Brand New: The Finborough Arms
Part of what makes this area so goddamned great is the people. There are a multitude of businesses here that are owned and run not by corporations but real folks who pour their heart and souls into the establishments they run. Better still, and whether they like it or not, their personalities spill out all over their work and turns the whole process of getting a shirt dry-cleaned or buying a book of stamps into a pleasure and not a chore.
We’ve got a newbie in our midst, but something tells me he’s going to fit right in.
Publican Jeff Bell has taken up the challenge of restoring The Finborough Arms to its former ‘pub’ glory days. No stranger to the industry, he already owns a lovely gastropub in Clerkenwell called The Gunmakers, Bell made a decision early on that what the area really needed was a pub that focused on really great beer. No more, no less, fuss, no muss.
Except, given his eye for detail and what I detect as a ‘touch’ of perfectionism, The Finborough Arms has re-opened as so much more than that.
The interiors have been stripped back to the bare bones of the large dark wood bar, much as it would have been in the 1860s when the doors first opened, and apart from the green metro tiles behind the bar there is not much colour in the room. This means that the eye is automatically drawn to the tall gleaming, polished brass beer pumps, a who’s who line up of craft beer aristocracy.
On tap today: Mad Goose, Portobello Market Porter & White Portobello, Rocket Brigade IPA, Burrow Hill Scrumpy Draught, WatchHouse Winter Warmer, Flue Faker, Lagunitas IPA, Hogan’s Cider, TipoPils and König Pilsener.
Not a bad start, if you like beer and cider. Actually, not a bad start even if you’re not quite sure how you feel about beer and cider, there’s such an array of tastes and types that you may even find out your favourite has been lurking here all along as I did on opening night. TipoPils btw.
Copper top tables and church pews make up the rest of the room, a piano in the far corner that quite often has some jangly talent banging away on it and bringing up the mood.
I have been promised that there will be some events to look forward to in the form of various beer experts either brewing something specially for our delectation (rumours are abound that these may even be original 18th Century beer recipes) or simply offering the opportunity to taste some of the finer brews in a ‘flight of beer’.
I for one can’t wait.The Finborough Arms 118 Finborough Road West Brompton, SW109ED @FinboroughArms