Saturday, December 03, 2005


Base for Beer in London

Old Street tube station (or rather a hotel not far from it) may not be an obvious base for your London trip. But it is very convenient for many beery excursions in the capital. Of course, there is the Pitfield Beer Shop, and not having to carry the heavy beers around town is definitely an advantage. If you, on the hand, decide to do the bulk of your beer shopping at Utobeer, you are only three tube stops away on the Northern Line.

Then there are the bars. One of the best in the entire city, The Wenlock Arms, is a mere fifteen minute walk away. Similar distance, but westwards Belgophiles can indulge at The Dovetail, which boasts the widest selection of Belgian beers in the capital. Yesterday the area got another beery draw- the opening of the Bavarian Beerhouse at 190, City Road next to the Moorfields Eye Hospital. I will visit it next weekend and let you know if it is worth seeing. If you get hungry, cool restaurants are popping up all over the area.

As mentioned, the Northern Line conveniently brings you to London Bridge (should you wish to make a trip to The Beer Circus in Croydon) and to Clapham for The Microbar and a Bierodrome.
Liverpool Street Station with connections to Stansted airport is not far away. (Flying into and out of that airport in the weekend is NOT recommended as there is no train service due to works, the queue for the replacement bus service is endless, the bus may get stuck in the traffic and you end up missing your flight!)

What you should not miss is some of these great beer oases on your next trip to London.

Your list of beer places looks very good, and the Old Street area certainly looks interesting. I'm travelling to London this week, and spending the weekend there for beer research purposes, so this was very interesting to me.

However, one thing I find frustrating about doing beer research on London is that most people who recommend pubs recommend those that have a great selection, and most of those have foreign selections. I've tried lots and lots of US, German, and Belgian beer. In London I'd like to try English beer, but that seems pretty hard to find.

Any suggestions for someone looking for good pubs with a selection of English beers? White Horse and Wenlock Arms are definitely on that list. But what else?
You should notlook for one pub with a broad selection, but for a cluster of pubs with a few good beers each. Ted Bruning's book "London by Pub" gives a great selection. You should also try one of the pub walks offered by "The Oinginal London Walks", a fine way to get to know new areas of London.
Actually, I'll write a longer post about this on my own blog.
I agree that it is difficult to find pubs with a wide selection of English ales. It may be because most of the beer is served on draught, with the capacity problems that entails given a limited number of taps. I wonder if it is also due to the history of tied houses, where one brewery delivered all the ales to one pub. The law may have changed, but for pubs selling traditional English ales things may have stayed much the same.

Knut Albert's advice is very good- I look forward to reading his blog on this topic. Another guide book is of course the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Maybe you can buy it at Pitfield or Utobeer?

By the way,I think the Royal Oak (near the Borough tube station) with its good Harvey selection should also be on your "research" list. Good luck!
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