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 clientèle 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
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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