itself.

Thank you for what you are doing for quality beer in London.

Last month I had the chance to meet one of my beer idols, who is a longtime CAMRA member and beer writer. He was preaching about the need for CAMRA, “to go craft or die,” and I agree, and from what I’ve observed, I believe you do as well. Quality beer is quality beer, regardless if it be hand pumped or served under pressure. This is one of the things I love about the locations of yours that I have had the chance to visit I can sample a classic English pale ale or stout alongside the best the rest of the world has to offer.

As it appears that I will soon be moving back to London, I will certainly stop in many more times and enjoy the new world of beer that you have opened up for those fortunate enough to be near you. I’ve even extolled your virtues to the owner of my favorite craft local here who I am sure I will take some bottles back to on future trips.