As the birthplace of Beavertown Brewery, Duke’s Brew and Que boasts one of the finest craft beer selections in London, and these big, punchy brewskis are perfectly paired with ‘low and slow’ cooked meats, with a unique focus on Southern style rubs and wood smoking.
Having made a name for itself since opening in 2012, with the Duke’s beef ribs named one of Time Out’s 100 best dishes in London that same year, Duke’s Brew and Que’s emphasis on beer and BBQ heaven is still going strong.
With a no frills, shabby chic, stripped-back wood and bare-brick interior paying homage to its Texas roots, a micro-brewery founded by Logan Plant (Robert Plant’s son) and a menu of hickory smoked meats, you know you’re on to a good thing.
Having heard that everything on the menu was smoked and smothered in goodness, we opted for the DUKE’S GREATEST HITS tray, loaded to share with one 12oz. Beef Rib, Pork Rib and Pulled Pork, served with coleslaw, pickled red onions, BBQ sauce and Texas Garlic Toast (£26.50); WINGS IN BASTARDO: deep fried chicken wings in homemade tangy, spicy Bastardo Sauce, served with blue cheese dip (£7.95 – £8.55 with prices increasing as your taste gets hotter) and our choice of FRIED PICKLES: panko battered, deep-fried pickles served with a Creole garlic remoulade sauce (£4.50), ensured that a cheeky vegetable was snuck into our mega meat fest!
Dalston’s resident BBQ experts will tell you that ‘a good Barbecue creates layers of flavour; the meat itself, the rub, the glaze and (most importantly) the smoke,’ and in their Greatest Hits platter they’ve done just that! – Expect all American sweet and smoky, rich and authentic tender meat, retaining the right amount of bite, to grace your plate – but not for long!
To be paired with your meat as perfectly as the beer are the side dishes. The Mac and cheese is perfect, full fat and creamy and can be pimped with the likes of bacon, pulled pork and jalepenos. As one of the house specials, the aforementioned sweet and tangy fried pickles are a must try. Lightly battered so that it’s crispy on the outside, these bite size bits should be dipped and enjoyed in the accompanying Creole dip while you sup on one of the 76 pale ales, wheat beers, IPAs, largers, ciders, porters, stouts and lambic, saison and fruits on the impressive menu.
As previously mentioned, Dukes Brew and Que is the home and tap house of Beavertown Brewery. Beavertown originally brewed on site until they expanded and moved to Tottenham Hale, but there will always be a plentiful supply of their beer on rotation alongside many other top names in UK and USA craft brewing.
Expect everything from Anchor Steam and Blue Moon to Beavertown Smog Rocket stout and Sandford Orchards Scrumpy cider.
If you’re more Bellini than beer then Dukes Brew and Que boast an extensive cocktail menu consisting of classics, mixed up with some original house-made drinks, as well as a great selection of whisky and tequila.
For anyone who has visited and loved the deep-south, the Sours on the menu will take you straight back to Tennessee as your choice of liquor: Bulleit Bourbon, Boxer Gin, Amaretto, Frangelico, Pisco, is expertly blended with lemon, sugar and egg white.
Take time to chat to Duke’s passionate and knowledgeable manager, Hannah, and her team of lively, friendly staff who are always happy to help.
Price – £72 for two people with drinks.
Service – Great – attentive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff.
Ambiance – As hospitable as the deep-South and as hip as its Hackney neighbourhood, with a classic rock soundtrack and American memorabilia all over the walls.
Bathroom – 3/5 – Discreet and tucked away downstairs but a little dingy.
For reservations and further information please visit: dukesbrewandque.com