Saturday saw a small band of desperados make a day of it in London. Ostensibly it was to show the people who hadn't been before what the delights of Kernel and Partizan were. The rest of us who had been could look forward to reacquainting ourselves with some quality beverages. As if by magic, we were soon sitting down under the arches in Bermondsey for a lunchtime refresher. Table Beer, Citra Galaxy (the best), Simcoe, and Export Porter were among some of the beers that forced their way down our gullets. But man cannot live by Kernel alone-although it might be fun to try-and so we made the short trek to Partizan’s home under the arches.
This was my third trip there and each time has presented different beers to try. This time it was Saison that was the most prevalent style with both Styrian Goldings and Citra tried. Not bad beers, but perhaps the famous Citra punch was lacking a little in the finish. A Pale Ale got us back on track and we were soon navigating through Bank station to reach a brand new craft destination: the Pelt Trader. Just by Cannon St station; this basement bar is the latest outlet from the Euston Tap guys and is tasked with bringing craft beer to the square mile. A canny idea, I’d wager. It’s still a work in progress-this was its first Saturday opening and although we enjoyed the Moor Nor’ Hop, the lack of food prompted a move to the Earl of Essex.
The EOE is one of a number of smart craft beer pubs to be found in the delightful borough of Islington. It comes complete with a smart beer garden (sadly full) and a good selection of cask and keg beers that are handily displayed on boards on the wall. The food was good but I was a bit unlucky with my first beer choice. Having never tried their own beers (yes, they brew) I felt obliged to do so. But I have to say I was underwhelmed with their Earl Pale Ale. Much better was the New Zealand Moa Pale which had a strong caramel base overlaid with Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops. Being in Islington, we also felt it our duty to visit the White Lion Street outpost of Craft.
There was some confusion over buses next (was the beer taking effect?) but we somehow found ourselves at the Queens Head on Acton St. Along with the excellent Five Points Pale Ale, pork pie was the order of the day in some quarters. Realising that time had slipped us by and needing to fulfill Jill’s lifelong wish, we made a dash towards Euston. What was Jill’s lifelong wish, I hear you ask. Why to have a drink in the Euston Cider Tap, of course. It’s something she’s craved since the age of nine. Well since it opened, anyway. Her dream accomplished, we managed a nightcap of Moor Hoppiness and Harbour Light across the road.
As it’s rude not to drink on the way home, naturally we stocked up with some take-outs for the train*. Kernel, some Partizan and a very fine (but pricey) Hopping Frog soon had everyone relaxed. Oh and we tried the new Tilting Ale-available from the onboard shop-from Macclesfield’s very own Red Willow. And, as they say, that’s all she wrote.
*Jack Whitehall was sat one seat down. He played it cool and pretended not to recognise me. I hate autograph hunters anyway.