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Half and Half, Croydon

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user reviews of the Half and Half, Croydon

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

closed - see newly opened page for Half and Half.
lad_newton - 25 May 2008 13:27
Just found out that Half & Half are now selling Belgian Beer from the old supplier. They have Hercules, St Bernardus, Kriek and others.
kodl - 16 May 2008 21:34
Not a bad new venue, will probably never have the range that the beer circus had to offer, but some interesting selections none the same.

Its cosier. We have a bit of music atmosphere once again, and it is becoming a trend of South Croydon with these snug bars that are a nice change from the Chav-centric range of Croydon

Beer Circus will be missed of its uniqueness, but then again, I also think like its Brightonian counter-part 'the evening star' it was a little over-rated too
the_original_rawnsleys - 13 May 2008 10:13
Extraordinary! The place has been closed since January and it still has the third highest rating of any pub in Croydon!

Come back, Graeme! All is forgiven!
scaldow - 7 May 2008 18:20
By the way your right Grovetown its called Half & Half.
kodl - 3 May 2008 21:22
Great new lounge bar which is worth a visit.

Try the pint of Half & Half which is Budweiser Budvar light and dark. The bar bites is also good. This place has totally changed from the Beer Circus.

kodl - 3 May 2008 21:19
Most definitely closed - now called the Half & Half or somesuch.
grovetown - 7 Mar 2008 14:18
re my prevoius report, i have not visited here for a few months but im sad to hear it has closed as reports below indicate
scaramanger - 4 Feb 2008 17:47
a wide and facinating journey into beer drinking from draught to bottled beers from around the world, prices are high but for what you get in quality and choice and high abv its fare, if your in croydon you must visit here
scaramanger - 4 Feb 2008 17:45
I did really like this pub as it offered something different. But let's face it, it was a bit of a dive and could do with someone making it a bit more clean and comfortable.

Saying that, I hope it doesn't become a "trendy" bar and holds onto its charm.
Popsuruncle - 11 Dec 2007 15:18
This excellent bar has now closed.
john_the_jester - 3 Dec 2007 12:40
Very sorry to hear that it is closing. There must be a market for this kind of bar. Great beers, and friendly people, I will certainly drop in before it goes.
nich52 - 20 Nov 2007 17:41
Smells like a toilet. Wondered if in fact I was sitting right nears the toilets the stench was so bad.
anonymous - 18 Nov 2007 17:46
One of the best pubs south of the river - a real shame to hear it's closing. Get down there while you still can for an excellent range of foreign beers, occasional live music and best of all, no chavs!
rollo_tomassi - 16 Nov 2007 15:04
Such a shame it's going. A good night last night, there are just too many beers to try! The place itself is quite basic but it really is, as in for example the Bricklayers Arms or the Evening Star, about the beer.
beeronaut - 1 Nov 2007 07:46
Sadly (Graeme informed me) the Beer Circus is likely to become a "lounge bar", bereft of anything but the same mainstream beers on offer in every other Croydon watering hole.
Rich66 - 15 Oct 2007 00:28
Devastating news of impending closure. Still time for Graeme to hand the pub over to another like-minded guy to continue his good work. Wish Graeme well in Spain.
Phucough - 7 Oct 2007 21:40
All you fans of Graeme Harker's Flying Beer Circus - and any users who remain keen to make a maiden visit -should be aware that it now seems likely that it may finally be flying off for good by the close of Oct '07, subject as ever to the vagaries of contract exchanges and so forth, and Graeme intends to pursue the next phase of his life in Spain. So Circus virgins: do try and get in there and see what the fuss has been about! Regulars will of course have the short-lived luxury of being able to get in as frequently as possible before it passes into the Annals of Pub History, where it will no doubt take an illustrious and memorable place amongst the town's more discerning and literate cognoscenti.
Whilst most will be secretly praying for a last-minute delay or reprieve for our own wicked indulgence, we should all thank Graeme for his superb contribution to Croydon pub life since 2004, and wish him well in whatever glistening form his new venture takes down in the Costa del Cerveza.

