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Old Red Cow (Pubs of Distinction )

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Beer (sort)Average Score (sort)No. Samples (sort)
Redemption - TrinityExceptional1
Blackjack - First DealExcellent1
Siren Craft - Smoke SignalsExcellent1
Clarence & Fredericks - Golden AleExcellent1
Marble - PintExcellent1
Wantsum - TopazExcellent1
Kent - Altered StatesExcellent1
Stone & Wood - Pacific AleExcellent1
Purple Moose - Dark Side Of The MooseExcellent1
Windsor & Eton - Knight of the GarterExcellent1
Bear Hug - Spirit Pale AleExcellent1
Whitstable - Christmas SpiritExcellent1
Blackjack - New DeckExcellent1
Harviestoun - Bitter & TwistedGood1
Buxton - TargetGood1
Firebrand - RedGood1
London Brewing Co. (Bohemia) - Beer StreetGood1
Bootleg - Twisted GrooveAcceptable1
Firebrand - Cross Pacific Pale Ale Poor1
Five Points - Railway PorterNot Tried0
Five Points - Five Points PaleNot Tried0
London Beer Factory - Paxton Pale AleNot Tried0
Oakham - CitraNot Tried0
Buxton - Dark NightsNot Tried0
Marble - MagicNot Tried0
Moor - Nor'HopNot Tried0
Cronx - NektarNot Tried0
Mallinsons - CentennialNot Tried0
Windsor & Eton - Conqueror 1075Not Tried0
Cottage - Goalll!Not Tried0
Franklins - Mama Knows BestNot Tried0
RedWillow - FecklessNot Tried0
Cottage - TornadoNot Tried0
Picture 1. Old Red Cow, Smithfield, Central London

Visits Details

08 May 2019 (Stephen Harris)
Mid-afternoon and the pub is busy. Mind you, any numbers into double figures is busy here. I've been in several 'micro' pubs that are bigger.
London Brewing Co. (Bohemia) - Beer Street4.00GoodAn amber-coloured Bitter in great condition.
Oakham - Citra4.20Not Tried
01 Oct 2015 (Stephen Harris)
Early evening meet up with Dave K from Peterborough and Robert S from Horley. The pub is absolutely rammed and we end up standing in the doorway, kind of half in and half out of the pub.
Wantsum - Topaz4.10ExcellentGreat, full-bodied, golden, hoppy pint.
Stone & Wood - Pacific Ale4.50ExcellentOn keg dispense. This is an absolute belter of a beer, hugely hopped with Australian Galaxy hops. Fresh, citrus flavours, wheaty base. A cloudy gold colour.
Five Points - Railway Porter4.80Not Tried
Five Points - Five Points Pale4.40Not Tried
London Beer Factory - Paxton Pale Ale5.00Not Tried
24 Feb 2015 (Stephen Harris)
Not so crowded in the little ground floor bar. Just a touch of beer geekery here.
Redemption - Trinity3.00ExceptionalFab beer, served here in perfect condition and at perfect temperature.
Siren Craft - Smoke Signals4.40ExcellentA collaboration beer with Stillwater, available on key-keg. A very dry, tart, sour beer – I think in a Berliner Weiss style, although I might be wrong on that. But where is the smoke, I thought. And then the smoke hits in the finish. Very clever.
RedWillow - Feckless4.10Not Tried
Cottage - Tornado4.00Not Tried
23 Jun 2014 (Stephen Harris)
Robert and I spent time in here both before and after a walk up the road to check out the new St Bart’s “Brewery”. Pleased to see that there is now a price list here, for the keg beers at least.
Bear Hug - Spirit Pale Ale4.20ExcellentOn key keg dispense. Easily the best beer of the evening (most expensive too – by miles). Great, cloudy, flavoursome Pale Ale.
Firebrand - Red4.50GoodRed Ale with noticeable hop content.
Bootleg - Twisted Groove4.20AcceptableGolden in colour. Quite smooth and a soft sort of mouthfeel. Nothing special we thought. Served a bit too warm.
Firebrand - Cross Pacific Pale Ale 4.00PoorOn keg dispense. Disappointing. Over-carbonated and with metallic and chemical taints.
Cottage - Goalll!4.10Not Tried
Franklins - Mama Knows Best4.10Not Tried
10 Mar 2014 (Baymart)
Too cramped for my liking, could have lost a few tables.
Harviestoun - Bitter & Twisted3.80GoodHave tried this from a bottle and was a little disappointed with this on the night.
17 Dec 2013 (HSB)
13:45 Not on our plan but we were so near. Busy with diners upstairs. Young barman keen on beer knowledge.
Whitstable - Christmas Spirit4.70Excellent
Windsor & Eton - Conqueror 10757.40Not Tried
06 Nov 2013 (Judy G Garland)
Evening Session
Purple Moose - Dark Side Of The Moose4.60Excellent
Cronx - Nektar4.50Not Tried
Mallinsons - Centennial3.90Not Tried
19 Aug 2013 (HSB)
18:15 Quite quiet. Monday evening effect I suppose.
Clarence & Fredericks - Golden Ale3.80Excellent
Kent - Altered States4.70ExcellentA new Kent beer to me. Unusual but enjoyable.
Moor - Nor'Hop4.10Not Tried
13 Jan 2013 (HSB)
Sunday lunchtime. We were the only people not eating.
Windsor & Eton - Knight of the Garter3.80Excellent
Blackjack - New Deck4.20Excellent
Blackjack - First Deal4.40Excellent
11 Oct 2012 (Stephen Harris)
I met up here with my friend Robert, who was making his first visit to the pub. Quite busy, with a rapid flow of customers coming in for a quick one.
Marble - Pint3.90ExcellentClassic, very pale, hoppy pint.
Buxton - Target3.80GoodAn earthy, vegetal hop taste.
Buxton - Dark Nights4.60Not Tried
Marble - Magic3.30Not Tried

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About the Old Red Cow

The pub sign. Old Red Cow, Smithfield, Central London

Summary of Beer Scores



The pub is found in Smithfield, Central London, EC1A 9EJ.

One of the ancient Smithfield taverns in Long Lane; the present building dates from 1854. In the twentieth century it was a small, single bar Watney’s pub with an upstairs restaurant, aimed squarely at the market workers from Smithfield Market across the road. In 1997 the pub was acquired by Shepherd Neame. The pub moved upmarket, but trade declined and it closed in 2006. It had a short-lived incarnation in 2007 under the name Long Lane, but gained a new lease of life when it re-opened in 2011 as the sister pub to Bermondsey’s Dean Swift. The small downstairs bar is now a Tap Room, showcasing a wide range of beers, whilst the larger upstairs bar has gastro pretentions. Operator went into liquidation March 2020 - lease for sale. Subsequently reopened 2021.

We have visited this pub 12 times, seen 42 different beers and tried 23 of them.

Map location

Postcode: EC1A 9EJ