BY BILL LACY
This place was a find.
I heard about the Beer Rebellion in Gipsy Hill, but only discovered the Peckham one by chance.
At first the name and the look of the place suggested to me a bottle shop, but it’s a pub, albeit one that resists categorisation and is perhaps, as they self-describe, a little “weird”.
It exists in the place where traditional pub, micropub and craft beer bar intersect on the Venn diagram.
It has a modest interior, a wall unpainted in that accidental-but-actually-deliberate fashion, and a simple bar at the back.
I sat down on a wooden bench in a pub that was half-empty because, bafflingly for me as it was a cold night, most people were sitting on the benches outside.
A couple next to me were conversing about music I had never heard of.
It has a youthful but eclectic crowd; the atmosphere that swirled up was that of a “boozer”.
Don’t let the urban, craft beer exterior fool you. After a while I realised there was no app and no table service (I visited in the interregnum between lockdowns) and my irritation at a delayed pint gave way to the excitement of approaching the bar.
After months of one-way systems, no-go areas and masks in toilets this felt genuinely exciting, radical even.
A couple of beer people were already at the bar talking to the staff in a demeanour that suggested they worked there as well.
As expected, the beer choice was excellent, even though not all lines were on.
I ordered a superb pint of Siren’s Broken Dream breakfast stout on cask.
This is a specialist beer place (with extremely reasonable prices), but unpretentious and unfussy.
I stayed until closing time, and was not rushed out at 9.15pm as I had been earlier in the week in another pub.
With their common sense approach to Covid, it almost felt normal again.
It was one of the first places I had been to in the new world which didn’t require a booking – perhaps because it is justifiably popular, and inclusive – it doesn’t disappear down the rabbit hole of beer nerdiness.
Its Twitter page for example isn’t full of beer jargon as some craft beer pages have, all DIPAs and DDHs, but instead has gems such as “Has anyone lost a hockey kit? Please get in touch”.
I imagine the “youth” will descend on places like this when restrictions lift but we can’t take anything for granted.
That’s why I spread the word about places such as this.
It is definitely one for the post-lockdown ale trail.
Beer Rebellion, Peckham, 129 Queen’s Rd, Peckham, SE15 2ND.
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