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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

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

"If you feel like venturing outside London


Good call. Oddly (!), the towns I invariably recommend on here for visitors - Norwich, Rye, Lewes and (tiny) Bishop's Castle - all have the benefit of a range of excellent pubs as well as a good slice of history and a great curry house. It's the perfect day out !

Think good beer pubs rather than just good beer while over here and you'll get double the experience.


Sydney, Australia
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12. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

If you're done with the soapbox Canucks, I'll have it ;-)

Laudable though things like the craft beer pubs linked in the first response are, to this Brit this sort of place sticks in the throat a bit because they like to make out they are doing something particularly special or unique, as if good beer was previously unknown to the UK

One of the great advantages that Britain DOES have over many places - notably where I'm currently living in Australia, and to a lesser extent America, or at least the America of 15 or 20 years ago - is that due to the efforts of CAMRA and others the big breweries never got the complete stranglehold over the beer market that they did elsewhere - so whilst craft beer is all well and good, there's no need to specifically hunt specialist "craft" beers out in order to get the good stuff, lots of "ordinary" beer is really pretty good. Totally different to our beer market in Aus where standard beer is pretty much all rubbish, and you have to seek out "craft" stuff - and pay accordingly - in order to get something decent

What I'm trying to say, in a roundabout way, is that you don't have to restrict yourself to places marketing themselves as craft beer pubs, or pay their prices, in order to get good brews

My other beef with "craft beer" pubs is that they define themselves by how many varieties they sell. Ergo, they are selling bottles or keg beer. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that, but you should be aware the traditional style of beer in the UK - what's commonly known as "real ale" - is a live, unpasteurised product with no gas added. Its liveliness comes from the natural action of the live yeast in it. This is important, because as a live product it goes off, once a barrel has been opened it needs to be sold within a few days. You can't do that if you are selling dozens of beers. So just because a pub only sells two or three brews doesn't make it bad - on the contrary, it can mean it's a really good one.

Give me an honest pub run by a landlord who knows his stuff in the cellar and sells two or three superbly kept beers at normal prices, over a craft beer pub flogging dozens of esoteric foreign bottles at double the price, any day

Right, someone else can have the soapbox now ;-)

There are two or three excellent pubs up in Knightsbridge - the Nag's Head gets a lot of plaudits but I find it a bit too up itself - the Grenadier is an excellent alternative

I'm not putting you off the craft beer place, just trying to point out that you don't need to stick to place like that to get good beer; and if you want good beer and the genuine British article, it needs to be real ale; it's served in halves or pints (20fl oz here), almost always in London via a handpump (the traditional tall item on the bar) by which it is pumped up from the cellar. Should be served cool (NOT warm, nor cold, but cellar temperature) and be clear and with a pleasant aroma. Anything cloudy, sour or acidic smelling or tasting should go back - and any pub worth its salt will take a pint back and give you something else without argument if the beer is remotely "off"

There is a huge variety of styles and tastes of brew sold as real ale, from dry , hoppy and pale through to malty, dark and even sweet - see the CAMRA website Mikey linked for much better description of styles than I can manage

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13. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

I think what we are trying to say is that the choice of beers in London is so large that you won't have a problem finding something you enjoy whether it's a pint of London Pride, a bottle of Dogfish Head or a glass of some obscure cider from Somerset with more bits in it than a computer!

If you would prefer to stick to what you know then the Craft Beer Company and the others mentioned (the Euston Tap is another worth trying if you are in that area) might suit but if you want real ale served from a handpump then somewhere like The Harp off Trafalgar Square or indeed The Lamb in Bloomsbury would be a good place to start. The Jugged Hare, a Fullers pub less than five minutes walk from your hotel is another decent option.

If you post your dates then I will make a note and hopefully there will be a TALF pub meet during your stay. There we can bore you with talk of beer all night although I may be out west (San Diego) whilst you are here.

Upminster, United...
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14. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

<< The most authentic Youngs pub in the central area is probably the Lamb in Lambs Conduit, >>

That is an odd thing to claim as it is nothing like the Young's pubs around Wandsworth and Clapham.

London, UK
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15. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

A correction to an earlier post - Youngs is no longer brewed in London, but on an industrial estate in Bedford.

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16. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

Also, look out for beers from the Meantime Brewery in Greenwich;


Can be rare to find them on draught outside Sarf East London, apart from the two pubs listed on their website. They usually have one or two on in the Market Porter in Borough Market, great selection of beers, and is a proper boozer too.

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17. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice


you don't say exactly when in March you will be here , but if its very early March then what about the London Drinker Beer Festival ?

Weds 7th - Fri 9th Mar


more details of this years festival will appear nearer the time, but you should get an idea of what to expect by clicking on the various links.


from Mar 14th - Apr 1st the JD Wethersppoon pub chain is having its Spring Beer Festival with up to 50 beers on offer over the period (some of their larger London outlets will have 10 or more at any one time).

I second the votes for the Cask and Market Porter , and also what about the Bree Louise near Euston station?

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18. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

Check out the Euston Tap just outside Euston station, they have dozens of beers on tap and more bottles than you can wish for!

19. Re: Beer/Bitters/Lager Advice

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