Pub #38: The Cock Tavern, Mare Street

The newest pub on the rarely-updated 100 Pubs Project (whose page needs updating) is The Cock Tavern on Mare Street.

the cock tavernFull disclosure: I love this damn pub. I was there on its opening night last July (in fact, I was its second customer after the marvellous Elsie) when Twee8 decided to hold its monthly meet-up at The Cock Tavern on its inaugural night. The night even ended with a round of applause when time was called, because it was the end of a great night with great beer in a great new East London pub–a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, and has been, particularly as it has been on my way back home from work while at Great British Chefs, as well as a great destination for birthdays, after-work drinks and other get-togethers.

cheers

The Cock Tavern is unique among most pubs in London in that it has a little microbrewery in its basement, Howling Hops. Headed up by Ed, formerly of Redemption Brewery, the Howling Hops beers are fantastic and, true to the name, tend to be generously, gloriously hoppy and flavourful.

howling hops pale aleIn addition to the beer from Howling Hops, The Cock Tavern also plays host to a large variety of craft brews on cask, keg and in bottle, including selections from other London breweries such as The Kernel Brewery, Redchurch Brewery, East London Brewing Company, Brodie’s Beers and Partizan Brewing. Other breweries further afield who I’ve seen represented on the keg clips and handpumps include Marble Brewery, Harbour BrewingDark Star Brewing Co. and Magic Rock.

on keg at the cock tavern

pumpclips at the cock tavern

keg options at the cock tavern

Plus, there’s a good number of handpumps dedicated to an array of scrumpy ciders and perries, along with wine for those who prefer inebriation that’s more fruit-based.

The Cock Tavern is a destination for beer, not for food. Edible fare is in the form of smaller bites: pork pies, vegetarian Scotch eggs and crisps. With a brewery in the basement and Hackney’s tiniest beer garden, there isn’t much room to prepare food. However, friends of mine are fond of the pork pies, and I can certainly vouch for the veggie Scotch eggs.

Cask pints generally run between £3.30 to £3.60, and beers on keg can vary–generally around £4, but some of the higher ABV craft selections can be as high as £6 per pint, but those sort of beers are generally best savoured in halves unless you feel like obliterating your evening. The house lager is from Camden Town Brewery–lately its been their Unfiltered Hells. I personally tend to get halves when I go to The Cock Tavern, because with the range of beer that they have, I tend to want to try everything.

a half at the cock

The Cock Tavern have a Twitter account, and quiz night is on Wednesday. They also have an upcoming Spring Saison Session on the 21st of March, showcasing saison beer from several British breweries.

spring saison sesh cock tavern

2 thoughts on “Pub #38: The Cock Tavern, Mare Street

  1. hello! lovely review, but just one tiny pedantic point. The Cock isn’t unique in having a brewery in the pub, in fact it’s not even unique in Hackney! The Crate and (until last week) Beavertown both brew on site, as do Tap East in stratford, the Botanist in Kew and Brodies in Leyton to name a few.

    I hope you’re not going to double pedant me and point out that none of these are in the basement? ;)

  2. Hi there.

    I did say that The Cock is “unique among most pubs” for the very reason of being aware of Beavertown/Duke’s Brew & Que and a handful of other pubs that brew on site. There’s also The Bull in Highgate, too.

    If you want a war in pedantry, though, I’ll gently point out that The Crate Brewery is technically not in Hackney, despite being in Hackney Wick. :)

    Thanks for the comment!

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