TWG - 2 Oct 2007 12:21
Worth visiting if in Croydon
JohnBonser - 27 Sep 2007 17:48
Still going strong...
anonymous - 27 Sep 2007 17:45
The Beer Circus is still open - I was there last night.
Arnaud - 24 Aug 2007 10:28
Can anyone please tell me if the circus is still alive or has the big tent been lowered on this venue for the last time?.
clapham - 24 Aug 2007 08:15
Been there but alas now closed!!!!!
Barra - 23 Aug 2007 12:33
Opens about 2pm on a saturday so drop by one afternoon before it gets too busy later on in the evening.

Friendly bar staff and an excellent range of beers.

May only now be around in its current form until September although new owners will be keeping some of the current features.
Get in there while you can.
terenced - 6 Aug 2007 08:17
This place is obviously still open, just not whenever I've been in Croydon. Anyone know when best time to visit is?
moodster - 28 Jul 2007 09:13
the best place to drink on south end. brilliant continental beers, and there's always something interesting to try. staff are some of the friendliest i've met. should not be missed!
blanksight - 27 Jul 2007 01:03
A great venue! A huge selection of domestic and foreign beers plus some very obscure beers. The punters are great, its a real gem only complaint is that it could do with a larger premises as it is very popular and can get a bit 'cosy'
anonymous - 19 Jul 2007 10:42
If you like pubs with interesting features as I do then you would be disappointed. However this pub is clean and simply furnished with a mild and a bitter from Dark Star plus a guest. I only intended staying for a pint but the beer was so good and I was enjoying watching the world go by in the High Street, so I stopped for another.
Alerover - 1 Jul 2007 16:05
Unbelievably cheap Dark Star Hop-Head (notice the beer chalked up as "Op-Ed" on the board, only £2.30p a pint - extended tour of Croydon was well worth it. Great to see pub still running after threat of closing.
jamie.nakin - 18 Jun 2007 10:28
So many beers. Not too expensive when you consider other places offering similar drinks – eg Bierodromes.

Great place for those who want to taste quality Belgian lagers, German weissbiers, etc having a civilised conversation with others (and maybe a game of cards or something else) in peace. Definitely not for those who need to be entertained by music, fruit machines or anything else & it can be horrifically quiet. Downstairs is dingy and dark, but I’ve never had to resort to going down there as there’s usually seating available upstairs. Doesn’t do food. It’s difficult to know when it will be open – I’ve been there at lunchtimes and its been closed. I’ve also been in Croydon to find it closed on a Sunday.

Now that Youngs have destroyed Epsom’s Rising Sun, it is one of the few places to get decent selection of beers.
LowenBeerHold - 9 May 2007 14:08
Great selection of beer, nice relaxed atmosphere and friendly bar staff. The only thing keeping me from giving this place 10/10 is the slightly erractic opening times.
Arnaud - 29 Apr 2007 19:51
Worth going out of your way for - I can't think of any other reason for going to Croydon! There aren't many places like this, certainly not in London. Great choice of beer - bottled and draught. No sign of any food though, so line your stomach before you visit!
Roodeye - 21 Apr 2007 17:16
A real gem of a place and so glad to see it thriving in Croydon. Great range of Belgian (and Dutch, French) beers and knowledgeable, friendly staff. Agree with others that it gets very smokey, but happily those days will soon be drawing to an end.
Bodger - 17 Apr 2007 18:01
Nice place, with a quality selection of Ales, but don't fear, their lager is good quality pilsner and they do often have some quality Ciders on offer. They know their stuff too and recommended a drink for my girlfriend, a cherry lager on draft!

The only negative is that there really are no creature comforts here and you can hardly breathe due to the smoke (there's no ventilation). Obviously that will be changing within a couple of months but would be nice if they made it a bit cosier.
Popsuruncle - 16 Apr 2007 16:16
Without a doubt, the only place worth its salt in Croydon!

Let me qualify that comment.

If you want cheap eurofizz, alchopops, loud music and sports on the TV, then this is not the place for you.

If, however, your preference is for well kept Real Ales, fine draught and bottled beers (to 14%! won't name the brand but those who know, KNOW!!) from Belgium, Holland, Germany, and all points East and West, wonderful ambiance, minimalist decor (and functional bathrooms), and intelligent and challenging clientele and conversation (plus the occaisional loud colonial!), then this is surely the jewel in the crown.

