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Cock Tavern, Hackney

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user reviews of the Cock Tavern, Hackney

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

Was back in Hackney yesterday. After a visit to the disappointing Oslo, I headed to the Cock Tavern, one of my favourite pubs in East London. It was quiet, as it often is earlier in the day. But the ale and cider range was excellent, as usual. Howling Hops IPA, Pale XX, Pale Ale & Black, Wild Beer Millionaire, Beer Monkey Bitter Revival & One Mile End Desservir Peanut Butter and Jelly Stout were the real ales. Ciders were Perry's Barn Owl, Burrow Hill Cider & Cider Bus, Farmer Jim's Apple Red & Rhubarb Bob, Millwhites Rum Cask & Newton Court Dabinett. Still a great pub.
blue_scrumpy - 14 May 2018 19:06
Another decent visit to the Cock yesterday. In fact, we returned later in the day. It was quieter than on previous visits. But that made the experience a bit more relaxing. Ales on during our first visit were Maregade Vanilla Milk Stout & Amber, Moor Nor'Hop, Howling Hops Pale & Thornbridge Jaipur. By the time we arrived later, Moor Amoor, Gipsy Hill Hepcat & Salopian Free Fall were all on. Ciders on the first visit were Turners Apple Pie & Elderflower, London Glider Dry, Burrow Hill Cider, Seacider Medium Dry & Millwhites Super 8 Number 1. On our return, there was Turners Medium & Millwhites Somer Gold. Still the best pub in Hackney.
blue_scrumpy - 23 Apr 2017 12:15
We enjoyed our visit here a couple of years ago. So we decided to head back here this Saturday lunchtime. Unlike our last visit it was very quiet with only a handful of other punters. The barman informed us that Saturday evenings in winter can get very busy. Despite being daytime, the pub felt just as dark as our last visit. Ales on were Howling Hops (the house brewery) Oatmeal Stout, Black XX & Smoked Porter, Dark Star Hophead, Siren Under Current & Northern Monk Chennai Export Porter. Brockley Pale Ale & Red Ale were pulled through later. In addition they have a good real cider and perry selection - Snails Bank Orchard Dry, Ross-on-Wye Traditional Farmhouse, Newton Court Panting Partridge & Yarlington Mill & Burrow Hill Cider. A good keg selection can be found on the other side of the L-shaped bar. I agree about the toilets. But having just come from the Pembury, I think they were a slight improvement. Still the best pub in Hackney in my opinion.
blue_scrumpy - 31 Aug 2015 14:10
Nice pub. Good choice of cider. All one price £3.60 a pint. No food except crisps & pickled onions. Toilets are a major let down for this pub. The ladies by the beer garden is nasty & teeny tiny. Nice pub all in all.
RachelCS - 2 Dec 2014 15:30
Second port of call of the pre match preparation for the mighty U’s narrow defeat to Leyton Orient (before heading to the wonderful Leyton technical). Arrived with the boys to find a few more Col U fans and one non Col U punter! Aroma of beer and brewing, basic looking boozer providing a wonderful drinking ambience there were a couple of wonderful stouts (my personal favourite style) sampled both and they were truly superb, also had a dry something or other. Good to go back to another of my old stomping grounds from the 1990’s, the area has changed a lot but if it means pubs like this, then lucky Hackney. Could have stayed here all day, and will definitely have to plan a return visit. 8/10
Monkdawallydahonk - 17 Mar 2014 15:38
Went back for more. Two of the beers we had were a little hazy but we were warned of this before purchase. Now that is good. Their porter was excellent. Also had a beer from the revitalised Truman brewery name; couldn't help but see the irony bearing in mind the name above the door.
Steamer1 - 11 Dec 2013 19:15
I can only concur with everything blue scrumpy said even to my first impression of the sink in the gents. Yes truly excellent place. We were made to feel very welcome and their pale ale was simply superb, followed by a stout.
Steamer1 - 26 Nov 2013 21:00
Last pub of the day and easily the best of 7 East London pubs visited yesterday. I've been wanting to give this a try since hearing they had won the local CAMRA cider pub of the year and it did not disappoint. The interior is dark (at night) and small with an inverted L-shaped bar. 16 handpulls dispense 8 ales and 8 ciders. There are also a number of craft beer options in bottles and on keg, including a rather nice 11% barley wine. Whilst we didn't venture outside, there was also a beer garden. The gents were a little strange, especially the sink which appears to be the urinal at first glance! The bar staff are knowledgeable and the clientele is a young, studenty type crowd, similar to what you would find in the Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington. Being the brewery tap for the Howling Hops brewery, they had 4 of their beers on - SImcoe, Amarillo, Mozaic & Single Stout. Guests were Clarence & Fredericks IPA & Best Bitter, Brodies London Fields Pale Ale & Five Points Pale. Only 7 of the 8 cider handpulls were on. The selection was still good - West Milton, Millwhites Rum Cask, Blackberry Blush & Rioja Cask, London Cider Co. Traditional, Rogers Sweet & Kingcombe Valley Cider. Located a stone's throw away from Hackney Central station, this place is well worth a visit.
blue_scrumpy - 22 Sep 2013 19:11
Went here midweek at about 8pm. It wasn't hugely busy, plenty of good tables, extensive and interesting selection of craft beers and ciders. We had bar snacks including a veggie scotch egg, and those were tasty.

