There are three pubs within a four minute walk of my London flat. Good news you'd think. Well yes and no. I'll concentrate on two of them. A while ago I posed the question about what you do if you like the pub, but don't like the beer. You'll find it here. Last night we had a small wander round a few of our local pubs. I had hoped to find Fullers Wild River in the Chamberlain Hotel, but alas it wasn't on and the place was, as it always seems to be, depressingly empty. We made our excuses and left and whizzed round to the pub at the top of our road, The Dispensary. Now we've always found this to have inordinately warm beer and thus it was last night. I like Adnam's Ghost Ship, but not served this way. It is a long time fault of this place. I've given it umpteen goes and it isn't getting any better, so why throw money away? Well we won't be. It is off the list.
The nearest pub, by a few yards is the Princess of Prussia. That's the one I wrote about above. We had the usual warm welcome - that's one of the reasons we like it - and were given a recommendation. Kent's Best Invicta Ale. Now Shep's website describes it thus: "An ambient bitter, which successfully merges the biscuity sweetness of English malt with the fruity, floral bitterness of locally grown hops from the Kent countryside, to give a clean, satisfying and moreish drink ( to quaff, effortlessly, among friends)." It is written by no less than Ben McFarland. Well he must have been drinking a different beer to me. It was the usual harsh Shep's taste of thin malt and incredibly weedy hops, this time with a good dash of burnt caramel. Horrid. Now in fairness, I just don't get on with Shep's cask beers. I have tried and tried and now I'm giving up. At London prices - or even at any price - for me at least, it is a waste of money. Eileen has been more than once bitten by Shep's and is now very shy indeed. She had a half of Oranjeboom Lager. As I grumbled my way through the Kent's Best, I tasted E's beer. It was clean, full bodied and not overcarbonated. Quite drinkable in fact.
We really like the pub, so will be back. Next time though, I'll drink Oranjeboom.
We didn't have a chance to try the jukebox mentioned in the original article. There is a jukebox hogger in there,but actually he chooses quite well.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, CAMRA Chairman and (local) activist, beer author, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
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