A lot of things slide under your radar while you’re changing nappies, sterilising bottles or falling asleep on the Tube. Even the opening of a brewpub ten minutes from your front door – so, sincere thanks to Grimnorth and Boak And Bailey for letting me know about it. TapEast is the new Stratford Westfield outpost of The Rake, which as everyone knows has been in the vanguard of Nu-Alehouses since it opened in 2006. To my great shame – and I work almost within sight of it – i’ve never been in. But I did get in a quick visit to TapEast last night on a meander home. Some folk have found the place difficult to find, slotted away as it is next to Waitrose in the extreme corner of the ‘Great Eastern Market’ at the Stratford International end of the mall. The place looks like a Spitalfields coffee shop. High tables, comfy sofas – floor to ceiling windows.
A better blogger than me would have taken note of what was on offer, other than the four Otley pumps. There were at least a couple of keg founts, a real cider and a whole bank of bottles in fridges behind the bar. I ordered an Otley Thai Bo, poured unsparkled. In a Tweet last night I said it was ‘decent, but too warm – flat too’. The head vanished instantly. Tandleman later replied ‘Too warm, too flat? Where does decent fit in then?’ – and he was right. The pint was enjoyable, but only just. New pubs take a while to bed in and it would be wrong to judge this on one pint. They’re not brewing on the premises yet but I’ll be back when they do. Outside there is a poster promising that the perfect pint is coming soon – I do hope so, ‘cos judging by this (admittedly brief) experience, it’s not there at the moment.