The beer menu is approaching half an inch thick (most of which are usually in stock) and should offer inspiration to even the most hardened of beer afficianados.

Graeme, Ana, Ula, Fiona and Dion do a fabulous job providing sustenance and entertainment night after night (supplemented by the occaisional live band, quiz night, and games evening (29 high Jenga, most entertaining!!).

Our host, Graeme, suffers from being a Rugby League fan in a world of Union fans, but, in spite of this, is one of the worlds finest lickspittles and a character of the first order.

Short note about the under 21 rule. Graeme is unlikely to have a problem with mature, erudite, and personable people of any age. Take the piss and you'll ruin it for everyone else, including Gueuzefan!
scaldow - 17 Mar 2007 09:10
An excellent bar - a real antidote to bland chain pubs everywhere. A great range of beers - even the ladies love the fruit beers. If you're precious about the environment it may not be for you - yes the toilets are pretty bad but a great evening atmosphere and unusual drinks make this the place to be! You won't have to venture into the spreadeagle, edge or others again..
nscantle - 23 Feb 2007 20:26
Found Beer Circus open Sat lunchtime, but seemed as if the place had not been properly cleaned from Fri night - bar counter may have had a cursory wipe down, but was hardly gleaming and this, I thought, reflected a not-too-bothered attitude, mirrored also in the juxtaposition of the two handpumps in action - Dark Star 'espresso' and 1648 'Winter Warrant'; both dark beers. Loos pretty squalid and the bar had the feel of a waiting room rather than a pub. Conceptually good for beer drinkers but, sorry, this one was less than impressed.
trainman - 18 Feb 2007 09:50
Very disappointed to find this place closed on Wed around 14:00. Should have noted prev reviews and called for opening hours, but shouldn't we expect a bar to be open midweek? Tempted to score zero as the opening hours were not even evident at the locked door but, in deference to what they are seemingly trying to do for beer drinkers, I'll post a 'don't know'.
trainman - 16 Feb 2007 15:47
Anon,the circus only opens for afternoon sustenance on Fri,sat,and Sunday.
Although i tried to confirm this on the circus website but alas that has now ceased to be.
The site proudly states "Closed for construction" perhaps because of it's present up for sale status, this should read "Closed for Destruction" I sincerely hope not.
clapham - 15 Feb 2007 07:08
Tried to pay my first visit this year yesterday 13 Feb, but it was closed at 2pm. Has the BC been sold or have the lunch time hours been changed?
anonymous - 14 Feb 2007 10:41
Pub or bar? Always the latter to my eye. Luck of the draw as regards atmosphere. Ikea showpiece or party buzz, it seems to depend on the numbers. Excellent range of beers, and the wine is good to, even excellent at times, and Mrs Codrotten doesn't dish out praise too carelessly, although the wines change rapidly, so what was excellent one day, becomes merely good the next, or so it seems (to her). Me? I've ten zillion beers to choose from. Background music wouldn't go amiss, say something laid back like Floyd or Porcupine Tree. Hope the future bodes well.
Codrotten - 14 Nov 2006 16:24
Happily for us, despite personal circumstances forcing him to place the Circus on the market in March much against his own will, Graeme remains at large at this excellent, innovative and entirely incongruous little gem, which is conveniently placed close enough to the centre of Croydon to attract trade, but far enough out to be ignored or eschewed by the burgeoning "chav" factor which now reigns supreme in many places.
The Circus offers a range of 3 real ales, all from breweries which one rarely sees exhibited in this locality, such as Dark Star, 3 Tuns, Downton, 1648, Whitstable and numerous others. So inevitably it has become a much-needed mecca for the discerning drinker: yes, there are still some left in Croydon!
Moreover, it offers a wide array of unusual foreign draught beers (no Stella, Fosters or Bud here - also helping to keep the chavs at bay), and a vast range of bottled beers from Belgium, Germany, Holland, and the US. These seem to be incredibly popular despite their superior strength (and price!). Needless to say, all beers are kept to perfection and testify to Graeme's thorough husbandry.
The environment is minimalist and not especially prepossessing. However, whatever the building lacks, it is more than compensated for by the organically-cultivated convivial chat between the staff and punters that creates a lively atmosphere, especially in the evenings when a broad mix of people is in attendance, but also on Friday lunchtime.
There is food: peanuts! There is wine: red or white! Yet don't think you can't bring your wife/girlfriend. Without being laddish or male-centric, the Circus is a haven for discerning drinkers who enjoy intelligent and lively wit and repartee, and with Graeme at the helm no pretence is likely to creep in!
Make the most of it, folks.
TWG - 12 Oct 2006 15:44
I can't agree about the "solemnity" perceived by the previous reviewer! On Tuesday evening this place was filled with happy drinkers, sampling the huge range of beers available, and growing happier by the minute.

