As part of a new series for MFBR, we’re going to profile our Best Bars. An occupational hazard of reviewing great beer is finding it and that takes on travels across the country and many, many cheeky pub stops. This series will tell you all about our favourite places, their philosophies and the great beers they have available. Our first of which is cheeky little newly-refurbished pub in Blackheath (SE18). The inimitable:
Hare and Billet, Blackheath
Outside the busy centre of Blackheath and a 10-or-so minute walk from the train station, sitting directly on the heath (opposite a rather quaint pond) stands the Hare and Billet. It re-opened in 2013 offering its punters a rustic experience complete with open fire and armchairs as well as 10 rotating taps offering [mainly] locally brewed, real beer. We were introduced to this little gem by a friend of MFBR in the summer of 2013, we’d never ventured that far from Blackheath Station, with it’s cluster of other great pubs (including a Neame), so this was foreign territory. We came upon our comrades sitting on the heath, beers in hands, with not a care in the world. If you want to drink on the heath, the staff at the Hare and Billet will pour your pint into plastic cups – but if you do, make sure you don’t leave them on the grass, there are a few handy bins around. Don’t be those people.
It can get busy, especially on a Friday and Saturday evening and their Sunday lunch (though I’ve never personally tried it) is a major pulling point. It also looks and smells delicious. However, we’re here to talk about beer, so let’s do just that:
The beery Billet
As mentioned, there’s a 10 tap bar, kegs and casks rotate through local breweries quality beer. We’ve been several times since the summer and, whilst a few tend to stick, there is usually something new to try one week to the next. For a list of what’s on head over to their website. They also have a selection of bottles available for even more choice. Bar the bottles, the staff are always happy to let you have a taste of what’s on offer – which is great as there’s a lot of stuff there which, unless you actievly hunt local beers down, will probably be new to you. I occasionally get the urge to try everything, for free, and be drunk by the time that’s over. However, I’m not
always a dick and this is a place I’m more than happy to pay for a pint and the service. In the Hare and Billet we’ve had everything from Dark Star to London Fields to Cavemen – whilst there are still standard offerings for those of you who enjoy your Guinness and the like. If it’s chilly outside (and you’re quick enough) there’s a little log fire just past the bar or if the sun is beating down and you can hunker down on the heath, making this pub the perfect venue for a drink. I’d quite happily spend my afternoon in or around this boozer – the beer is fine, the staff are great and the location is something a lot of other pubs are not fortunate to have. The Hare and Billet, Blackheath is a definite winner in MFBR’s book. Visit the Hare and Billet’s website to find out more.
PS. They usually serve their pints in massive jugs which is always fun.
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