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Old Red Cow, London

Posted on 05. May, 2011 by in Pubs

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Old Red Cow, London

The Old Red Cow is one of the oldest and newest pubs in Smithfield. Dating back to 1854, the pub has recently been purchased and reopened by the team behind the Dean Swift.

History and Interior

The Old Red Cow dates back to 1854 but the original interior has long gone. The pub has been owned by amongst others, Scottish and Newcastle and Shepherd Neame. In the 1980s, the pub had a showbiz landlord called Dick O’Shea who used to entertain punters in the upstairs dining room.

The pub was run by Shepherd Neame until around 2006 when it closed and then reopened as The Long Lane in early 2007 and failed miserably. The pub was given a refurb in 2008 and was renamed the Old Red Cow again.

Early in 2011, the company behind the excellent Dean Swift, a pub near Tower Bridge, purchased the pub with the aim of repeating its success. The interior was given a much needed lick of paint and a dozen beer taps were installed in addition to the four hand pumps that already existed. A similar number of taps were added to the comfortable upstairs bar/dining room.

The Beer

The selection of beer is excellent and most certainly the one of best in the Smithfield area. The selection features a good mixture of cask beers from breweries such as Brew Dog and Redemption, keg beer from the UK, Europe and the US as well as a wide variety of foreign bottled beers. Beer available when I visited was Brooklyn Lager, Camden Pale Ale, Veltins, Maisel’s Weisse, Stiegel, Harviestoun’s Bitter and Twisted and Brew Dog Punk IPA.

One unusual beer that I had never heard of until visit the Cow was the Austrian rye beer, Schremser Roggenbier which was served in an attractive branded handled glass.

Visiting the Pub

Since reopening, the Old Red Cow is now open 7 days a week. Due to Smithfield being rather deserted on a weekend, many pubs are only open Monday – Friday. This is great if you are only able to get to London on a weekend.

More Photos of the Old Red Cow

Venue Location

Old Red Cow

71-73 Long Lane



Tel: 020 7726 2595

(Twitter: @awv)

Beer Taster, Pub Attendee, Photo Taker

Robert Gale likes beer, pubs and beer festivals. He also likes to take photos of beer, pubs and beer festivals. Most weekends of the year you can find him travelling around the UK (and sometimes beyond) photographing and reviewing good quality pubs and beer festivals. He also has a day job in the form of a web developer for Ozum.

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