Real Ale Reviews Independent reviewers of real ales, beers and lagers from around the world, including beer reviews, breweries, watering holes and real ale events
    Sebright Arms / Lucky Chip

    Sebright Arms / Lucky Chip

    The bar is busy. The tables are full. The backroom is heaving and buoyant. Welcome to the Sebright Arms, dimly light and vivacious. We arrive from Soho at the fading of a sun drenched afternoon - four pubs, six pints, four hours. Three and a half miles later, bellies demanding meat and bread and barley, we bundle over the threshold. A table is found, pale beers ordered, burger menus devoured by hungry eyes. It's a young crowd, an old ...

    Read More

    A King and a Prince

    A Prince Amongst Beers

    It's not every day that you get the chance to try a beer that's older than you are. Last Saturday night I opened a bottle that was just that; I opened a beer that was older than me, so that’s over twenty five, give or take the odd ten years. In fact it was a lot older than me, more than twice my age. It was brewed in 1929 in fact, so that’s 83 years old. A mate ...

    Read More

    Build A Rocket Boys!

    Build A Rocket Boys! by Elbow & Robinsons

    Elbow are the kings of soaring melancholy, masters of poetic northern introspection.  Let Elbow's albums flow over you and you can be mesmerised by their beauty alone. Put in the time to listen, to soak up the poignancy, the humour, the extraordinary manifestations of the ordinary and their albums become life affirming tributes to the everyday. Conversely, it's quite easy to stick an Elbow album on and realise thirty lethargic minutes later that time - and ...

    Read More

    Man shed!

    Readers Pubs

    At the first pub there's a piano in the window but no one to play it. The seats are filled with ghosts. A long pew is adorned with individually wrapped cushions, resembling a bum-friendly box of Mr Kipling cakes. It's quiet, the fireplace glows warm and friendly, everything is cosy and snug. Welcome to Pete's Retreat. "We'll be at home here, let's get a pint." Much as we could stay forever we've a long crawl ahead ...

    Read More

    De Struise Pannepot 2008

    Pannepot 2008

    Broody and brown, like blood-red soil on a wet day, four-year aged Pannepot is dragged out of the beer cupboard and into a glass like Jack Dee to an in-laws barbecue... It simply doesn't want to open (the journey back from Belgium wasn't kind: a contemporary shot it's load in the suitcase, drenching the stash of bottles and it's still sticky and downtrodden) but eventually, after much gushing and fizzing, it acquiesces. Perhaps it's just the toll of ...

    Read More

    John Keeling Fullers

    Desert Island Beers #50: John Keeling - Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC

    It's a special week on the desert island as we celebrate a half century of castaways being swept up onto our shores. Robinson Crusoe # 50 is a real coup for us as it features none other than Sir (it’s only a matter of time) John Keeling; Head Brewer at Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC, (better known simply as Fullers). John was born in Droylsden, Manchester, in September 1956. When he left school without telling his ...

    Read More

    Will Hawkes

    Desert Island Beers #38: Will Hawkes, The Independent

    Welcome to the latest episode of Desert Island Beers which this week features Will Hawkes who works on The Independent’s sports desk and writes about beer in his spare time. Born in London and brought up in sunny Kent, he has had an interest in ale since he could convince a barman he was 18 – but his real conversion to good beer came after a year spent living in Southern California in 1999-2000, when the ...

    Read More

    Marston's Fever Pitch English Bitter

    Marston's Fever Pitch

    First off I should point out that I don't often take kindly to products and advertising that jump on the football bandwagon. The best footy related marketing is the football advertising by Nike and Carlsberg (ignoring their most recent attempts). So, I'm potentially a little biased against Marston's Fever Pitch... Let's start with the positives: oranges, lemons, citrus peel but not zest. It's more interesting than I expected, more summery. A mellow bitterness that isn't displeasing and ...

    Read More

    Englischer Garten

    Drunken in Munchen

    Let's be frank, I'm not brilliant at getting drunk. It's not that I'm a bad drunk per se, but since my uni days my tolerance has faded and I'm much better suited to a lazy pub garden or the frantic but well partitioned boozing of a hot festival day. So, the morning after the night before, eating pizza along the tramlines of Munich, Stag Day 2 of 3, the first beer is an inevitable mistake. The 12 ...

    Read More

    Lowlands Bier Festival

    Beer From The Low Country

    The smell of beer slopped on wooden tables, the glint of light in the top of the chalice, the sounds of a deck of cards and the clink of glasses. I'm in a bar in the north country but my senses are across the sea and howling winds, in the bustle of a backstreet bar in Belgium. Four pm on a sunny Friday, sampling the beers of the Low Countries in a bar in Leeds, dreaming of ...

    Read More

    BrewDog Blitz 2.8% ABV

    Brewdog Nottingham

    The blue logo can be seen for hundreds of yards. The windows that look out onto Hockley's student-filled streets, opposite a tea room, cinema and acclaimed bistro, are plastered with huge crest shaped decals, archetypal generation Nike branding for a Starbuck's influenced post-modern brand experience. B R E W D O G Reminiscent of the type of industrial themed sandwich shop found in downtown Prague or New York's Soho, but with added chutzpah and a munificence for ...

