Friday, 15 February 2008

Flat Fullers Fails to Impress!


It's been a bad week. My RSI has returned with a vengeance, I have lost my bank card and TuiFly have cancelled my outbound flight to Hannover in April, completely buggering up my arrangements, so my trip to London is a very welcome diversion. Change of scene and all that.

On the way I called in the the JDW near Piccadilly Station - yes I know Jeff - and once again there was a large 3 Rivers theme going on. I settled on a half of their Old Disreputable and of the weaker Tom Wood's Old Timber. (There's another daft name!) I liked the OT. It was American Brown Ale in style minus the Cascade finish. A competent enough beer but I wouldn't want a lot of it. The OD was a different kettle of fish being oily and phenolic with a scouring medicinal edge. It was essentially a lot of clashing jaggy edges which just didn't fit together. Not a good beer at all.

Hoping for better things in London, I met my lass in the Ship in Crutched Friar. This is a neat little one roomed free house that keeps its beer well. Not a great choice available, with Courage Best, Wadworth's 6X, Butcombe Bitter and Sharp's Doom Bar. The Sharp's was - well - Sharps. Decent but unexciting. This pub ought to look at the beer range. All beer was around 4% and all were mid brown and malty. Hello? Anyone awake in there?

Across the road to Fuller's Hung Drawn and Quartered. This is a smashing pub inside and out. Porter my choice, Discovery for E. Both were flat as a witch's tit and very disappointing. Then towards home and Shep's Princess of Prussia. Well kept beers, but if Shep's beers aren't high gravity brewed then watered down to suit, I'll eat my hat.

Lastly, the Brown Bear in Leman St. I tried the new Wadworth's Golden beer, Horizon. First time for me and I liked it. Bitter, full bodied and satisfying, so a good end to the night!

14 comments:

Paul said...

I don't necessarily dislike flat beer. It has the advantage of not having a head. But if it was past it's best then that's another story.

Tom (OBBD) said...

Strong words on the Sheps beers! 'Scuse my innocence, but does that sort of thing really happen a lot outside the big industrial brewers?

Tandleman said...

The beers were wholesome and fresh. Just not conditioned. Who on earth wants to drink flat beer and beer without a head? Not me!

Tandleman said...

Tom The taste is just so similar from tyhe Bishop's Finger, down to Spitfire and then the Master Brew.

Bailey said...

I love Butcombe, although I'm willing to accept it's an emotional rather than rational response, based on homesickness and nostalgia for Somerset... always glad to know where it's on in London. Ta.

Tyson said...

You take your life in your hands every time you drink in Picc Wetherspoons! Somehow 3 Rivers have conned JDW into taking their very average beers-bet its a matter of being able to deliver cheap, never mind quality.

Agree with you about Horizon-a nicely rounded beer.

The Beer Nut said...

I met Old Disreputable and 3 Rivers's Manchester IPA at a festival last year and really liked them. Didn't find anything jaggy or medicinal about the OD.

Old Timber tastes like new timber; like licking a garden centre. Hooray for weird beer!

Bushwhacker said...

I know Sheps use the cheapest ingredients they can lay their greedy hands on, but I hadn't thought of the watering down angle. I must say their Whitstable Bay is the best of an otherwise bad bunch, which is reflected in sales when it is available, but Spitfire & Masterbrew certainly taste disturbingly similar.

Betsey said...

I drink Shep's Spitfire and Bishop's Finger frequently and don't think they're that similar.

Tandleman said...

Palate problems?

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

It would not surprise me if Sheps were high gravity brewing. I hasd a bottle of 1698 the other day and have to admit it was pretty decent but the other beers from that brewery are pretty uninspiring.
Small brewery high gravity brew as well. Its a way of achieving a larger yield than your brew length, pretty tempting when your kit isn't that big.

Tom (OBBD) said...

Hadn't thought of that angle, Kieran - though Sheps aren't all that small. I definitely agree that Bishops Finger/Spitfire/Masterbrew are all disturbingly similar. Clearly I just wasn't being cynical enough :-)

Paul said...

"Who on earth wants to drink flat beer and beer without a head?" I do !

Tandleman said...

Paul

Really? You like to drink beer with no condition? I accept that you might not like a head on your beer. That's up to you, but are you seriously saying you want your beer to be flat?

Is this a wind up?