Sunday 7 June 2009

Beers in Borough and beyond

On Saturday I went back up to London to meet a mate, and of course get in some beers whilst I was there.

Borough Market

I cunningly arranged it so the first stop would be Borough Market so I could get some supplies from Utobeer. They have a large selection but it's not the most user friendly place. Their website is pretty hopeless so you can't plan what you want in advance, and most of the beers don't have prices on so you don't know how much you're spending until you get to the till. Back when Safeway's was the place to shop for exciting beers I once ended up buying two bottles of Dogfish head world wide stout at £7 because the price wasn't on display. OK, I had to have that beer but I'd probably only have bought one bottle if I'd known how much it cost! I ended up buying five bottles from Utobeer and it cost about £12.50, so around £2.50 a bottle. Pricey, particularly as they were 330ml bottles, but acceptable for a beer nerd like myself. They probably wouldn't let them sell anything cheaper in borough market anyway. Despite the name you don't get people shouting "bananas a pahnd a pahnd" here, it's all luxury food stalls.

The Market Porter

Whilst I'd been at Utobeer the lovely Lisa and my mates had gone straight to the Market Porter, a large pub with a large beer range. Lisa had made an excellent choice and got me a pint of Acorn Brewery's Quantum. This was a pale hoppy beer which went down a treat. We decided to stay for another here and off went Dan with an order for more of the same. I was a bit miffed when I went to help him carry the beers back to see that Thornbrige's Lord Marples was on. Thornbridge are an exciting brewery and I hadn't tried this one before. The beer gods were with me though as the Quantum must have reached the end of the barrel as it had gone very murky. It was swiftly sent back and I got to have a Lord Marples, a brown bitter tasting of chocolate malt, after all.

We had a slight detour before the next pub as from where we'd been in the Market Porter we could see a cheese shop where free samples were being given away. The free samples worked too as Dan bought twenty quids worth of cheese.

Next pub was the George, a lovely looking historic coaching inn. Sadly the beers were Greene King so we didn't stay for long. I had a 4% George Inn ale which tasted pretty like most other Greene King ales. I've a strong suspicion that Greene King high gravity brew, making a strong beer for later dilution, as they have a selection of very similar tasting beers across a range of strengths.

The George Inn

After that we went to another favourite of ours: the Blackfriar. We were passed by a weird pedal powered bus on the way there. 

A weird pedal powered bus

To my regret I didn't go for the Timothy Taylor's Landlord (it was my downfall last time) but had a rather boring Sharp's Doombar. The excellent meat platter soon took my mind off the dull beer though and before long it was time to move on again.

Lisa getting the beers in in the Blackfriar

Despite the excellent research the lovely Lisa had done in selecting pubs we decided to use psychogeography to find the next one and just have a wander. We passed some gates decorated with what looked like English nationalist sheep with halos. It's beyond my understanding.

Englands St Sheep?

Soon after it seemed the beer gods were still smiling (or was it St Sheep?) as we found ourselves outside the Devereux. This is a pub Lisa had selected for our last weekday pub crawl but we never managed to get that far. It's normally shut at the weekend but the beer gods had obviously decreed that a party would be held there on Saturday so it was open when we arrived. The beer range was a bit dull so I had an Adnam's Broadside. It's a was a bit strong for this stage of the evening really but it's a lovely dark beer with plenty of hops and I couldn't resist. The  pub was nice too, with wonky glass in the windows to match our wonky brains. 

Wonky windows

Things start getting a little hazy after that. We went to somewhere to get some food but it was full so we went somewhere else where we had some Spanish food and San Miguel. Neither were particularly memorable which is probably for the best. Then it was time to stagger back and pour ourselves home.

Somewhere else

The hangover was particularly stinking this morning, I blame it on the lager.


  1. I have to limit my visits to Borough and Utobeer because I come away so much poorer than when I arrive! What bottles did you get?

    And is Lisa always lovely?! :)

  2. Of course Lisa's always lovely and she always chooses the best pubs!

    I was after Mikkeller at Utobeer, particularly the one you recommended but I had to settle for:

    Mikkeller Jackie Brown and Stateside IPA, Mikkeller, Stone and Ale Smith Tripple, Stone Levitation and Victory Hop Devil. The Hop Devil was close to its best before date so I've guzzled that already. It certainly had plenty of hops.

  3. Good shop! I'm always after Mikkeller. I loved the Stateside but haven't had the Jackie Brown. I'm heading to a new beer shop on Saturday and the guy there has told me they have some Mikkellers - I've already checked though and no Brunch Weasel.

    I've had two bottles of HopDevil and been disappointed by both - I thought it was lifeless and a past its best which was a shame.

    Lisa does choose some great pubs!