The decor is unfussy minimalist-plain, but you come here to drink beer, not stare at the wallpaper. There were 3 handpumped ales from Dark Star and Ridgeway breweries, and a very tasty cherry kriek on tap. It gets better every visit.
zjp - 2 Oct 2006 15:25
If your looking for beer/ale from all over the world, interesting and culteral place. Not alot of 'riff raff' here, and it is welcoming. However, no music, leaving it a bit of a solomn place overall...

Was told that they do have entertainment/live bands occasionally, but the trouble is luck of the drawer stepping in on the night, as its not really advertised..

I don't mind the place, but lets not call it a haven, as its not your a-typical pub.
the_original_rawnsleys - 2 Oct 2006 11:40
Still a big for sale sign up outside this place.

Inside the staff seemed not to have any updates.

Loud Americans not withstanding (whose every word seemed like a public announcement) it was pleasant to visit on Saturday although it can't seem to shake off its somewhat sterile atmosphere.
Of course the range of trappist ales etc remains unsurpassed in the local area.
terenced - 2 Oct 2006 09:00
No mention in the local press of it still being up for sale as it was mentioned in the local press recently for being included in the CAMRA guide.
Will pass by this weekend for the good of others, to try and see for myself.
terenced - 25 Sep 2006 14:51
Has the landlord changed his mind and not sold? Is "Graeme" still behind the bar or is the Beer Circus under changed management? Excellent news if the pub is to remain open. I live diametrically opposite Croydon and only visit one weekend a month so if someone local is reading this - please check it out and update!

lad_newton - 21 Sep 2006 21:29
Simply unique! Superb hand-pulled ales, wonderful ciders from the cask, and hundreds of Belgian, German and other European beers. No music or fruit machines. A C.R.A.P.S. favourite venue
Alph_river - 24 Aug 2006 22:04
A great place for quality beer. They are frequently rammed of an evening as word has spread.

If you want to put on your newest pair of nice shiny shoes and then queue up to drink fizzy piss, ogle birds and pick a fight whilst listening to 'funky, soulful house and club classics' then this is not for you. Luckily for you but unfortunately for the rest of us, just about every other pub in Croydon is. Still.

My local, and has been since the first time I realised what utter crap I had been drinking. There's never any w*nkers there and they give you free peanuts too.
twazza - 5 Aug 2006 15:23


The Beer "Circus"

Enough has been said!
CheekyShepherd - 20 Jun 2006 12:00
what a great place and the best pint of hophead i have had (apart from the evening star at brighton) and the barman, who is dutch, was a very friendly man who made us welcome , i hope they dont close this place, i have heard that the owner wants to re-locate to spain maybe whoever buys the place will serve up real ale
anonymous - 18 Jun 2006 08:45
If it goes it will be a great shame.Best pint of Hophead outside of Brighton.
apa - 17 Jun 2006 20:43
Will be sorry to see this go even if last time I erroneously thought I got a short measure in lined glass but found the pint being thrown away and not getting served. But other than the occassional strop this offers by far the best choice in town.
lout_from_the_lane - 7 Jun 2006 16:48
sorry to hear of the pub's demise - a sad day for Croydon drinkers and the likes of us who come to Croydon for this pub only! Make the most of it while its still open
jamie.nakin - 24 May 2006 18:01
An outstanding array of Belgian beers, trappist ales etc with some rarities available.
However, I have heard (coughs) that you should treat some of these with some respect. Don't knock them back or it'll be like drinking Kestrel super strength.

