My most recent London visit brought some warm beer to my notice. Well it would, as I was the recipient. It also brought some excellent beer. There was some in the middle. So dreadful was a Roosters beer in JDW Shakespeare's Head that I reported it to Cask Marque. (I must ask them what their conclusion was.) That's one thing you can do if it has the CM accreditation, though I've reported the Brown Bear in Leman St before and the beer was still awful when I watched the football there two weeks ago. Maybe it does less good than you hope? (Apparently miscreants thus reported usually tell CM the cooling was broken that day, or someone new turned it off instead of the light - that kind of thing. CM are meant to follow up with a later visit, but I don't know if they do or not.) Anyway and either way, I do urge those afflicted by poor beer in a Cask Marque pub to let them know. It might just help.
So to the good news. I thought the beer in the Hop and Berry in Angel, recommended to me by Matt Curtis, was very well kept and I was delighted by the truly top quality I experienced in the Market Porter, a place I don't tend to go in that much, but did, as I had been let down quality wise - well temperature wise - by the usually reliable Southwark Tavern, whose beer I had praised on a warm summer's day. Sadly on a much colder Autumn one, the beer was warm, as was E's lager. The Market Porter was heaving, but service was quick and friendly and the beer, stout in my case, was sparkled, cool and lively. A sure two pinter.
Lastly a word in praise of the Draft House in Seething Lane. The Tankovna Pilsner Urquell was delicious and at £4.75 a pint, well under the price of most local keg beers on the same bar. I find that a bit odd. I didn't realise they chucked out at six on a Sunday in the Draft House. Made my last pint a bit of rush. My own fault.
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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