The Douglas Fir… an interesting and innovative little pub

By Bill Lacy

A downhill walk to burn off the calories from an unnecessarily gargantuan meal took me past The Douglas Fir, a small pub almost equidistant between Crystal Palace and Anerley railway stations.

There were a couple of outside tables, one of which was empty, an opportunity too good to miss as they are usually taken by bookings.

Time to put the calories back on.

It is an interesting little pub, and quite hard to classify, somewhere between a micro pub and a craft beer bar.

The Douglas Fir Pub, SE20

The inside had a modern look, with a sofa and some artwork on the walls, and was a little dark, obviously a deliberate effect but the lighting was a bit strange.

Like many “micropubs” it was obviously a former shop of some description (I think a hairdressers).

A row of fairly mundane shops now has a pub stuck in the middle of it, which is a wonderful evolution of the urban landscape.

The pub, named after a type of pine tree, is operated by Gipsy Hill brewery, a local brewery with a non-local reputation.

Most beers were from the brewery, although there are guest ales as well.

A well-stocked fridge showcased a decent array of Gipsy Hill cans, although not everything, but as an innovative brewery there is likely to be something new to try with each visit.

I settled for perhaps Gipsy Hill’s signature beer, Hepcat, so good it was worth coming here for that alone.

It felt strangely relaxing sitting outside, better than the usual experience of traffic noise and fumes when you sit by a main road.

The table service was friendly and efficient, although accompanied by the kind of explanation of each beer that borders on the over-enthusiastic.

A couple of beers in and I was joined at my table by a complete stranger.

My social skills having been blunted by the Covid era, it was quite perturbing at first, although a can of Moneybags, a double IPA at a whopping 9%, quickly stiffened any nerves.

A three-hour visit, exceeding original intentions, is always persuasive evidence that the pub is a good one. Douglas Fir, I will be back.

The Douglas Fir Pub
144 Anerley Road
SE20 8DL



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