No music. Atmosphere can be a little sterile. But it's a winner in terms of its selection.

Once again, a venue that is up for sale. My money's on it reverting to a stella, carling, john smith's, strongbow and smirnoff ice venue playing commercial dance and James Blunt.

terenced - 22 May 2006 15:36
Forget the real ales, they are great here but that's not what Beer Circus is about, it's a lovely little bar for continental beers. It's not so much the range (which is considerable), but the rarity of some of the beers and the rate at which they change. As others have said the place has a fairly modern feel and not a lot of character, but it reminds me a lot of places in Belgium, specifically the original Beer Circus in Brussels (not the new location down the road). As someone pointed out before the 21+ rule is silly, as someone a few months away from being 21 I can say that I've never met anyone aside from people involved in beer websites who is as interested in fine beer as me, and I don't think there really is an awful lot that changes in those three years to make people sensible drinkers. This sort of place won't attract the chavs anyway, so I don't think the rule is really enforced as long as you are 18+ and behaving yourself. Rest assured though, If i was refused service I would not be back.
Gueuzefan - 19 May 2006 21:24
I just wish I could visit more often. You gave me a great 40th birthday beer festival last year, hoping for a 41st! Thanks Graeme and all the crew who make BC such a great place to drink.
Gastronomix - 19 Apr 2006 01:19
just wished there more places like this (closer to where i live) only negative point why are punters allowed to smoke at the bar ???? i realise this will thankfully cease eventually
moclips2002 - 9 Apr 2006 12:41
Not too bad I suppose for Croydon
Simon28 - 30 Mar 2006 00:12
Very pleasant visit last night with 2 mates. Pub less crowded during weekday nights making it an ideal time to vist for a quiet beer odyssey. Additionally, Croydon is more hospitable during the week!
lad_newton - 15 Mar 2006 20:06
Nice friendly atmosphere down here. Had a great night on Saturday at the deltastone gig. Cheers!
anonymous - 7 Mar 2006 15:35
I love going here! Not for the atmosphere. Not for the bright lights and featureless interior. Not for the hard seats and lack of space or comfort. But for the FACT this place knows it's serving a vast and very educated variety of beers from around the world. I really enjoy sampling their many beers on any occasion. Well worth a visit. They know their sh!t!
goosegog - 17 Dec 2005 22:43
Folks, thanks for all your kind comments, they are much appreciated.

It's only by hearing feedback, both positive and negative, that we can improve.


number16 - 20 Nov 2005 11:12
The best pub/bar in Croydon if your serious about beer (appreciating it,not chugging it). They stock all the Trappist and Abbey beers plus about a million others. Show caution if unexperienced as they are often 8-9%. Packed at weekends but empty mid week making it perfect for the twin joys of a good chat and rare and wonderful booze. There is no real character to the interior with bright lights and hard chairs but maybe thats authentic Belgian style for you. I wouldn't know. I went to Belgium once by mistake on the way back from Amsterdam. Its all a bit hazy.
DanielG - 9 Nov 2005 13:06
The Beer Circus is different! Good range of beers on tap, and the beer meny is extensive and informative. Hard working staff - but capable of giving you good advice.
Finn - 26 Oct 2005 19:47
A superb pub which deserves all the praises everyone has heaped upon it. Top condition hop head, usually with a dark star alternative plus more belgian beer than you could drink in a decade to choose from. Further out from the station than most of the other pubs but worth it.

Phucough - 16 Oct 2005 18:25
Excellent little pub. It stands out as being very different from the many loud chavvy pubs about 3/4 of a mile away in the town centre.
The comments made in April 2005 are spot on.
The beers are brilliant and the staff know their beers and are friendly.

Spiros - 4 Sep 2005 10:18
two Hophead beers on tap always, plus one guest beer make this a great place for Real Ale.

Quality foreign lagers/beers too

A Tip: Try Troubadour Obscura or Kwak
si_1967 - 16 Aug 2005 12:17
Yes, the alternative Xmas party was a one off.
anonymous - 8 Jul 2005 11:52
What came over the pub! Two weeks ago visitors to the beer circus were greeted with Christmas carols, turkey sandwiches and Xmas cake whilst tinsel and baubles hung at the bar with a tree - yes a TREE glistening at the end of the bar. It was the middle of JUNE unless there's a misprint in my calendar (and it was about 30 degrees C!

