Longer term readers will know all about the wildcard night that we host every month. Last month was hosted at The Duke’s Head in Highgate – an area where drinkers are spoilt for choice.
We arrived late Friday afternoon, early evening and found the pub with a surprising family feel. Young families having dinner, men popping in for a quick pint after walking their dogs. Basically, what local pubs are like outside London.
As you can see from the above photo, there are two small screens at the back of the pub but having a pint and watching the game isn’t really what this pub is about. The Duke’s Head ethos is to support small, independent breweries so there’s a lot of British beers available and the staff are phenomenally well regarded in the industry so really know their stuff. All of the beer that they enjoy is even listed on a chalkboard behind the bar. This place is a beer geeks goldmine.
Following their lead, we spent most of our night drinking Hit The Lights, an IPA from Weird Beard, with a fruity hoppy taste. Very drinkable indeed but apparently very difficult to brew. To the extent that Weird Beard are rumoured to be considering stopping producing it.
Anyway, back to the subject. The bar itself has ten taps on it. Two of which are always Cider. There are ten more behind the bar, including the pub’s house larger – Hammerton Islington Steam.
For those that aren’t beer fans, the pub is also a supporter of Sacred Gin – a local drinks brand distilled a ten minute walk away from the pub. It has it’s own section behind the bar where the gin features in cocktails.
If you decide you’ve really enjoyed the gin then you can purchase a bottle for £29.95. Likewise, if you’ve really enjoyed a beer than you can purchase that in a four pint growler to take home.
Worth pointing out that there is also a pretty good wine, tequilla, whiskey selection too.
Foodwise, there is a kitchen that is given out every month to a different street food vendor. When we visited it was Meat Heads, who sell meat balls, burgers, fries and similar. Tasted pretty darn good to us but we did eat after five hours of boozing so erm, don’t judge us if we called this wrong.
Time Out awarded it Best Pub in N6 in the 2014 Love London Awards. Around the same time that CAMRA named it as their pub of the season and we can see why.