Thursday, 7 October 2010

Testing the GBG in London


I'm in London for a few days. Despite it being my other home, I kind of regard it as a holiday, so like on all holidays, I'm going to have a few beers. In the pub of course, though my fridge here has one or two beers that need supping soon. (Rogue Shakespeare Stout and Stone Russian Imperial Stout might make an interesting comparison I suppose, but if I drank two very large bottles of those, I might be a bit pissed.) So it's the pub.

Where to go is the problem. I'm going to use my new Good Beer Guide 2011 (GBG)I think and see where that leads me. The good news for pubs is that my Cask Marque thermometer's whereabouts cannot be determined, so it'll just be "too warm" or "temperature fine", or, in extreme cases, "very warm". I have already made a start though. I popped into the Bree Louise as I passed. Now this pub has a very bad record, so I wasn't expecting much. My first half of Adnam's Koelner was murky and undrinkable and was exchanged for a rather tasty (but way too warm) half of Dark Star Espresso, so no improvement there. Later I had a pint of Itchin Valley Single Hop (Cascade) which was served in top condition and lacked only hops! That was in my local JDW, Goodman's Field, which like the Bree Louise, unaccountably has Good Beer Guide status. Unlike the Bree Louise, it did have good beer on this occasion.

Later if I'm up to it, I'll stroll across Tower Bridge and seek out Dredgie who is apparently haunting the area tonight. E has (so far) declined to accompany me for that excursion, as she has work tomorrow. I don't of course. Retirement has many advantages.

13 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Given all the negative comments, it's quite gobsmacking that the Bree Louise should be in the Good Beer Guide!

Tandleman said...

It beats me Mudgie. There must be some odd criteria down here.

Brads39 said...

Been in The Bree Louise many times and have never had a bad pint.Perhaps you shouldn't drink on reputation.

Tandleman said...

Not sure what you mean by that remark. The fact is I report on what I find. The views of others thinking the same indicates I'm in the ball park on this one.

God knows, you must be one lucky guy if you haven't found, poor/flat/warm beer there. Or are just mischievous/wouldn't know a good beer from a bad one.

Rabidbarfly said...

I have a feeling it's in there because of the range on its own reputation of have lots of casks on gravity. After all a lot of the people that put these pubs in the guide are tickers who are really only interested in getting a new beer to tick.

Tandleman said...

Could be RBF. What annoys is that the basic idea isn't that bad, though I personally would eschew gravity, but they really need to execute it all properly.

Mind you, getting Pub of the Year and GBG entry from your local CAMRA branch would likely make you think you are doing it right.

See you later?

Rabidbarfly said...

I'm in from 5pm if you're about.

Mark said...

I'm around for a beer tonight too, that'll make it impossible to resist surely?

We can hit the Draft House for some of their keg stuff ... that won't be flat or warm. ;)

RedNev said...

You have a thermometer?!

Sid Boggle said...

Nev, he has a probe. He's mentioned it before while he's been in London... 8-)

SteveF said...

It probably gets in on the diversity of beers as much as anything. Plus they offer the CAMRA discount, which presumably appeals. It is very hit and miss though. Was in a couple of sundays ago - half of the pints were reasonable, the other half were horribly flat. The Redemption is usually the safest option if they've got that on. Oh and the pies are alright.

Give the Old Fountain in Old Street a try if you get the chance. Only open till Friday night though.

coxy said...

I have been in the Bree about six times and never had a good pint. I go back because i hear good things but it is always disapointing

NAM said...

I had to visit that London today so travelled down last night and tried the Bree Louise, being of an inquisitive nature.

I should have heeded the wise words. Three flat pints served by gravity, one pretty poor. Only the fourth was pleasant, Dark Star Triple at 8.5%. Nothing on hand pump at all. 25% hit rate and that's being generous. Is it me or is is it a bit of a pit inside, too?

I had a decent pint of Doom Bar at the British Film Institute's bar on the South Bank, though.

By way of contrast, I'd popped into the Knott Bar in Manchester last week and had two excellent pints. 100% hit rate. I'm not even sure whether that's in the latest GBG but chalk and cheese compared to the Bree Louise.