"hobbies and interests"

favourite beers collageBeer and beer drinking

I can never understand why so many people choose to miss out on the appreciation of a good pint (or bottle) of beer. The variety of styles that are on offer from various parts of the world. I've tried to list here some of my favourite beer styles and where to appreciate them in the London area. What links them all is flavour.

So where do we get our bottles for home consumption? Some come from supermarkets, but most come from the Utobeer cage in Borough Market, a very short walk from the Borough High Street exit of London Bridge underground station. Some interesting beers can also be bought at Sourced Market, St Pancras station. Not forgetting Kris Wines 394 York Way Kentish Town.

Real Ale vs Craft Beers. Nothing can beat a properly prepared real ale for a soft complex satisfying pint. However, since the development of kegs with a membrane to protect the beer, keg beers don't have to be so harsh. Some new craft beers have taste a-plenty and can be a real taste experience well worth the try.

Recent discoveries:
Ryesing Tide draught rye beer, Siren Brewery and Motueka Citra Nelson Pale Ale bottled The Kernel Brewery. More

  • 5 points Brewing Hook Island Red A rare, full bodied, chewy red ale, given extra weight with the addition of rye. A full bodied, aromatic Red Rye ale brewed with malted barley, the addition of 20% Rye and with Chinook, Columbus and Simcoe hops. The Rye gives some dryness and spice, and the hops add a dash of pine and passion fruit. Marvellous. 6% Hackney
  • Schneider Weisse Aventinus A dark wheat beer, doppelbock with an intense flavour and dense head. A little on the sweet side. Hits of spice, banana, malt. Available in bottle from Utobeer or at Katzenjammer's on Borough High Street. 8.2% Germany. For a special treat, Aventinus Eisbock, similar but stronger (12%), even tastier and a little drier.
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru A dark red-brown with a pale brown head. Lip smackingly sour with an aroma and taste of sour cherries. Available in bottle from Utobeer or at the Dove, Broadway Market or the Dovetail Jerusalem Passage 6% Belgium
  • Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout Thick black with a medium brown head. Aroma and flavour of coffee, chocolate, roast/burnt malt and spice. Available from Utobeer. 10% USA Try also Brooklyn Lager: marmalade out of a glass..
  • Trappistes Rochefort 8 Mahogony full flavoured medium head with strong lingering flavour and aroma of dried fruit, cloves, toffee but not sweet. Available from Utobeer and at Dove, Dovetail, The Bull Highgate 9.20% Belgium
  • Brakspear Triple Amber colour, strong malty caramel, rum. Bitter-sweet. To be savoured. Available from Waitrose, many pubs 6.7% Witney
  • Timothy Taylor Landlord My favourite bitter - pale amber with a citrus (grapefruit) flavour and a good balance between fruity and hoppy. Hand-pulled - bottled less good. Lingers well on the palate. 4.3% Keighley
  • Tripel Karmeliet Hazy golden bottled beer with a lively off-white head. The style of a wheat beer - yeast, bananas, coriander, nutmeg, lemon, pepper. Available Waitrose, Ocado, The Bull Highgate. 8.4% Bosteels Belgium
  • Maisel's Weisse Another chewy wheat beer, cloudy pale amber. Hints of esters and wood glue. Experienced from the tap at the Old Red Cow. Must be cold. 5.4%. Germany
  • Fuller's Vintage Ale A bottled beer that varies every year, typically copper-coloured, marmalade and caramel. 8.5% Chiswick. Fuller's ESB available in many pubs is a draft beer with some similar complex characteristics (5.9%)

The Hollybush in winterSome Favourite Pubs and why

  • Holly Bush Hampstead An oldworld atmosphere Fullers run pub; have been going there since they had gas lighting. All the pleasures of a Fullers pub but go there weekday daytimes for a relaxing drink.
  • The Bull, Highgate brews its own beer and has a good range of foreign beers too. Staff very friendly
  • The Dovetail Jerusalem Passage A Belgian bistro style beer bar with a very wide range of Belgian Beers. Can get busy evenings.
  • Katzenjammer's A Bavarian beer cellar with a reasonable range of Bavarian beers including Aventinus. Quiet afternoon but hectic evenings so get there early.
  • Bierschenke Another German beer cellar on two floors. Food appeals more than Katzenjammer's while beer choice is less interesting. Slightly more up market as being in Moorgate it caters for city types, although not exclusively.
  • White Horse Parsons Green is a traditional pub with a wide range of UK and foreign beers and a good food menu.
  • The Cask, Pimlico has the widest selection of UK and foreign beers I know. Accent is on drink but there is pub food also.
  • The Greenwich Union has a wide range of foreign beers, a small choice of good pub food and a conservatory. One of three pubs on Royal Hill - the one we like best. [Walk 38]
  • The Old Red Cow Barbican Referred to us by friends who live nearby, it has a carefully selected but wide choice of beers. Quite small even with an upstairs room so choose a quiet time to go. Have yet to try the food.
  • Brew Dog Camden is a different experience; it may not be real ale but the beers are striking and tasty. Small bar, mainly younger crowd. Very popular.
  • Jerusalem Tavern Britten Street serves St Peters beers straight out of the barrel in an eighteenth century building. Very popular.
  • The Dukes Head Highgate always has a wide range of beers on tap and the interest shows through.
  • The Old Fountain Old Street is a recent find - real ales craft beers and good food in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • The Tithe Bar, Northallerton in North Yorkshire, is always a pleasure to visit when up north. A range of draught bitters and foreign bottled beers in attractive relaxed surroundings.
  • Also keeping an eye on the following: Bermondsey Beer Mile consists of a number of small craft breweries located under the railway, the Craft Beer Co has various pubs in London, The Sheaf. is in the basement of the Hop Exchange, Borough, similar to Katzenjammer's
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