More stuff from real-time notes made during my trip to London in March. Really just notes made during a long afternoon session in one pub. What a boring twat I am.
Ah, heaven - sitting with an Old Peculier in front of me, Stone Roses on the stereo, sun shining. And no stupid Good Friday closing, the landlord tells me.
I ask if I can run a tab. No problem. I don't even have to leave a card.
"I can't run very fast. And you're younger than me." I quip.
"The last bloke to leave without paying was on crutches." He replies.
"That's how quick we are." the Polish barmaid chips in.
A bloke about my age says: "Can I push some tables together? I've some students joining me later."
"How much will a round for eight cost?"
"It depends on which beer you want. The Ales are the cheapest." The landlord says pointing to the seven handpulls. "Stay away from the craft Ales at the far end if you want to keep the cost down." That says it all for me.
Me, paper and a pub. And a day full of no appointments.
Yesterday's conference was fun. Even if I say so myself, I'm getting pretty good at this talking lark. Not surprising, really. I've always liked talking about beer. This way, people have to listen. Unlike my miserable family, who just wander off or switch on the telly.
Two weeks of geeking out. And it looks like Tim Hampson might get me a look at the Bass archive. Finally met miles Jenner, too. What a gent. And got an invite to look at their brewing records. It's all like a dream.
The landlord's a friendly bloke. This is like a proper pub, despite its highly touristy location opposite the British Museum.
"Did this use to be a Watney's pub?" I ask because of the Watney's Imperial Stout mirror."
"I don't know. Could have just been a beer they sold. Though that must be the miror Karl Marx broke, as it's in a different font from the others."
Of course. Marx used to hang out at the British Library.
Hop Stuff Renegade IPA, 5.6% ABV
Oh no - London Murky. (Note the bar gun behind my pint in the picture. This is for Martyn. Bar gun - device for dispensing carbonated soft drinks.) Really nice hop aroma, but unappetising appearance. I take that back. The landlord just apologised for its appearance
"The cellar cooling is working too well and it's only 8-9 degrees. it's thrown a chill haze. It'll clear as it warms up." I'm dead impressed.
Horribly bitter in the mouth. Doesn't live up to the aroma, sadly.
I've gone back to Old Puke. It comes in a dimpled mug this time. When did I last drink from one of those?
Really love this pub. Proper beer, proper landlord, proper pub.
It's strangely quiet in London. The landlord confirms that "It's slow today."
I'm happy it's a bit slow. Room, time to chat with the barstaff. That pint of Puke looks so pretty in a straight sleeve. The way god intended Yorkshire beer to be served.
This really is a well-run pub. Last time I went to the bog, the toilet seat was all shitted up. Clean this time. I keep getting more impressed. There's an obvious gaffer, working hard and chatting. What a pub is all about. This could be my new London local. Surprised that it's managed, not tenanted.
Quite a few people just asking for "Two beers" when they have 20 draught/keg beers.
And that's where my notes end. You can probably spot when the puke started to kick in.
I got talking with the student bloke. English and teaching in the US. Somewhere in the Midwest. None of the students looked 21, but were well legal in the UK. They mostly drank Lager, cider or wine. I hope the round didn't cost him too much.
My main reason for going there was the Old Peculier. Always on and in good nick. The landlord told me that he tried rotating off when he first took over. And got some pretty negative comments from regulars. Well worth a try if you're in London, their Old Peculier. Especially if you've only ever had the bottled version.
49, Bloomsbury House,
74-77 Great Russell St,
Bloomsbury WC1B 3BA.
Tel: +44 20 7242 8987
News, nuggets and longreads 21 September 2019: Catalonia, cask, cans - Here’s a week’s worth of reading about beer and pubs, from Catalan hops to cask ale. For Birraire, Joan Villar-i-Martí has written at length about Jordi ...
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