Opening hours: Saturday 1100-2300
Other days: Sunday 1200-1900, Wednesday-Friday 1600-2300
Official site: https://www.thebarrelproject.co.uk/
Last updated: 04/07/2021
When we did our initial research for the website in July 2018, this place looked like it had potential - the people from the London Beer Factory in Gypsy Hill were about to set up an entire site on the Mile dedicated to experiments with barrel aged beers, which they could then serve to people at the weekends. It took them several months to refurbish the joint, but by the end of 2018 The Barrel Project was fully open, and we're pleased to report that the potential we saw has been fully realised. For one thing, the refurbishment really works: some lovely tilework makes the bar itself positively pop, and the massed barrels along the side wall give some additional atmosphere to what would otherwise be another standard railway arch.
And then there's the beer - 24 taps, half of them from LBF, the other half assorted guests from London and Europe. On the day we visited in December 2018 there wasn't much barrel-aged beer available on tap, with the implication that this would be something to look forward to in years to come. The couple of lighter fruity efforts we had that day worked just fine. If you're in the market for some food, the kitchen at the front of the bar seems to be hosting a regularly-changing cycle of popups: at the time of our 2018 visit it was occupied by Tangys, a confused but fascinating mishmash of global cuisines (for example, Malay beef curry wonton loaded nachos, which I think are just one thing rather than two): in June 2021 they were hosting Beer Sandwich Please. These days, TBP's Insta suggests that virtually all their taps are now devoted to their own barrel-aged beers, so at some point we need to go back and try a few of them out.
Pandemic update: as with Southwark Brewing, the council ban on outdoor drinking appears to have been overtaken by events, and TBP have bookable seating available both inside and outside.