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Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

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Wilmington, DE
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Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

Going to be in London in March. Our second trip. On our first trip I enjoyed the beers I tried. I'm a big micro brew fan here at home, Sam Adams, our own local Dogfish Head, etc.

Can I get a little coaching on what to look for or ask for? Local brews? HOw local are they???

We're staying at the Luna Simone on Belgrave Rd so if someone were to tie their advice in with a good local that would be great.

Thanks in advance

Dallas, Texas
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1. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

Very close to you http://www.caskpubandkitchen.com/

A sister of the above http://thecraftbeerco.com/

You'll find many of the pubs are tied to a single brewery (not as many free houses around any more), so your choices may be limited unless you plan in advance. My wife gives me our tourist itinerary and I plan the pub visits based on where we will be. A trip to the Royal Oak on Tabard Street might be worth a visit, as it is the only Harvey's pub in London.

Edited: 06 January 2012, 03:28
Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

Go here and see what's available, so that you will recognize them when you go into a pub.

http://www.youngs.co.uk/beer-bitter.asp

http://adnams.co.uk/category/beer

http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=46

http://www.shepherd-neame.co.uk/our-brands/

http://www.harveys.org.uk/ourbeers.php

Except for Harveys, those are some of the more common beers I remember seeing available in London pubs. I'm sure there are others as well.

Edited: 06 January 2012, 03:52
Liverpool, United...
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3. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

If you avoid Fosters, Carling, Carlsberg, John Smiths, Worthingtons, Guinness you'll be safe.

People who drink the above beverages would drink sewer water if it got them drunk ;-)

www.beerintheevening.com is a good website to search for decent pubs close to where you are staying.

Edited: 06 January 2012, 04:04
U.S. expats
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4. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

Some pubs will give you a taste in a shot glass before you commit to a heftier helping.

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

Fullers of Chiswick and Youngs of Wandsworth are the two London breweries. I happen to prefer Youngs (Special) as it was my father's favorite and he was born & raised in Wandsworth. The others mentioned by TexScott are from the south east area - Harveys is from Sussex, Shepherd Neame Kent and Adnams is from Suffolk.

Fullers London Pride appears to be more widely available than Youngs outside their tied houses.

The closest Youngs pub to you is the Buckingham Arms in Petty France, close to St. James Park tube station. The most authentic Youngs pub in the central area is probably the Lamb in Lambs Conduit, Bloomsbury, well known to regulars here as one of the venues for the TALF pub meets.

Edited: 06 January 2012, 04:43
Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

A couple of other resources for pub info:

http://fancyapint.com/

http://www.pubs.com/

East Sussex, United...
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7. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

For background, check out CAMRA - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_for_Real_Ale If you're in any doubt about the importance of real ale, note that it's the largest single issue consumer group in the UK.

The point made re tied houses is a good one - often you will find just one brewery's beers in a pub. If they're as good as Harveys (The Royal Oak) that won't be a problem.

Free houses allow you to try everything - try The Market Porter near London Bridge and The Harp in Covent Garden.

It's a great idea to find a "local". Have a look at this too : http://www.sirc.org/publik/ptpintro.html

Finally, do try real cider (NOT Strongbow !) too http://www.ukcider.co.uk/real.htm

Happy drinking !

Mike

Cambridge, United...
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8. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

Like your description of Lager and Guinness drinkers Matt .

Broadland
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9. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

If you feel like venturing outside London

http://bit.ly/Ab1dUO

Hitchin, United...
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10. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

"Like your description of Lager and Guinness drinkers Matt."

Though it's pretty snobby if I'm brutally honest and it makes out that anyone that doesn't drink real ale 100% of the time is some sort of hooligan or has undeveloped tastes. Ale's very nice but on a hot day after a long walk it just doesn't do it so I'm quite happy to drink a cold lager, and no-one should feel they're some sort of drinking underclass because they choose something else. I wouldn't exactly say I fit into lager lout mould.

(Steps down off soapbox). :-)

For the OP, Fuller's Discovery is a very good local blond ale if you like something colder and lighter.

http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=49

TexScott's suggestion of The Craft Beer Co is a good one, plenty of choice in there (100 plus?) all from fairly local breweries but it does get busy.