Porter in the pub


I wish more British pubs had a porter on tap, at least between September and March. More as in all.

I’ve been weaning my brown-beer-loving Dad onto dark beer for a few months now. He was bowled over by Sam Smith’s Taddy Porter at his birthday dinner; loved their Imperial Stout when he tried it in London; and had his socks knocked off by a particularly impressive bottle of Meantime’s London Porter on Christmas Day.

On Boxing Day, he sighed and said: “I might go to the pub if they had a nice porter on, but they won’t, will they?”

Knowing the pubs in my home town, I had to agree that the chances were slim of finding a dark beer other than Guinness.

It was with some excitement, then, that he reported his discovery of a pub in Plymouth (the Thistle Park Inn, where his band were playing) which was serving Sutton’s Plymouth Porter. It sounds delicious — Dad said treacle; Adrian Tierney Jones suggests it’s made with Cascade and/or Bramling Cross hops. It made my Dad’s day.

17 replies on “Porter in the pub”

What are you guys using for lighting these days, or is that just digital tweaking on the computer that has your pics looking so flippin’ sweet?

Daylight *and* digital tweaking (automatic level adjustment in GIMP, usually does the job.

I wish Fullers Porter made it as far north as Norwich as it is just soooo wonderful. You are right there should be a porter in every pub!

The Royal Oak in Borough had 4 dark beers on yesterday. Harvey’s Mild, Fullers Hock, Harveys Old and the marvellous Harvey’s Porter. I can vouch that all were delicious though I am feeling a little slow this morning. Why don’t more pubs flirt with the idea that dark beers are actually pretty popular ?

Well, maybe *all* pubs was a bit much. But Jeff/Stonch didn’t seem to have much trouble shifting Harvey’s Porter the other week. A lot of my non-beer-obsessed mates will order dark lager, porter or stout if there’s on on offer. Not sure why. Possibly a perception that dark beers are stronger or more complex…?

But I wonder if Dave’s point is behind Fuller’s decision to make London Porter more readily available kegged rather than in cask form?

“Why don’t more pubs flirt with the idea that dark beers are actually pretty popular ?” – actually, that’s a good point. They are not as unpopular as some licensees think.

That’s good news from Beer Justice, as I’m going to the Royal Oak tonight!

I share your sentiments, Bailey– whenever I see a porter on tap, it’s like seeing a rare bird or something. I always have to try it.

Harvey’s Porter was my bestselling guest beer ever, but that’s mainly because people who read my blog descended to drink it all…

Very touch to get porter anywhere – and usually when i find it, its gone in a day and then replaced with another pale or mild. If people are clearly so keen on it, why not get more? I think it’s still seen of as an ‘antiquated’ style in many parts -and that many people simply don’t know what it is!

Jeff — it really cheered me up to hear that the porter had sold well. I think the blogging landlord is a great business model: tell people what’s on and if they like the sound of it, you’ll do good business. Others (especially in London) should follow suit.

Leigh — people don’t know what it is, exactly, but that doesn’t seem to be a bar to its popularity. Porter sounds like something cool and interesting. People I know who wouldn’t drink stout (“It’s too strong and heavy and makes you fat”) will sit and drink porter all night (even thought it is stout, to all intents and purposes, and Fuller’s is bloody strong).

I am a dark beer drinker & find the lack of dark beer quite unbelievable.My local JDWS did a Cezch beer called Herold Bohemian Dark Lager wich is worth a try (you can find it in some Tescos)I drink in the Welling/Bexley area does anyone know of pubs selling dark beer (foreign or British) ?

Ken — hello. We’ve said lots of times before that pubs really ought to have at least one of each colour: yellow, brown and black. It doesn’t matter whether they’re ales, lagers, wheat beers or whatever, just as long as there’s some variety. The number of pubs that have nothing but three brown beers of around the same strength amazes us.

I have just been infomed that JDWS do a bottled beer (Czech i think) called Kozel dark, justy about to go & find out, will let you all know the result. CHEERS!

Enjoy, Ken. The Czech-based beer bloggers aren’t mad about Kozel on the whole, but almost anything can be improved by making it dark. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.

Hi there once again there was no kozel but have tried the Barons Bush Berry Porter (australia 4.5% abv) not a bad drink.It may be worth giving JDWS a go during there festival has there may be a few dark brews for you all to try.All the best.

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