We tried a lot of the beers, oh dear, and yes, we ate all the pies
People, like myself, fans of pre-war and post war novels, have a soft spot for Fitzrovia. The streets and pubs and alleys all features as strongly as the characters in the books, a world back then of vague sleaziness, of failed literary dreams and legendary drinking sessions in pubs.
The 100-year old Newman Arms definitely saw the likes of Dylan Thomas’s, and everyone’s favourite Old Etonian, George Orwell’s bums on a bar stool, and plenty of old BBC types too; actors, agents, producers and scriptwriters. They drank the beer and when hungry ate the famous pies upstairs.
And yet it had to close in 2015 and then, after a brief tidy up, reopen focussing more on food with Matt Chatfield’s Cornwall Project providing the grub. Perhaps understandably, with such a pretentious name, it didn’t make the grade and it closed again.
Enter Truman’s Brewery, no not the hipster fun palace in the East End, the original Truman’s Brewery which went down in the 1980s when all people wanted was crap lager, but the’new’ Truman’s and independent craft brewer created in 2010 and with their own brewery out eastt
The Newman Arms now has a 12 keg and 4 cask lines to feature Truman’s beer range, as well as a variety of rotating guest beers. The Truman’s cask selection includes Runner – Best Bitter, Swift – Golden Ale, Zephyr Pacific Pale and Lazarus Very Pale Ale whilst in keg Truman’s has RAW Lager, Roller IPA, Truman’s Pale Ale and Bow Bells Citrus Pale Ale.
The wine selection features quality English wine with the optics rack holding spirits from independent London distillers.
We sampled quite a few of the beers; all interesting and enjoyed a taste of three pies upstairs in the pie room – proper pies with a pastry base not a stew with a lid on as some places serve.
The decor has been done well and the atmosphere been brought back and if you want a beer take away, well The Newman Arms is one of the first pubs in London to install a ‘crowler machine‘. A clever device that fills 910ml cans with any draft beer in the pub for you to take home for later enjoyment.