PLEASE tell us this was a 1-off!
jamie.nakin - 5 Jul 2005 17:07
A brilliant little pub. Fantastic range of beers consisting of three real ales on handpump, eight continental beers on tap, countless bottled beers mostly from Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and other foreign nations. People come from far and wide to visit this pub, which must be just about unique in the London area. Deservedly the local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2005. I'm sure many of those who actually visit have given a 10/10 rating on this site (or maybe 9), which means some people have given very low marks for Beer Circus to be hovering around the "6" figure in the overall ratings. Am I being cynical or does anyone else suspect that some sad people see Beer Circus in the "BITE" top 10 and log in to rate it "0" without ever having been there, just to keep it below their own favourites in the "Top 10"? Same applies to other classic pubs like the Royal Oak (Borough) and Magpie & Crown (Brentford).

Apart from the great beers the thing I really like about Beer Circus is that I can enjoy those beers in a relaxed atmosphere while chatting to friends without being harrassed by loud and stupid people and the false "excitement" of flashing lights and blaring muzak etc.
Rich66 - 2 Jun 2005 23:13
I am not a beer drinker but I did find one I liked...mmm Cherry Liefmans!
yum yum

Need some kind of ventilation tho cos it stinks of stinky men when it's warm.

The downstairs seating area is really nice...we like that

anonymous - 19 May 2005 10:59
The Beer Circus is a superb place and an absolute godsend in a place which is so full of pubs for the cerebrally challenged. The selection of Belgian and other European beers is huge. The bar staff are extremely knowledgeable and will always recommend a beer based on the type and strength you fancy if you can't decide from a very thick menu! The place is small and gets crowded, but the crowd are all very chatty and intelligent, a pleasure to be with. I can't recommend this place highly enough for those into their beers and good company.
Get_me_some_Old_Tom - 25 Apr 2005 14:13
Very pleasant specialist bar in an area fairly devoid of anything other than chain / circuit pubs. Friendly and helpful staff, awesome selection of bottled and cask beer. The ideal place to sit down for a chat with a mate. The landlord's well advertised 'No Chavs' policy is holding up well.
JackofDiamonds - 11 Apr 2005 15:21
I went to Croyden after work on Good Friday, arriving shortly after noon. This was my first visit to Beer Circus. I was more than a little concerned as I approached the door as there was nobody in there. Then a little girl and her mum noticed me peering through the window, so I went in, they were open.
I had a couple of real ales, pulled through before being drawn for me, always a good sign that they care for the beer and the customer.
I didn't bother with the Grand Union beer as I know it so well. I didn't try the two ciders either for the same reason. So it was staright onto the bottled Belgium and Netherland beers, a fine menu, with plenty of choices. I think, note think that it was after 5pm before I moved onto the greater than 6%ers, by this time the place was filling up nicely with a mixed aged group of people clearly knowing where they were and why.
Unlike Xandman I thought the prices very reasonable, £2:20 for a British real ale, apart from JDW's pubs a very reasonable price for Greater London. The bottle prices seem to be standard for ease, so if you have a 25cl bottle of 5% stuff then it is a little expensive, but £6 for a 75cl I consider cheap, especially compared with the likes of Belgo & Lowlander. The portion of salami I enjoyed was considerably more substantial than the slivers of microtomed meat I was expecting.
By the time I left for the train, the streets were already overrun by the drinking frenzied mobs outside the circuit pubs.
Thank heavens for establishments like Beer Circus.
ssteven1 - 29 Mar 2005 17:06
This pub has the best range of beer I have seen outside of Belgium. The prices are a little high compared to some similar establishments, but I am willing to pay for the quality. The appropriate glassware is a plus.

My one complaint is the minimum age limit of 21. I understand the desire to keep out those likely to behave badly, but I believe that the limit may be unnecessary for this, and is definetely unfair to those between the ages of 18 and 21 who behave responsibly. Keeping them out can only help to perpetuate the idea of real beer being an old man's drink, which can't be good for quality pubs and breweries.

