Friday, 15 February 2008

Warm Beer in February. WTF?

The beer in the Pembury was warmish, but I didn't know how warm. I did have in my pocket a beer thermometer which I bought two years ago from Cask Marque. I have been too embarrassed to use it. "Rightly You Saddo", I hear you say.

I won't go into too many details but I went down to Smithfield area next. Nothing took my fancy. I passed Stonch's haunt the Betsey Trotwood which E and I used to visit ten years ago when we first had our London flat. Then to the Jerusalem Tavern which had a dozen or so customers in. I tried the Mild which was inoffensive with chewy malt and some roast in the background, the Best Bitter (a decent bitter beer spoiled by lack of condition - it was flat as a fluke), the Golden was sticky and malty with some hops. The Grapefruit was grapefruity, the red sort actually. All the beers were warm. I (surreptitiously) got my thermometer out. It was 16.1 C. The Grapefruit having been left for 10 mins was 16.9C! I have had warm beer here before, but such warm beer in the coldest month of the year is a major concern, as was the lack of condition.

The fourth nearest pub to our flat is the GBG listed Old Dispensary. I called in fresh out of the adjacent Aldgate East Tube on the way home from Farringdon. Two guests on offer here. Harvey's Kiss and Dark Star Original. Both were decent enough beers, but again temperature was an issue. The Harvey's was served at an astonishing 18.4C (that's 65F) and the Pitfield at 16.7 C. This just isn't good enough. The Manager came over to see what I was up to. I told him. He said the cellar cooling must be malfunctioning. Huh. Sure it is.

This is the coldest month of the year, yet in London, a flagship pub of a prestigious micro brewery and a current GBG pub are serving up beer so warm you could poach an egg in it! It simply isn't good enough.


Zak Avery said...

Top geeking - good work. I'm sure you felt like you were being a pain in the arse, but I think it's important to pull people up when they fail to meet basic criteria. And serving beer at (or even near) the right temperature is a very basic criterion.

And yes, Tom (obbd), I am he.

John Clarke said...

I must say that I have yet to encounter a St Peter's beer that I have found even half-way enjoyable. I'm sure there's a good one in there somewhere but I don't fancy having to slog through the entire cacky (is that a new word?) range to find it.

Matt said...

That is schockingly warm beer!

Tom (OBBD) said...

Respect to Tandleman - that must have taken some nerve. It can be hard enough explaining to an unreceptive landlord that yes, your beer is actually off, let alone telling him that it should be several degrees cooler.

Ted said...

My thoughts after several visits to the Jerusalem Tavern over the years seem to match yours - the most consistent thing to my mind appears to be the lack of conditioning.

Much the same can be said for the Trotwood - never been brilliant beer in here, even when I used to work nearby about 15 years ago.

Now to invest in my own thermometer...