Keeping it real … Real Ale
Thursday night I made the long awaited visit to Tap East, Stratford Westfields hidden beer gem! Located right at the back of the huge shopping complex you will find a welcoming pub / microbrewery rewarding all husbands and boyfriends with a glass of some of the worlds finest beers for making it all the way to the end of the shopping center after shadowing their bright eyed lady friends all day! Part of the ‘Great Eastern Market’ Tap East offers an impressive 16 draught beers and 100+ bottle collection as well as bar snacks including burgers, pizzas, pork pies and bratwursts but you can also eat any of the food from the GEM in Tap East, which is really good.
An adventure that includes a trip on the DLR line is a plus for me as still now as a 27 year old I still love sitting at the front of those ‘lego’ trains, something my friend who was tagging along also felt! The best way to get here is to dodge all the teenie boppers waiting to get a signature of whichever latest pop heart throb is signing his ‘autobiography’ inside the shopping center and jump onto the new DLR line at Stratford station and one stop through the Olympic park to Stratford International which brings you almost right outside Tap East, very handy!
Tap East is a small area in the corner of GEM with high tables, low sofa tables and lots of space at the L shape bar for standing. Behind the bar is enough beer badges, bottle labels and whatever other beer memorabilia to keep any beer nerd happy for hours of viewing (not to mention the big bright tempting lights of the bottle fridges!) Behind the bar area and on full view from the outside you can see their micro brewery in action (due to being in a rush on the way out I forgot to get a snap of the outside view) Me and my friend tasted a good half of what was on offer half pint at a time, we tried Tap Easts own brews IPA (Calypso) 5.6%, East End Mild 3.5% and Tap Dance 5.3% all very nice and I think reasonably priced. We then had Redemption’s Rock the Kazbek 4% and Dark Star’s Carafa Jade 5%, but the stand out beer of the night was Thornbridge’s Thorny Goat 6% this was a really really good beer, so good my mate (who is quickly getting into the world of real ale / craft beer) claimed it was the best beer he had ever had!
I read some utter nonsense online on a few review sites before coming complaining about the bar staff … well I can tell you the bar staff was not only super knowledgeable and helpful but incredibly friendly! It was refreshing to see such young staff with the level of knowledge they had about what they had on offer as well as it was enjoyable to see the excitement on their faces when talking about London’s Brewing festival this weekend. So if anyone who has wrote up a bad review about Tap East in the past I suggest you give it a second go because I was surprised anyone would have a bad word to say about the place after my visit!
When the football season is back up and running after the Summer I can see Tap East being a regular drinking place after home games in Leyton and I cannot wait to return.
The Olympics may be gone and forgotten and trust me I hear the word ‘legacy’ all the time in the stands at football at the moment but there is no doubt what beer legacy has been left from the Olympic face lift over at Stratford and for that I raise my glass in thanks!