Despite this complaint, I still feel that this is an excellent establishment, and I hope it succeeds.

xandman - 25 Mar 2005 19:08
Cold Craft Cyder
TeeeCeee - 4 Feb 2005 18:13
Cidre Merveilleux De Métier Disponible Ici. Chat Supérieur
anonymous - 1 Feb 2005 19:41
No Chavs, no crap music, just decent beer & cider.
And lots of choice.

anonymous - 19 Jan 2005 20:02
Great comments and lots of details about the beer and atmosphere of this place, so I will sum it up in one word. FANTASTIC
robertjones - 30 Dec 2004 14:47
Great Bar. I'm a regular at this pub (some would say too regular). I go for the choice and quality of beer available. 250+ bottled beers, 3 bitters/stouts (2 guest) on tap, up to 8 Lager/Ales on tap (normally 2 guests). It also has your vodka, JD, soft drinks etc. Now has a Belguim chef for lunchtime food and I believe that this will be extended for the evenings? Nice friendly atmosphere. You can be as socialable or reserved as you wish. Try it you might be surprised.
Mark - 18 Nov 2004 10:36
Fantastic varity of bottled beers, (with great info on each beer inside menus) American ales on tap when I visited (not your Buds etc) well worth a visit, nice crowd and as said before NO CHAVS, reminds me off a place in Bruges......
Shortie - 27 Oct 2004 20:56
Last time I looked it had 300 foreign beers, 13 Cider and perries and 2 Hand pumped beers.
Plus draught lager and foreign beers but I think no Festers, 1X, or Kronicburg.

Knowledgeable, pleasant and pretty staff (all of them (-;> )

I have just heard that there is a German Beer Fest this weekend.

Go there or miss out.

Getting feedback that the food is excellent.

I will try to make it on Saturday from Twickenham.
Taidg - 22 Oct 2004 19:44
It's a more entry level atmosphere than Bier Rex but still worth a visit. On a busy night forget asking advice about what lager they would recommend - just take a random pick of the inexhaustable menu.
Pip - 22 Oct 2004 15:51
Definately the best place in Croydon at the moment. Graeme has done a great job!!

Some great Czech bar staff eye candy as well.

Beers....brilliant!! Hophead, finest beer brewed in Southern England. And the bottled beer, well the choice is endless.

Now a bit busy on Fridays, to have a quiet chat, however no CHAVS!!!!!
Jeff "Sandy" - 22 Oct 2004 01:04
Its now the best pub in croydon - visit!
andywalwyn - 18 Oct 2004 23:04
I have never visited this pub, but from the comments I have just read I may well do over the next week or two!

Just out of interest how many Cask Ales are on offer? (do I need to make a day or weekend visit?)

And I am glad to see someone else has the same theories as myself on what makes a good pub (and Oasis!)

Good Luck to the new owners and if your ever in Coventry come and visit a likeminded Pub!
Layla - 19 Sep 2004 21:54
This pub is a BREATH OF FRESH AIR in Croydon! I visited with a group of five other mates all of whom, like myself, were here for the first time.

We were all aforded the friendliest of welcomes from staff and clientele alike, and the atmosphere made us all feel at ease and relaxed.

Dark Star Hophead is on permanently (must be tried as it ranks amongst the most flavoursome session beers available) and the second real ale rotates. A comprehensive selection of beers from Belgium, Germany and beyond, both bottled and draught, are available.

The pub has a very spacious feel to it, white emulsion on walls and ceilings, good lighting and pine tables. There is also a downstairs bar. No food, so eat beforehand.

This is the best new pub I have discovered in Greater London in more than one year, and it was certainly worth the train fare from north London to Croydon to try it out.

lad_newton - 5 Sep 2004 16:50
All tjhese plaudits (OK 1 brickbat) but only one vote, go on rate the pub.

An Excellent bar, I used to go in when it was Kembers years ago. An excellent range of bottled beers and when I was there there was still the remains of the Cider Festival in very good nick.

Live and let Live, if you don't l;ike this place there mist be somewhere close, Croydon is jam-packed with an increasingly wide spectrum of pubs, bars and clubs.

