London’s Bohem Brewery has opened its second venue after taking on the lease of the Nicholas Nickleby pub in Finsbury Park and carrying out extensive refurbishment.

Bohem Brewery Nicholas Nickleby team
The Nicholas Nickleby team behind the bar at the new venue. Left to rigtht are Olivia Robertson, Jakub Mikusinec, Marek Prusa, and Arik Alon

The Nicholas Nickleby joins the original Bohem Brewery Tap Room in Bowes Park as a brewery-owned and managed venue, with trained bar staff pouring and serving beer in the authentic Czech style.

Beer dispense at the Nicholas Nickleby has been enhanced with the installation of ten Lukr side-pour taps, imported from a specialist Czech manufacturer. These pour beer directly from a cold storage room.

All Bohem beers are brewed using imported double decoction brewing kit, and traditionally lagered at low temperature for a minimum of six weeks.

The pub also has London’s first ‘chladici vana’, or cooler bath, for glassware. Bohem’s original tapster, certified Pilsner Tapster Marek Prusa, has returned from the Czech Republic to train the pub’s staff, led by general manager Jakub Mikusinec, as well as oversee the installation of the Czech dispense kit and water bath.

Marek said: “The number one rule for serving lager is that the glasses must be clean, wet, and cold. The water-bath system ensures this, and by removing the temperature change between the cold room and the tap, the beer is treated gently and doesn’t get a shock.”

The beer range at the Nicholas Nickleby includes an exclusive new Bohem beer. Nikolas, named after the Czech variant of Nicholas, is a 4.2% ABV Czech black lager.

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Also on the bar is a tap spotlighting beers from Bohem’s microbrewery neighbour, Gravity Well. There will also be a rotating choice of guest beers from other craft brewers.

The drinks range also includes imported Czech wine, and spirits including a rum from the Two Drifters distillery, which was one of the last producers visited by the Hairy Bikers before Dave Myers death earlier this year. A range of bar food is also on offer.

Bohem director and co-founder, Petr Scokek, said: “Our original Tap Room is a very popular local venue, but it’s small. The plan was always to expand, but it’s taken far longer than we hoped due to the impact of the lockdown and the ongoing challenges facing the hospitality sector.

“It was also important that we found the right venue, and we’re delighted to be up and running at the Nicholas Nickleby. We haven’t set out to recreate a Czech style beer hall. We’re a London brewer and we’re running a proper London pub, but with a Czech twist in terms of our Czech beer dispense system, which is unique to London.

“We think locals will welcome the reopening of the Nicholas Nickleby, while we’re also giving the London craft beer community increased opportunity to enjoy our beers, authentically brewed, stored and served in the Czech style.”