The service left a bit to be desired though - I wanted to ask questions about the beers as there wasn't much description on the labels. But the answers were surly and generally along the lines of "you can't really describe them." After a few goes I just gave up and ordered at random.

Worth a visit though - I reckon on a lively weekend it'd have more atmosphere, and my pint was pretty good.
BabyLS - 30 Aug 2013 13:27
We called in on the way to the Mumford & Sons gig at Stratford. My second visit here after fleeing The London Fields Queuing Festival recently.

1st visit good 2nd visit bad.

The pub was strangely empty on a hot day too at around 3 (ish)

Could the reason be £5.80 a pint for the keg Magic Rock High Wire complete with oversized heads on each of the three supercold pints served. And no extra charge for the surly barman tried rather badly to justify the price by saying "Well it is KEG!"

Well it was a goodbye from me and hello Tap East forthwith
drinkingdad - 7 Jul 2013 13:50
We came in here to escape the abysmal London Fields beer festival and had a pretty good time. There are no worries about choice, maybe 12 cask and 8 keg beers with 5 ciders. Everything we tried was top notch.

Service was standard East London, either swift and attentive or slow and stroppy. The enthusiasm of young gifted brewers isn't always shared by the bored looking hipsters they rope in to actually serve the stuff.

Walking in the pub is like going back in time to the 50's and is just the right side of grotty. Prices are as expected. A funny bunch of locals...friendly enough, but pretentious.


Green_0nions - 5 May 2013 15:19
Single room, rather dark, pub just outside Hackmey Central station. About 16 handpumps serving cider, perry and real ale plus about 8 "craft" beer pumps. Also serves Howling Hops beers brewed on the premises. Most ales are £3.40 which is, perhaps, a little expensive for those brewed in the cellar! Rather quiet yesterday afternoon but probably gets busy in the evenings. Well worth a visit.
cheshirecat - 12 Feb 2013 08:50
The Cock is much improved since being reborn as a very simple and honest real ale and micro brew pub with an equally impressive range of ciders and perries. A micro plant exists in the basement churning out Firkins of local and varied beers under the brand "Howling Hops". All drinkable and pleasant but could be a tad cheaper... However this is a buzzing boozer in the heart of Hackney. Very trendy croud but all friendly and welcoming. So many pubs in the locality have been lost recently which makes the Cock even more precious. Recommend.
DocNo.1 - 13 Nov 2012 23:44
This pub is superb the Howling Hops are simply wonderful and the bar staff are amazing , definetly the pub to go in Hackney.
mr.toes.5_ - 28 Oct 2012 11:55
Was here Monday evening and tried all the house beers. Green Bullet was superb, one of the best beers I've tried for some time - lovely hoppy 4.2% pale ale. Far less crowded than the Pembury on the night but I suspect that may change.
ed.spbw - 27 Sep 2012 19:24
Tidy little pub with a good young crowd when I visited on friday, local beers were ok but the Marble Summer was superb. The Italian behind the bar was very friendly and knowledgable about his wares, more space than the Southampton arms which was good. I had a pork pie that was'nt to shabby but they don't do alot else, The Pembury up the road does marvellous Pizza but those Milton beers are so so.
Henners - 26 Sep 2012 17:03
er...moths = months.
Planner_21 - 17 Sep 2012 16:23
"There is no way they are getting through them with any speed. 2 or 4 would be ample and the quality would sky rocket.2

Had no issues with the quality. Went two nights in a row and just under half the beers had changed. Two were also changed on the second night while I was there, inducing a cider. So they *are* getting through them.

Loads of middling pubs have 3 or 4 ales now, but if its anything like the Southampton it is the sheer quantity and quality that will bring people in. Plus the microbrew.

As beerman intimates, with regard to nice, half full pubs, the Southampton is far too busy now to be fully enjoyable. I give the Cock Tavern a few moths before the same thing happens, as its the best pub in the area by a good distance.
Planner_21 - 17 Sep 2012 16:23
Hipster friendly indeed and yes contrived, so much is fact you expect Chris Pople to be in a one man queue out the front . Still miles better than the crap that was here or in the area.

