More about warm beer in London? No. Not really. After traipsing round every sportswear shop in Covent Garden (and there is a lot of them) looking unsuccessfully for footwear for her indoors, a pint was called for. I can never resist Wrasslers Stout in Porterhouse Brewing, so we popped in. While E had a couple of halves of Oyster Stout, which was a little sweet and fruity for my taste, I had possibly the most bitter example of Wrasslers I have ever had. It was no worse for that, bursting with bitterness, with a dusty hop store nose and a long, long, bitter finish. One wasn't enough. I quite like the pub too for its buzziness and style, but its inherent gloom doesn't for me at least, make for a long stay. One note of caution though. In nearly an hour there, we didn't see anyone else drinking stout at all. On the way to the 15 bus, we have to pass the Harp in Chandos Place. Now this is a pub I really do like. Busy, bustling, interesting decor and lots to look at and enjoy. It has a local following as well as those like me, who pop in now and then. The staff are quick, friendly and attentive and it has Dark Star, with enough others to go at to offer something for everyone. It has character from top to bottom and is a living lesson on how to run a pub well.
I like Hophead. It has just enough hoppiness not to offend the unwary and is easy enough drinking to have more than one. So we had two. OK, it was a nudge over the optimum serving temperature, but still cool enough to thoroughly enjoy and I suppose you sometimes have to make allowance for Londoners liking of beer on the warm side.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, 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, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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