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Manchester, United Kingdom
Tyson is a beer hound and cheese addict living in the beery metropolis paradise known as Manchester
If the people are buying tears, I'll be rich someday, Ma

Monday, 20 April 2015

Recap: London Brewpubs

London has many beer wonders to keep the travelling imbiber amused. From the crème de la crème of craft beer bars to the olde worlde charm of Sam Smiths pubs. From shiny brewery taprooms to shiny sparkling brewpubs. And it was the latter of these that was the focus of our last excursion into London Murky land.
(White Hart)
(White Hart)
First stop was the White Hart at Mile End Road in the heart of the East End. Forget about the fictionalised Eastenders view of the area with cockney barrow boys peddling their traditional wares. This is the real East End with a dazzling cosmopolitan array of sights and sounds. Coming out of Whitechapel station, you do pass a genuine slice of East End history before you reach the brewpub. The Blind Beggar pub is notorious for being the venue where Ronnie Kray murdered George Cornell in 1966. More prosaically, it’s also outside of where William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, held his first open air sermon. Of beery note, it also used to be the brewery tap of Manns, of Brown Ale fame.
(Temple Brew House)
(Temple Brew House)
The White Hart itself was something of a disappointment. Pleasant enough inside, it had that contemporary rustic look that is unlikely to offend many people. The main selling point is their 3.5 BBL in-house brewery. Sadly the cask option for their beer on the day was limited to Hospital Porter. This was ok but quite dull really. As was the keg options. The Snakecharmer IPA did at least have a faint hop presence to it but the Pilsner was heavy with a malt infusion that was completely out of keeping for the style. More work needed here, I think, if it’s to be taken seriously for its own beers. If in doubt, raid the beer fridge which does offer some reasonable alternatives.
)Brewhouse and Kitchen)
(Brewhouse and Kitchen) 
No such problems with our next stop. Tucked away in a cellar on Essex St, the Temple Brew House is home to the Essex Street Brewing Company. The pub is cosy enough with brewing motifs along the wall and the bar at one end of the room dispensing 20+ beers from tap and pump. Their own beers were a distinct improvement over the White Hart with the Gavel American Pale being adjudged the favourite. Also enjoyed was Sandbrooke’s, unfiltered and unpasteurised, Pale Ale and the seemingly ubiquitous Gamma Ray. Definitely worth a visit again as the mix of house and guest beers seem like a winning combination.

We were brought back to ruminate over the limitations of brewpubs and their output at the Brewhouse and Kitchen in Islington. Located just around the corner from Angel station on Torrens St, this could be used as the poster boy for brewpubs throughout the land. Part of a successful chain, there has obviously been a lot of money spent here. The place itself is spacy, modern, airy and light. Clean edges and a mixture of seating make for a very pleasant venue. But oh dear: the beer was given a universal thumbs down. Myddleton, described as a “Blonde Ale”, was in fact a malt laden effort that was decidedly unappealing. And although a variety of others was tried between us, none hit any great heights. Perhaps a case of style over substance?

So rather a mixed bag on this visit but it’s all about trying these places out and luckily there were other refreshments along the way. 

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