Apr 14

…Down Paradise Row

FT + Pumpkin Publog//5 comments • 2,084 views

Mother Kelly's, Bethnal Green

We went to Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green for the first time last night (it’s only been open a couple of weeks) and it’s LOVELY! Twenty-odd taps of well-kept keg (including seven last night from De Molen), six fridges of well selected bottles and red, white and fizzy wine on tap too!

The space (why yes, it *is* in a railway arch) is bright and airy, the tables well spread out (I suspect this may change as it becomes more popular, there’s certainly room for more) and on a spring evening it feels just right.

I had a natter to several beery types who all seemed to be enjoying themselves too. Nice little touches like bottles of water and glasses on the table (handy when you’re on the 15% barley wines!) and everything served in third, half and two thirds (didn’t see a pint glass, but suspect their standard lager comes by the pint) along with very well done toilets means this is definitely a place I’ll be back to.

beer fridges, mother Kelly's Bethnal greenMy somewhat drunken verdict last night, which I stand by with a caveat, was “it’s like the Euston Tap, but not shit”, by which I mean I love the Tap, but it’s compromised by a number of things far beyond their control, ie the shape and size of the building and, to an extent, its location and clientele. They’ve got a lot better in working with these issues recently but they’re mainly inescapable.

What Mother Kelly’s has, in contrast, is a great space, which they’re using really well. When the other arches next door are filled with exciting restaurants I suspect there’ll be a great buzz around the place.

In other Bethnal Green news, there is also an excellent cocktail bar just across the garage forecourt from Mother Kelly’s. I heartily recommend a seat at the bar of Satan’s Whiskers to watch the bartrons knock up an excellent selection of drinks from their frequently changing list.

Full Disclosure: I’ve known Steve who runs MKs since he was involved in Mason & Taylor and he did provide us with a selection of cheeses on the house (on the arch?) last night.


  1. 1
    enitharmon on 18 Apr 2014 #

    Well-kept KEG? Sheesh! You don’t have to keep keg, it’s dead. Proper beer is a living thing. Do they have any hand-pulled, cask-conditioned beers at all? You, know, like supporting and celebrating small, independent breweries?

  2. 2
    CarsmileSteve on 18 Apr 2014 #

    Um, the keg they serve is, in the majority, unpasteurised (not sure about the Alhambra), and very much from small independent breweries. Not all keg is macro lager…

  3. 3
    enitharmon on 19 Apr 2014 #

    It’s still keg and it’s still dead. I’m not talking about mass-produced lagers. I was an early member of Camra and I know what I’m talking about. This is about the “craft beer” fad isn’t it? What is it about the sudden big aversion to proper cask beer? Does MK have any handpumped beer? It’s hard to tell from the picture.

    I’ve just been having another heated discussion in Another Place with a keg fetishist. The old clichē about beards and sandals got trotted out again – do I look as if I have a beard? (Yes, I do wear sandals but not with socks!) It all appears to be about image rather than taste – choice of drink as personal statement, not because one enjoys the taste!)

    I feel a counter article coming on…

  4. 4
    CarsmileSteve on 19 Apr 2014 #

    It’s not dead if its not pasteurised or filtered. It still has yeast in it, so it’s as alive as a cask, it’s just about [sigh] method of dispense…

    MKs doesn’t have any cask, but I don’t find that a problem, I can go to dozens of pubs for good cask beer if that’s what I want.

  5. 5
    Tim on 22 Apr 2014 #

    There is a lot of delicious kegged “craft beer” and a lot which is not very impressive. Exactly the same is true of cask “real ale”. Fetishising either means of delivery ahead of trusting your taste buds is a mistake, I reckon (and if either term deserves scare quotes, both do!)

    My personal tastes are currently running much more to the fruity end of traditional British cask beer but it’s surely true that “craft beer”, taking its cue from the amazing things which have been happening with beer in the US over the last decase or two, has brought with it a good deal of innovation and I’m all for it.

    I’m also all for a counter-article from you, Enitharmon.

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