Latest opening: BrewDog Waterloo

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Brewdog Waterloo UK's largest pub and bar

Related tags Brewdog Beer James watt Martin Dickie

The craft brewer and operator's latest site is its biggest yet, combining a micro-brewery, co-working space, 'secret' cocktail bar and even a florist.

What:​ A gargantuan boozer in Waterloo Station’s recently opened The Sidings development within the old Eurostar terminal. In part of the space that was originally earmarked for Timeout Market,​ BrewDog Waterloo is a frankly ridiculous 27,500 sq ft. Needless to say, it is the largest of the Scottish craft brewer’s sites to date. 

Who:​ BrewDog is headed by founders James Watt and Martin Dickie. The pair created the business in Fraserburgh 2007 and launched their first bar in nearby Aberdeen a few years later. A decade or so on, BrewDog has over 100 bars worldwide. BrewDog has teamed up with a number of other operators for its Waterloo Station site, including coffee business Grind; Hackney Gelato; and high-profile mixologist Rich Woods.

The vibe:​ It’s difficult to overstate quite how large the place is. First impressions are deceiving with the site accessed via a modestly-sized bar and seating area but it soon opens out into a huge, multi-levelled space. Those after a quiet pint and a bag of pork scratching while they wait for the 18.45 to Southampton should probably look elsewhere - BrewDog Waterloo is a boisterous, noisy affair that has a stainless slide linking the top and bottom levels (it is manned by a bouncer to stop people crashing into one another on the way down). Other features include bowling alleys, a micro-brewery, a podcast studio, co-working spaces, a not-for-profit florist and a cocktail bar (more on that last one later). The Sidings is currently in phase one of its development and is therefore something of a work in progress with only a handful of businesses up and running (BrewDog's neighbours will eventually include Bone Daddies and multifaceted theatre venue Labyrinth, which will feature a huge restaurant space and Alice in Wonderland-themed bar). ​While the wider The Sidings development might be eerily quiet, BrewDog Waterloo appears to be anything but - the venue was nearly completely full when we visited on a weekday evening. 

Lost-Property-Office

The food:​ The food offer is more expansive than BrewDog’s other locations but aside from that it’s business as usual, with the menu focused on casual dining staples including burgers, wings, pizza, salads and various plant-based alternatives. New for the Waterloo site is an 'oak-fired' section that offers chicken in varying configurations with a wide range of add-ons and sauces. 

To drink:​ As one would expect BrewDog Waterloo offers a correspondingly large selection of draught products including around 20 BrewDog beers, five guest beers and three ciders. But the most interesting bit of the venue’s drinks offer is hidden away in 'secret' cocktail bar The Lost Property Office that’s headed up by Woods, AKA The Cocktail Guy. He has shaped the cocktail menus at many a top London bar and restaurant, including Gold Notting Hill, Sushisamba, and Duck and Waffle. He also co-owned the now closed Scout with Matt Whiley, which was on the World’s Best 50 Bars list. Accessed via a black door with an old-fashioned telephone next to it, the moodily-lit bar is focused on modern versions of speakeasy era cocktails. Options include the Full Flex (a take on the Manhattan made with bourbon, blended sweet vermouths, cacao butter, ancho chilli and grapefruit oils) and the Lagerita (a take on the Margarita made with hopped Tapatio Tequila, clarified lime, blood orange and bergamot before being topped with a ‘beer cloud’ and micro flowers. Many of the cocktails are made from spirits produced by BrewDog's rapidly growing distilling arm. 

And another thing:​ We reckon BrewDog Waterloo is the largest pub in the UK. BrewDog’s external PR team weren’t a fan of that angle - possibly because they prefer the venues to be thought of as bars or, better still, 'immersive craft beer destinations' - but were unable to find anything that came close to rivalling the group's latest. The pub that has been knocked off the top spot? Wetherspoons Ramsgate, a paltry 11,000 sq ft. 

Related topics Restaurant Openings Casual Dining

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