Great British Pub Awards

Pub Awards: Best Beer finalist - Craft Beer Co, Clerkenwell, London


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Owners of the Craft Beer Co, Martin Hayes and Peter Slezak
Owners of the Craft Beer Co, Martin Hayes and Peter Slezak

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The Craft Beer Co offers a world-class beer selection in cask, keg, bottles and cans.

The pub was founded five years ago by friends Martin Hayes and Peter Slezak in response to what they thought was the poor beer offer in many of the capital’s pubs.

Lovingly restored, the pub is known for its glass ceiling and chandelier, plus laser-like focus on promoting good beer. A transparent pricing structure based on a beer’s ABV makes it clear to customers how much they will pay for a pint. Its takeaway service is also growing.


The customer base is a mix of regulars, office workers and beer tourists, with the pub determined to keep beer accessible to the masses. A recent sour beer festival marked the pub’s fifth birthday.

Recognising that employing great people is key to delivering this authentic experience, Hayes still oversees interviews to ensure people with the right attitude, appetite for learning and customer focus join the team. The same substantive approach is taken to dealing with brewers; the pub builds relationships so it can offer genuine variety to its range and work with smaller, up-and-coming brewers. Tap takeovers showcase some of the most innovative brewers across the UK.

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