The owners of the Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington have done a jolly nice job, dragging this formerly scuzzy music pub into the 21st century. Washed London brick and salvaged church-hall furniture set the stripped-back tone, shifting the focus onto a fantastic range of real ales, bottled beers and ciders dispensed by staff well-versed in the complexities of craft brewing. Esoteric names such as Ascot Ales Alley Cat and Anastasia Exile Stout rub shoulders with Thornbridge Wild Swan, Dark Star American IPA and Bumble Berry. Some of London’s finest are also represented (try the Kernel brewery’s India Double Porter for size), and the kitchen’s Brixton burger with fat chips acquits itself well. Otherwise, choose from lamb rump, rib-eye steak, roast dinners and veggie options, backed by a serviceable selection of wines at this buzzy late-licensed tavern in an urban desert.
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