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Hoop & Grapes (Nicholson's (Mitchells & Butlers))

Beer (sort)Average Score (sort)No. Samples (sort)
Windsor Castle (see also Sadler's entry) - Sadler's JPAExcellent1
Truman's - RunnerGood1
Harviestoun - Sleigh DriverGood1
Moles - Mole CatcherGood1
Wold Top - Against the GrainGood1
Sharp's - Doom BarNot Tried0
St Austell - Nicholson's Pale AleNot Tried0
Truman's - Tom Ditto IPANot Tried0
Adnams - BroadsideNot Tried0
York (now brewed by and at Black Sheep) - Centurion's Ghost AleNot Tried0
Stewart - Dakota BrownNot Tried0
Orkney (Sinclair) - Dark IslandNot Tried0
Daleside - Old Legover (a.k.a. Country Stile)Not Tried0
Picture 1. Hoop & Grapes, Aldgate, Central London
Picture 2. Hoop & Grapes, Aldgate, Central London

Visits Details

21 Apr 2015 (HSB)
15:00 Late lunch. I was walking towards Aldgate station and remembered this place. Not been in for years, a lot smarter than I recall. Beer choice was poor as the decks were being cleared for a beer festival starting on the 23rd. Got my Hop Circle discount.
Truman's - Runner4.00Good
Orkney (Sinclair) - Dark Island4.60Not Tried
Daleside - Old Legover (a.k.a. Country Stile)4.10Not Tried
St Austell - Nicholson's Pale Ale4.00Not Tried
20 Oct 2014 (Stephen Harris)
Early evening visit and quite busy. I have my 1973 City Pub Guide with me and it is interesting to see that, whilst acknowledging the antiquity of parts of the building, it swallows neither hook, line nor sinker of the claimed pub history, commenting that it was “converted to pub use a little over a century ago”.
Windsor Castle (see also Sadler's entry) - Sadler's JPA3.80ExcellentJPA standing for Jack's Pale Ale. Very pale. As it says on the clip, ‘Crisp and Zesty’.
Wold Top - Against the Grain4.50GoodGolden and slightly hazy. Soft mouthfeel. Gluten-free and based on a maize mash.
Adnams - Broadside4.70Not Tried
Sharp's - Doom Bar4.00Not Tried
York (now brewed by and at Black Sheep) - Centurion's Ghost Ale5.40Not Tried
St Austell - Nicholson's Pale Ale4.00Not Tried
Stewart - Dakota Brown4.40Not Tried
08 Sep 2014 (Philip Pirrip)
Evening. Very enticing exterior. Rather inauthentic inside for a pub said to be older than the hills.
Moles - Mole Catcher5.00Good
Sharp's - Doom Bar4.00Not Tried
St Austell - Nicholson's Pale Ale4.00Not TriedRan out
Truman's - Runner4.00Not Tried
Truman's - Tom Ditto IPA5.00Not Tried
10 Dec 2013 (Stephen Harris)
Over-crowded in the early evening with office Christmas party groups. It did not make me inclined to linger longer. Four or five real ales available from the Nicholson’s list.
Harviestoun - Sleigh Driver4.10GoodDarkish beer with chocolate and orangy tastes and some roasted barley flavours.

About the Hoop & Grapes

The pub sign. Hoop & Grapes, Aldgate, Central London

Summary of Beer Scores



The pub is found in Aldgate, Central London, EC3N 1AL.

An intriguing Nicholson’s pub, housed in a building of great antiquity. A leaflet on the history of the pub traces it to 1598, when it is said to have been established as the Castle. The building just about survived the Great Fire of 1666, although was extensively rebuilt a few years later. Histories of the pub go on to tell us that the name changed to the Angel & Crown and later to Christopher Hill’s. the pub claims associations with Dick Turpin and Charles Dickens, and is now one of the pubs that claims to be the oldest in London. The only problem with all this is that I cannot find any trace of the pub in historical records until 1887, and I wonder sometimes whether the long pub history is all an elaborate hoax – I suspect the truth is that the premises was actually more of a wine merchants than strictly-speaking a public house. The first mention of the name Hoop & Grapes I can find comes in 1920, when it became a Trust House. The pub was acquired by Charrington’s Brewery in 1946 and they held the licence into the 1970s. By the 1980s it was in a very poor state of repair, but is now extensively restored, retains much of the ancient structure and is very popular with City types. 8 handpumps on the bar counter.

We have visited this pub 4 times, seen 13 different beers and tried 5 of them.

Map location

Postcode: EC3N 1AL