Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Princess of Prussia


I am not the biggest fan of the cask products of Shepherd Neame which I find harsh and samey.  I can't say the same about many of their non standard bottles though, which are quite the opposite. They are very good. Shep's should maybe look at putting some of them such as Brilliant Ale (which actually is) or Double Stout on cask, rather than the nondescript ones they do now.  Early Bird, Amber Ale, Late Red?  Just say no.  They taste the same as the usual ones.  Harsh and difficult to tell from each other. Be that as it may, I still like the nearest Shepherd Neame pub to my London flat and do go there.  You'd hardly be attracted by the prices though, expensive as it is, even by local standards which are scarcely cheap.  But I like the place. That's the thing about pubs.  It isn't just the beer. The Princess of Prussia is very pubby, with a good mixed client√®le and a nice feel to the place.  Distinct drinking areas, lots of dark wood for cosiness and a splendid, atmospheric, heated outside area at the back adds to its considerable attractiveness. It is pretty well run too and while I dislike the beer, I have never had a badly kept pint.

So, despite having tried repeatedly to like the cask offerings, I just can't, so generally end up drinking Oranjeboom, which in its original Dutch incarnation at least, is an all malt brew.  No obvious corn notes in the Shep's brewed stuff, so probably all malt here too (though I wouldn't bet my reputation on it ) and as I usually just have a quick couple of pints, while it's no great flavour experience, no harm done either.
 
All this rambling leads to the reason for this post.  The Princess of Prussia used to be a Truman's pub and bore some traces of its ancestry outside.  Recently the outside has been done up, with new tiling replacing old, broken stuff.  Doesn't it look great?

So, while I don't care for the cask beer, I do like the pub and Shep's sympathetic care of it.  Two out of three isn't bad.  Or is it?

Can't help thinking I'd enjoy Truman's Burton Brewed Pale and Old Ales better.  Stout and Mild would be nice too! Where's that time machine?

The Princess of Prussia is at 15 Prescot St, London E1 8AZ

11 comments:

AleingPaul said...

I used to work in the BT Radianz building opposite and used to visit it quite frequently, I remember it being quite pricey then. The external changes look do look rather beautiful and well worth a visit which will give me an excuse to check out the Dispensary around the corner which had not long opened when I was working there but never got around to trying out partly as it looked like a very pricey establishment.

On the Shep's ales front I quite like their new Whistable Bay Pale Ale which is definitely a bit different from their usual stuff. Also the 5.6% version of their Brilliant Ale was available on cask for a short time and was indeed worthy of the name, however they've now confused things by putting out a 4% cask version which isn't quite as brilliant. All a bit confusing, I notice they use the word "Brands" to categorise their ales on their website, perhaps they need a new Brand Manager?

Also agree with your comment about their Double Stout, I ended up drinking a bottle of it on my last visit to a Shep's pub which kind of defeats one of the main reasons for drinking in a pub.

Cooking Lager said...

dart board?

why is it no one ever mentions whether a boozer has a dart board?

Darts is the very definition of whether a boozer is a proper decent boozer or a poncey bourgeois gaff.

Coxy said...

Dart boards will become hip in London boozers, a bit edgy for the hipsters, has to be a pool table now for no pretension.

DaveS said...

Their bottled India Pale Ale is good - really nice punchy fuggles-and-goldings bitterness. It'd be perfect in a pub garden with a ploughman's lunch on a nice day when you've not got much planned for the afternoon. The Ratebeer reviews for it are a good laugh, too, for all the people who can't get their heads around the fact that it's called an India Pale Ale but doesn't taste of grapefruit.

In general, though, Sheps are another of those slightly frustrating traditional brewers who always feel like they've got the knowledge and skills to produce much better and more interesting beer (eg the aforementioned India Pale Ale) if they wanted to, but are afraid that that would risk their "mass appeal"...

They do run some lovely pubs, though.

Alan Winfield said...

I have always enjoyed drinking Shepherd Neame beers and their pub even more,i dont know why people dont like Master Brew,it is in my opinion a really nice hoppy bitter.

Regarding Darts Boards,i always say if there is a Darts Board in a pub in my reviews on Pubs Galore.

Alan Winfield said...

I have always enjoyed drinking Shepherd Neame beers and their pub even more,i dont know why people dont like Master Brew,it is in my opinion a really nice hoppy bitter.

Regarding Darts Boards,i always say if there is a Darts Board in a pub in my reviews on Pubs Galore.

Erlangernick said...

Never had a Shep beer on cask, and would love to try them. Have really enjoyed that bottled stout and IIRC the IPA here at home in front of the telly, courtesy of internet shopping.

Why would an English brewer use adjuncts in an all-malt Dutch lager? I've always heard that American-style adjunct brewing is more expensive and capital-intensive than all-malt brewing. Or is lout in England normally adjunct-brewed like in Yankley?

Burgo said...

If you don't like their beer, maybe you should try a Boak & Bailey "mash-up" a la SESSION #88? Grab hold of a Granny or get to grips with a Blacksmith?

Curmudgeon said...

I'm sure there are also pubs around that have a superb selection of well-kept beer but, as pubs, are to many punters profoundly uncongenial.

Ben Viveur said...

Of course, Sheps did brew (in collaboration with Stone) that 7% Double IPA for the Wetherfest a few years back which was one of the greatest beers brewed by anybody anywhere ever.

In complete contrast to most anything else they've done over the years...

Anonymous said...

Before Sheps had it the place was twice the size with centre island bar. One side had been taken away. I also witness them rip out the handpumps. I walked out. [10 yrs ago?] Dunno if the snooker/billiard table is still there - one of the few in the area at the time. The courtyard at the back was always nice and sunny in summer. Sally from the nearby White Swan help set it up when Sheps took it on.
tankard