Saturday, 24 September 2016

Good Beer in London


Readers of this blog will know I can be a bit scathing about quality of cask beer in London. I don't do so lightly as after all it is easy to get right. But nonetheless to redress the balance in this quick post, here's some good news.

Last Saturday we met friends who had come down from Manchester for the day. Their plans, being Beavertown fan-boys - well craft fans in general really - was that we should go to Beavertown's Saturday opening. Alas it was not to be as instead of the usual open day, it was a ticket event which had sold out. So we arranged instead to meet in Soho for some more ordinary pub crawling.  Our first pub was based on nearness to Tottenham Court tube and you don't get nearer that Nicolson's Flying Horse.  Let's draw a veil over the awful beer there, but it was just a meeting place.   We had intended to have a look at the Fitzroy Tavern, newly renovated by Sam Smith's.  (As an aside, I found out when reading a book this weekend about the blitz, that the Fitzroy was a well know haunt of homosexuals during the war. That's where you went for a sure pick-up if one batted for that side. Or both.)  Alas entry wasn't to be either, as it is still closed for aforesaid renovations fifteen or more months after it started, so plan B was the Draft House across the road, also in Charlotte St. The beer there was fine and actually cool to cold, which is unusual if our local DH in Seething Lane is anything to go by. It wasn't Good Beer Guide standards in my view, but good enough to have a couple and it started an upwards trend.

Brodies' Old Coffee House was busy and the beer was pretty good. Again probably not quite GBG standard, but a notch up from the Draft House.  Food was required by now and so we went on that basis to the Queen's Head in nearby Piccadilly. Both the welcome and the beer were excellent, with Good Beer Guide quality beer and staff who seemed to actually like their job.  The rising trend continued.

Train time for our friends took us the the Euston Tap where the beer was outstanding. You expect this from them and good it is too not to be disappointed.  A two pinter most certainly and it was the sort of quality and choice that made you wish you'd come in earlier. Always a good sign.  GBG quality? You bet. Lastly for us was our London local the Dispensary in Leman St which had a beer festival on. More of that another time, but it was great to see the place buzzing, as they don't normally open on a Saturday. The beer was in great nick too. Again Good Beer Guide quality.

Good cask beer in London is good to find. It was an enjoyable day.


The photo was of a lovely old mirror in the Queens Head. London is great for old brewery mirrors.  

I borrowed the blitz book via E from Tower Hamlets Libraries. A good read if that sort of thing interests you.

6 comments:

Martin Taylor said...

Yes there's plenty of good beer in London (Euston Tap as good as anywhere), just nowhere near as much as you'd hope for 8 million odd people. North West London particularly poorly served, though at least local CAMRA seem to acknowledge that with minimal entries in the GBG.

On your helpful prompt I popped back in the Dispensary last Monday and was very impressed with the beer quality; there's some real Guide duffers in the City though; I think beer sits in the pipes between Friday and Monday.

Erlangernick said...

Popped in the Doric Arch last month, hadn't changed a bit in the decade since Mrs & I had a lovely couple of hours there a decade ago. Beer was perfectly fine.

Tyson said...

"Last Saturday we met friends who had come down to Manchester"

Erm, to London, surely? From Manchester, perhaps?

Tandleman said...

As Captain Mainwaring would have said "I wondered who'd spot that one!"

Cooking Lager said...

It is good to know that if one is kidnapped and taken to that there London, one might find TAND approved refreshment whilst one arranged ones carriage back to Gods own north.

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

like the Coffee House, was there recently researching it for the Telegraph, which reminds me I need to file.