As anyone who could not flee from me in time knows, I was in London for 16 days recently. I go at least once a year and it has been usually in March. The cost in cash and air miles was next to nothing for January and I just had to go. One thing that is available in London in January that is usually not available in March in London Porter by Fuller’s, Smith & Turner in Chiswick. London. It is my favorite beer in England and one of my tops worldwide. I have written the brewery several times in the past to tell them this. I wrote this time asking if it was going to be on and where could I find it. Their response was surprisingly unexpected and something that I would never have asked for.
Fullers’ sent me a keg: kind of. But it wasn’t a keg it was a cask. And it wasn’t actually for me but they sent it because of my e-mail asking where I could fine it. Maybe I should explain. London Porter is available in bottles and keg most of the year. The best tasting for me is cask condition served through a beer engine. But the cask version is typically available only during the colder months. And the best place I have always found it in cask is at the Dove in Hammersmith. The Dove is an historic riverside pub that has a lot of history in it. Once you come in you never leave quickly.
Knowing how much I love the cask porter, Fullers did something really nice for me. They sent the cask version to the pub prior to my arrival and all I had to do was to let the pub know when I was coming in. How many breweries have done that for a customer who only comes to the pub a few times once a year? This was unbelievable. Not having the patience to wait I headed for the pub directly. They were ready to put it on but one beer had to finish first. So the manager drew a pint directly from the cask in the cellar. Once again, I was thinking this was all a dream. The cask was on the next day and I spent several days the next two weeks enjoying one of my best beers in a fine pub. I thought it could not get any better than this until I ordered the lamb shank with barley. So many places do this over rice it was no surprise that a brewery run pub would cook with barley. This is now on my list of comfort foods ad something you kids can try at home. The cask was readily available to all customers and judging by how fast it went there are a lot of people who enjoy cask London Porter. But I think the brewery already knows that.
I have sent thanks to Simon Robertson-Macleod and Tia Nicholson from Fuller’s for making this happen and asked them to extend my gratitude to all other at Fullers’ who put effort into this. Not to be omitted is Mr. England (yes, that is his real name), manager of the Dove. He could not have welcomed me more and made my visits a pleasure. Good people running a good pub serving good beer to good customers: beer brings people together.
Dove Pub: http://dovehammersmith.co.uk/
Fullers’ Brewer: http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=207
Fullers’ Brewery Tour: http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=9
Fullers’ London Porter: http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=63