Bar review: the italian job, chiswick

When I think of Italy, I think of stunning countryside, imposing architecture, and eating more carbs than I should. And obviously, excellent wine. But never, until now, excellent beer. (Sorry, Peroni, you’re just not the one. Nothing personal).

I like it when new places pop up in unlikely corners of town to change perceptions. London is a craft beer mecca – no doubt about it. But I can’t possibly be the only one who thinks that the Hackney not-so-micro-anymore breweries have had enough of a hayday, and actually there isn’t as much variety as there could be when one goes drinking in Shoreditch. For the last few weeks, I’ve yearned for something different.

Swanky Chiswick, nestled next to one of London’s high end restaurants isn’t where you’d expect to find a craft beer bar with exposed brickwork and blackboards for the specials. But somehow, it fits. Because the other word that springs to mind when I think of Italy is  ‘sophisticated’.

Three different Italian breweries were represented across eight taps. The ‘house-brewery’, Birrificio del Ducato, is based in the province of Parma, in Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy. With drinks available in half pints of two third pints, it’s a good way to sample a few. The stand out drink was the cinnamon pale. There were also two options on handpull, including a rich porter, which was perfect for a cold February evening.

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The food was good, too. I opted for a burger cooked medium, topped with blue cheese and crispy pancetta. It was fantastic, served with excellently cooked chunky chips.

This place is perfect as an after-work haunt, and I’ll definitely be back. The location is slightly tricky for anyone who doesn’t live west, but that also means that there’s a relaxed cosmopolitan vibe, as opposed to a rugby team of city boys swigging back Camden Hells at the bar. Well worth the journey, in my opinion.

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