“Sharp’s Head Brewer Stuart Howe personally brewed just one batch of this very special beer in December 2007. The beer was conditioned in the Brewery for over a month and then bottled with live yeast. The live yeast gently conditions the beer over time giving it a very balanced and complex flavour profile. “
Ok, I’m not going to talk about TTLA again as I have commented on it a couple of times in the past, however it is worth noting that I had the pint’s in The Sir Christopher Hatton (SCH). The SCH is a new refurbishment of the Old Goose on Leather Lane by pubco Nicholson’s. The pub is certainly more upmarket that The Goose was, but it still suffers from the numbers on the table syndrome which plagues all chain bars (‘spoons, O’Neills, All Bar One etc). The most interesting finding I had was they had a total of 12 real ales on their beer menu, but they only had 8 pumps!
I was recently given a bunch of Real Ale bottles by my wife for my birthday. These bottles came at a good time as my regular stocks from Tesco had dwindled and my cupboards were bare! Two of these gift bottles were Woodfordes Nelson’s Revenge (4.5% abv), a Special Bitter which is fairly hoppy with a strong malt backbone. I like this beer, although I am a little put of by the marmalade aftertaste. To explain further, I am all for citrus flavours in beer, Like a good APA for example, but this sour orange taste was a little unpleasant and not really to style. One thing i do like about Woodfordes is that you can brew the beers at home. Yes, that is right! Woodfordes sell 3kg bittered malt extracts to homebrewers for all of their regular beers. Excellent. Website
Greenwich is the ‘official’ center of the earth – where east meets west and where the most famous British maritime heroes received their training. Located just down the Thames from the City of London, Greenwich plays host to an observatory, the meridian line, the O2 dome, the British maritime museum and most important of all – The Trafalgar Tavern.
The Castle, hidden away in the back streets between High Holborn and Fleet Street has become one of my favourite Real Ale pubs in London. The staff are friendly, the beer is always in good condition and there are always several guest ales on tap at any one time. The fact that it is in close proximity to work is a bonus! Recently I dropped in for a few pints after work and the following few entries will describe the session! Hydes 1863 (3.5% abv) is an ordinary bitter from the Hydes brewery which is based in Manchester. before I had this pint, I had never heard of the beer, nor the brewery even and even searching google, I have not been able to dig up much information! The short of it is, an easy drinking amber bitter with mellow hops and a slightly spicy toffee/sweet malt taste. Sweet definetely dominates over bitterness, but there is a lot of flavour for such a low abv. More info about it can be found here.
Back in London and enjoying the weather my wife and I stopped at “The Black Lion” W6, whilst enjoying a walk along the river Themes. Here I enjoyed a pint of Sharp’s Doom Bar (4% abv) a well balanced special bitter from the Cornish Sharp’s brewery. You may recall that I recently blogged about Sharp’s Cornish Coaster which I had mixed opinions about. Now Doom Bar is a beer that I have a very favourable opinion on. The beer itself is very similar to London Pride, except the bitterness does not seem as harsh, this could be due to differences in the chemistry of the brewing water. On the plus this beer has lovely fresh fruity hop aroma and flavour, but it achieves this without being offensive. Overall Doom bar is a really good beer! Website
Again this beer was enjoyed on St Georges day at ‘The Castle’. Barnsley Bitter (3.8% abv) is a dark copper coloured bitter which has nice biscuity and chocolate malt aftertaste. I really like this beer and I can’t really think of any other beers which have a similar taste. If I could compare it to anything it would be Gales HSB, but with more of a roasted edge. The beer is thick and sticky with shedloads of malt. There is a solid bitterness which is balanced by the roasted flavours coming thorugh. To top it off, this beer has a subtle fruity hop aroma that rounds off this beer. If anybody has the grain bill for this beer, please pass it forward!
After stubling out of the Williamsons Tavern quite late we decided to try for one more beer. After stumbling around a few back streets between Cheapside and Roman Wall we found a little local boozer which was closing up but didn’t mind serving us one final pint. I made mine an Abbot Ale, which I have previously blogged about here. It went down OK, but it was time for me to head on over to Moorgate tube and get my ass home!
Ok, another one from the pub crawl last week. This one was consumed in the Three Kings in Clerkenwell. I have had this one twice before and you can read my original notes here! Please excuse the small post, but I have a serious backlog and pending international travel. I will be playing catchup for a month!
Finchley Bitter (abv unknown) is a unique Yorkshire style bitter brewed by a new microbrewery located in East Finchley. The brewery itself is still in the development stages and I was fortunate enough to try a pilot brew. Being a pilot brew the brewer has chosen to use malt extract to provide the fermentables rather than the traditional mashing method used by most larger scale commercial breweries. The beer itself is fresh, with a firm bitterness and a slight extract twang but is an excellent entry level selection and should become a promising beer when the pilot phase is over and large scale production begins. Hopefully as this new venture evolves I will be able to bring you breaking news about this exciting new micro! The picture below shows the pilot cask located at the back of the brewery premises!