Pub Guide: The Axe

The Jolly Butchers has been, for some time now the de facto craft beer pub of choice in Stoke Newington, and though it's certainly a great (if rather expensive) joint it never really dialled its beer geekery quite to 11.

Step in The Axe. Formerly known as The Cricketers, this Stokey local cropped up around three months ago boasting 23 taps, an extensive bottle list, and a tantalising food menu to boot. Though the muted greens and greys, beautiful indoor shrubbery, and industrial looks are of little deviation from the norm, crucially the curation of beer is exceptional.

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With a far more left-field menu including beers from the likes of renowned breweries such as Omnipollo, Founders, and Cloudwater, it's perhaps only so evident that this is what the area needed after the matter of the fact.

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Despite The Jolly Butchers, The Prince and more holding the middle ground for craft beer drinkers The Axe looks to hit for the premium crowd, though handily Cask Ales from around £4 lessen the blow to your wallet a touch.

First up to taste was Founders' inspired Kentucky Breakfast Stout. This brilliantly warming bourbon-aged beer was as thick and as syrupy as any afficando will tell you. KBS is a modern classic, no doubt, though its understandable this full bodied beast won't be for everyone, the delicate touches of vanilla and coffee alongside its low carbonation certainly gave it an impressive balance.

Elsewhere Crooked Stave's Colorado Wild Sage managed to be herbal, smokey, earthy and satiating all at the same time in what was an impressive feat. Also on the menu was Cloudwater's latest hyped beer the IIPA and Beavertown's newest edition of the excellent, summery Peacherman.

It's in this respect that The Axe has categorically found new life in what could initially seem to be a crowded marketplace. Though most expect high quality food and a selection of interesting beers in this area, the care and attention to detail is often a little wide of the mark.

Attending to fad or rather vogue beers may go over the head of many a punter and pub-owner, however, it certainly hasn't for The Axe. Indeed, if its curation holds strong in its daringness, and awareness of the infatuations of craft beer fans, it'll soon see deserved Untappd-wielding crowds flocking to its gates.

Visit The Axe on 18 Northwold Road, London, N16 7HR
To find out more head over to their website.