Maybe cut the casks well back though. There is no way they are getting through them with any speed. 2 or 4 would be ample and the quality would sky rocket. Will be back.

bamberg1 - 11 Sep 2012 18:23
The austere 'distressed' interior might appeal to Hackney hipsters but it's crying out for 'a woman's touch'. Beer selection makes it worth a visit but bring your own soft furnishings (or a cushion).
365BeerTwitcher - 30 Aug 2012 13:38
As I am a fan of the Southampton Arms, I was delighted to hear that they were opening a second pub. I've been here a couple of times now and all the beer I had on both occasion was fine (not warm or flat). Obviously that's hit and miss; there are lots of beers to choose from, so maybe I was just lucky. As regards the pub itself, it seems as if it has been done out according to the same template as the Southampton Arms: Similar colours, plain wooden seating, distressed original features, even the "same" kind of music playing (ie 1950s, '60s, '70s rock, jazz, r&b; but seemingly off CD or some other digital playback, not vinyl as at SA). Although the overall effect is more or less the same, it has the feeling of being a little characterless and following an existing formula a bit too closely. I'd still be happy to go back, though, at least until it becomes too crowded (it seems to be a bit below the radar so far). At that point, my search for a pleasant, **half-full** pub will have to begin again.
beermann - 16 Aug 2012 19:40
When I heard that The Cock, a hive of scum and villainy the last time I visited, was now a real ale/craft beer pub, serving Thornbridge and Marble beers, I was keen to investigate. Ten handpumps serving a range of ales and ciders and eight keg taps. Among the beers on offer were Marble Chocolate Stout and Redemption Urban Dusk. My first choice was Thornbridge Kipling - one of my favourite beers. My pint was flat and warm - and tasted nothing like Kipling. My second beer was an IPA from the pub's own Howling Hops brewery. It wasn't bad, but again, it was too warm.
Following my experience at the Southampton Arms (and a recent one at Craft Beer Co.) I have to ask - are these pubs overreaching themselves? All three pubs serve ten or more beers. Perhaps a smaller range would allow them to spend more time and care on the beer.
holbornboy - 11 Aug 2012 19:01
This is a fantastic pub 10 real ales 6 real ciders and a range of craft beers with the only lager being Camden Town Helles . The local beers are brewed in the basement and are very good two were on offer when i visitied . The staff are really friendly . Well worth a visit.
mr.toes.5_ - 30 Jul 2012 20:48
This has become a brew pub and their first brew was on sale today, much enjoyed. A good range of keg and cask beers served in jugs. Will be back to see how it's getting on.
TiaMariaJim - 24 Jul 2012 20:57
This place seems a bit sparse on the fixtures and furniture, but it is a bit deceptive as there is a pool table, dartboard, projector screen and plasma. It feels a little grubby and there is only a selection of standard draught, but my Guinness was good and the barmaid was very friendly.

As mentioned, there is no real ale and I found it difficult to get comfortable so I doubt that Id return if in the area.
Strongers - 20 May 2009 16:24
oops: The below comment from me should be for the Old Ship, just down the road.

The Cock, on the other hand, looks rather uninviting from the outside, but other posters are correct - it's a friendly, proper pub.
Planner_21 - 17 Jun 2008 15:44
Well, its nice enough, I suppose, but hardly groundbreaking. BBC News 24 was the entertainment there on a Friday night and the eating only section was deserted. The homemade black pudding looked interesting though.
Planner_21 - 17 Jun 2008 15:42
I've only been to this pub once but I had the most amazing time -- for starters it has free food, free pool and a free juke box, which is brilliant. The food is sandwiches on the bar such as cheese and pickle, yum. I went there with my sister and we quickly attracted the attention of the boys on the pool table as we were anxiously looking over at it hoping we might get a game but not sure how to go about it because it was free. They quickly welcomed us into their group and we had a few games and they were impressed by our skills. I got chatting to one very nice boy and was suprised to hear he had a tag on his leg from some sort of misunderstanding leaving another pub in the area and the kerfuffle that followed, and had to be home by 9pm or he'd start beeping. My sis made friends with another guy who took us off with his mate to a party at his friend's cafe bar, and we got in a bit of trouble on the bus on the way home that resulted in our new friends being thrown off the bus by London transport police but it was all really friendly. Tag leg called me a few times afterwards but i didn't answer.
isa953 - 1 Jun 2008 21:08
Still the best in Hackney
rebel06 - 5 Nov 2007 20:46
an honest pub,does what it says on the tin.an ok place for a beer
becks007 - 8 Jun 2007 08:33
Yes there is no airs and graces but dive dive dive..I assure you not. This is by far the FRIENDLIEST pub in Hackney. Great beer and great service. Best looking and best working barmaids in Hackney.
Never any trouble and the best craic and music around.


rebel06 - 12 Dec 2006 15:32
No airs and graces, but a friendly enough place, where you won`t get hassled, and you can just sit down and soak up the genuine Hackney atmosphere
Welshbeard - 3 Jun 2006 22:17
Might be a bit of a dive, but serves a good, cheap pint and never seen any trouble in there. Not special, but not bad either.
pablos13 - 3 Oct 2005 20:40
the cock tavern is a bit of a dive most of the time. the only time its good is when the karaoke is there i mean caz not faye.
drumandmonkeyfan - 22 Feb 2005 11:48

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