MB, SH and I decided to meet up and grab a few beers before Christmas. I usually try to catch up with most of my friends just before the holiday season, but some years are more difficult than others. This year proved to be a bit thin on the ground for celebratory drinks, but I am not one for missing out on a good time when one presents itself. We were thinking of where to meet up as we were all coming from different directions, so I suggested the recent old faithful of Ye Olde Cock Tavern on Fleet Street.
Ye Olde Cock Tavern
22 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1AA
As I was coming straight from work I wanted somewhere that sold wholesome, filling meals and this pub has not disappointed in the past. Unfortunately for us, the pub had just taken a 100 place setting for a party of tourists just before we arrived and the kitchens would not be available to customers for at least one and a half hours. I can understand the business sense of this, so do not blame the pub for my empty stomach. We had to settle for some bar snacks (a vaiety of peanuts) instead.
The beers were up to their usual standards, but as there was not food available, we only stayed here for a couple before we moved on to find another pub.
Beers drunk on this visit :
1) Canberra (4.1%) - Windsor & Eton Brewery, Windsor - a chestnut coloured ale with a chocolatey flavour
2) Runner (4.0%) - Truman's Brewery, London - a dark chestnut chocolatey session ale
5 Little Essex St, London WC2R 3LD
Not to be confused with the Crutched Friars pub (close to one of the Bavarian Beerhouses frequented on a reasonably regular basis) of the same name, or the more famous of its namesakes Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in Fleet Street just down the road, this little gem of a pub hidden down a side-street betwixt Feet Street and Old Father Thames oozes olde worlde charm; plenty of memorabilia on the walls and wooden beams everywhere, as well as a very wide variety of ales on tap.
Again, unfortunately, their kitchens had closed by the time we got there, so we had to carry on drinking on an empty stomach. However, the selection of beers was more than enough to take our minds off our hunger (which we sated with traditional Cornish pasties later at Charing Cross station). I was particularly taken by the St. Austell lager offering - Korev, which apparently just means "beer" in Cornish. I only had a half but it was very tasty for a lager (presumably because it was brewed by a traditional brewery rather than mass-produced junk); 160 years in the making, according to their website, I guess they were bound to get it right.
Beers drunk on this visit :
1) Surrey Nirvana (4.0%) - Hogsback Brewery, Tongham, Surrey - a golden, citrusy, hoppy ale
2) Korev (4.8%) - St Austell Brewery, St Austell, Cornwall - a strong lager from a traditional ale brewer