    Read More

    Shibden Valley by Tim Green

    Shibden Mill Inn

    Down a winding single lane road the descent to Shibden Mill Inn is not one to be taken with nonchalance. A careless clutch foot could result in an unexpected round of automobile tobogganing, even without the help of rain, ice or snow. But survive the swooning approach and there sits a fine pub to be snowed in at: good beer, warm hearths and food fit for kings. The pub is infected with sunny Sunday smiles. Gregarious family ...

    Read More

    Packhorse bridge and Old Bridge Inn Ripponden

    A bridge in time

    A brisk day in March, wet but without rain. Ducking through the dripping steel railway bridge, carving through residual puddles, Sowerby Bridge seems jack-knifed between the twenty first century and the 1970s. It's partly the lack of ubiquitous chain stores, partly the dubious puns of the shabby independent shops, but mostly the hues of a downtrodden day in a small Yorkshire town. Out the other side of the town the road befriends the trajectory of the ...

    Read More

    Hopback Summer Lightning: a bit of a legend in Beerland

    Hopback Summer Lightning

    Some beers have a pedestal. Sometimes it's deserved because they are truly great beers, technically and taste-wise. Some are headliners, built by a cheeky PR campaign or an elaborate story. And some are deserved winners of awards and a place within beery folklore. Summer Lightning by Hopback falls in the latter category. Back when I was enjoying my third year on this planet and coming to terms with the fact I would soon have a baby ...

    Read More

  • scissors
    November 6th, 2012FletchtheMonkeyBeer and travel

    It’s a pub like any other. Traditional, wood panelled (old wood) with a real bar (brass?). There’s a perimeter shelf for empties (nice touch) and a place for coats (polite). Perched on high seats huddled around circular tables with cheap beer mats. The bar is awash with suits finishing work. It could be the bar of a provincial Wetherspoon’s in an old civic building turned public house.

    But this is a bar like no other. The beer garden looks over a sheer drop to the Thames and smoker’s corner is guarded by an armed police officer. A sign above the bar decrees that ‘Only members’ may purchase drinks. Members as in Members of Parliament.

    This is the most powerful working man’s club in the land. I stand, out of place, wondering how many decisions supposedly made in the Chambers along the corridor were actually made in here, the members bar? How many votes have been swayed under the influence of a hand pulled beer rather than the glare of unhappy backbenchers or a fuming whip?

    It’s from the Chambers that our host marches towards having just pitched his argument in a debate about air ambulances. Greg Mulholland has an air of relaxed confidence about him as he introduces us to the collection of MPs and industry experts gathered today. And he buys us a pint, which is fitting, because we’re all here to talk about beer.

    Actually, I’m a gatecrasher, having assumed my pre-arranged pint with Greg would be down the road in the Red Lion or one of the pubs that scatter Whitehall.

    Instead I’m directed to the visitor entrance of the House of Parliament. And then I’m ushered through scanners and eased towards a large lens camera and shuttled to the doors of the Palace of Westminster.

    Gladstone stares down at me, Disraeli too. I’ve passed the steps where Spencer Perceval died, the only British Prime Minster to be assassinated.

    And after dropping in on all-party parliamentary beer group session with Visit Britain and Roger Protz, I find myself in a MPs only lift shuttling down the creaking floors to grab a beer and chew the cud with the members and industry experts.

    Amongst the rotund suits and red faced seats of power are civil servants, guests of honour and representatives of associations, clubs, movements, charities, lobbyists, think tanks, quangos. Least that’s what they look like. In my jeans and brogues and tie-less check shirt I like to think I look like a young entrepreneur or digital strategist or media advisor.

    In truth I look like an awestruck school child staring high up at the lofty spires of the Palace of Westminster with naive wonder, thinking of the Empire that grew out from this spot and contracted back towards the banks of the hazy river below.

    Three pints later the policy makers are chatting about their wives and their weekends, their husbands and their holidays, and again I’m wondering how many parliamentary decisions are made in the twilight suns as the powers that be overlook the Thames sipping beer and wine.

    On a summers evening like this, I wonder if it’s any at all.

    Tags: , ,

Switch to our mobile site

Halkali Evden Eve Nakliyat Pendik Evden Eve Nakliyat Yakacik Evden Eve Nakliyat Günesli Evden Eve Nakliyat Eyüp Evden Eve Nakliyat Fatih Evden Eve Nakliyat Fenerbahçe Evden Eve Nakliyat Çatalca Evden Eve Nakliyat Kalamis Evden Eve Nakliyat Kagithane Evden Eve Nakliyat Silivri Evden Eve Nakliyat Sile Evden Eve Nakliyat Bakkalköy Evden Eve Nakliyat Caddebostan Evden Eve Nakliyat Esenler Evden Eve Nakliyat Kavacik Evden Eve Nakliyat Alibeyköy Evden Eve Nakliyat