Halifats, someday I will see you in here!
TC - 1 Sep 2004 19:43
Excellent bar, with a staggering number of beers to sample. They sell Pilsner Urquell on draught for roughly the same price as the chemically engineered interbrew cack that passes for beer in many of the bars close by.

I've been in a few times and found it to be popular with a wide range of people all interested in good beer and good conversation. I've seen plenty of people under 30 in there (including myself), but the emphasis is definitely on being a bar for grown ups. Creating an atmosphere that keeps the pond life away.

So if you like excellent beer, friendly staff and a place where you can have a chat without having to scream above the noise this is the place to try.

However, If you're some stupid, monosylabic, little skally/chav/pond life, looking to drink over priced piss in a noisey hell hole (that lets you forget about your pathetic life for a little while), before getting violent and puking up/shatting yourself and finally ending up in the gutter, then this is not the place for you. There are however many other "establishments" in Croydon that cater specifically for you.
Kelvin's Ferret - 31 Aug 2004 12:10
Visited recently - small and friendly and a breath of fresh air for London. Lots of bottled and draught continental beers (at a price) and a couple of interesting Bristish reel ales. Give it a go.
Simon Fyffe - 23 Aug 2004 15:27
As joint-owner of The Beer Circus I'd like to thank the contributors for their comments. All feedback is welcomed.

To respond to a couple of specific points...

No music...we decided against having music for the following reasons. Firstly, just about every other bar/pub in Croydon has music; we wanted to provide an alternative. Not everyone wants music in a pub, and amazingly there's plenty of people who simply want to go out and have a conversation without struggling to make themselves heard over an intrusive sound system! Secondly, we totally didn't want to attract the groups of people who are attracted to the 'music bars' of Croydon. Check out the number of police patrolling the streets of the town at weekends, the number of fights and the pints of blood staining the pavements to find out why! Thirdly, I like bands like Motorhead, Metallica and the Wildhearts...but I presume that's not the type of music that was being asked for!!!

As for us being a cemetary/quiet...Saturday lunchtime is not the busiest time of the week. Try most Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights when we have 60/70/80 people in a bar with only 35 seats. For a graveyard it gets very lively.

Over 40s...more over 30s really, but thankfully we do attract plenty of sensible, mature drinkers. We wanted it that way...why? See the above comment regarding the average younger Croydon drinker! Three months open, and not one fight...not even an argument! Not a hint of trouble! We're getting plenty of people drinking in the BC who'd stopped coming into Croydon before we opened.

Prices...yep, some of the imported beers aren't cheap, but as with any business we have to price what we sell at a rate that means we stay in business! Our standard beers are regular prices, whilst many of our bottled Belgian beers of 6%, 7%, 8% or 9% are around £3.50 which we don't think is too bad value.

Finally...the Oasis. Yeah, the Oasis went bust, so clearly not everyone agreed with dynamite that it was the place to be seen in!

Anyway...thanks for your forthright comments.

Graeme - 16 Aug 2004 18:21
dynamite... methinks people looked at you like you were odd...because you are! Better as the Oasis! Really? What with all the cocaine, crims (Charlie Kray's local, gambling dens and the wonderful Carling and Fosters.

Get real and grow up. This is a bar with mature, adult people.. not the idiots you seem to think it needs.

A great bar...what's even better...the sort of bar dimwits like dynamite won't frequent!
Lacey Bush - 30 Jul 2004 00:38
This pub is like a cemetary. There's no music and the people are boring as sin and look at you like you're mental if you make even a passing pleasantry to them. Ok so you can enjoy all these hundreds of beers, but steer well clear unless you are over 40 and want to sit in virtual silence sampling different ales all night. I have heard the food's good, though. It's also extremely small. It was much beeter when it was 'the Oasis' a few years back - the atmos was jumping back then.
dynamite - 23 Jul 2004 22:43
New pub, opened mid-May 2004.

Has around 200 bottled beers from Belgium, Holland, France and Germany, plus half a dozen overseas draught beers, real ales and proper cider.

A fantastic bar at reasonable prices - the best choice in London!
Lacey Bush - 12 Jul 2004 18:23

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