Friday, 12 March 2010

The Bree Louise

69 Coburg Street


London NW1 2HH


My first experience of The Bree Louise - Camra's Pub of the Year 2009/10 - was a fleeting visit to see what all the fuss was about. This Euston pub is best described as a permanent beer festival, with all that implies. Ale is a priority here and the beer list is constantly being amended as one cask is emptied and a new one put on (check the website for updates). It's busy - we went on a Wednesday and it was pretty much standing room only - but again, standing is fine when I'm distracted by ale. The only downside is the incessant sport they insist on showing on a giant TV (don't these people have televisions at home?). Still, nice to know there's a place to go when I feel like drinking something different.

On my brief stop I had a Winter Meltdown from the West Sussex Dark Star brewery. I'm a huge fan of Dark Star's Hophead (3.8%), a light, citrussy golden ale that somehow tastes creamy too. The Meltdown (5%) was a very different drop - dark coloured, with rich malt, slightly sweet fruit (like a mince pie?) and a mildly bitter finish. Later Googling revealed it was brewed with chocolate malt and cask conditioned with stem ginger and other "warming spices". Just the thing for a freezing spring like this, although as soon as the sun comes out I'm back to Hophead.

M, in her continuing experiments with cider, settled on a Bounds Scrumpy (4.8%), a cloudy apple draught  from Herefordshire-based Westons, which a tough critic might have described as dry to the point of vinegary.

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