beer reviews london pubs

Mild (and more) at the Museum


The Museum Tavern, opposite the British Museum, is one of those rare beasts – a decent pub in a tourist trap location. It’s always amusing to sit/stand at the bar and watch a succession of bewildered visitors cope with concepts like mushy peas (“They’re peas, but they’re mushy”, as the barmaid helpfully explained).

In fact, it’s often quite heartening. People usually want to try something British, and the bar staff are pretty friendly and willing to recommend one of the six ales on tap, which are kept in great condition.

We popped in specifically for some Old Peculier,  but were distracted by Cain’s dark mild.  This packs a huge amount of flavour for a beer that is barely alcoholic (3.2%).  Coffee and caramel, in an extremely potable form.

Another sub-4% cracker was on offer, “GMT” from Stockport’s 3 Rivers brewery. This was the first time we’ve tried any of their stuff, and we’ll be looking out for them in the future. GMT (which stands for the three rivers in question — Goyt, Mersey & Thame) is a lovely crisp session beer with hints of orange.

Finally, the Old Peculier.  This is such a marvellous beer from the cask — extremely fruity, a little sour, with a butterscotch aftertaste.  It’s almost Belgian in its richness. You could certainly serve it in a la-di-da chalice glass and fool a few people if you were so minded. The bottled version really doesn’t compete.

Jeff recommended this place months back when we were after Old Peculier on tap in London, so thanks to him for the tip.

12 replies on “Mild (and more) at the Museum”

The Museum’s a good place for a beer, although those high tables and stools ruin the far end of the pub. In winter we sold a load of Old Peculier, and look forward to doing so again at the end of this year. It’s great with stilton.

Cask Old Peculiar really is great. It was one of those watershed beers that got me into drinknig ale (along with Hobgoblin and HSB – It was the dark beers that got me in). The Cains mild is decent too and great to see a low ABV beer with some much flavour.

I do like the Museum Tavern, though I caught them without Old Peculier on my last visit.

I’ve had two from 3 Rivers and really enjoyed them both. The Manchester IPA is very tasty and I was bowled over by Old Disreputable, their old ale.

Beer Nut — They ran of out OP while we were there on Sunday — it sells like mad. I’ve had the Manchester IPA in a bottle and thought it was very good.

Ed — it’s still 5.6% and went straight to me head — how strong did it used to be?

I didn’t think so on Sunday. Having said that, “medicinal” is a word you often hear applied to strong, dark beers; and alcohol and sugar are found in both beer and (old fashioned) cough medicine.

Old Peculier from the wood is absolutely wonderful – sadly a rare sighting.

Does serving it from a wooden barrel really make a difference? I suspect it doesn’t. It’s probably just that the kind of pub that obtains the wooden cask version is also the kind of pub that’s going to keep the beer well and sell it very quickly.

I popped my head into the (ground floor) cellar of a beautiful thatched pub local to me a few years back. The OP I’d been loving was being served from an oak firkin, made me feel all warm & fuzzy.

I don’t know if it made any difference but it was by far the best OP I’ve ever had (I heard rumours that another Yorks brewery that famously uses oak casks had them all lined with plastic so as to avoid infections, etc).

Cain’s Mild – I’ve had it in 2 Cain’s pubs in the last few weeks – not bad at all, not as fruity/hoppy as it once was (dry-hopped I think) but still very well kept at the sublimely good Dispensary (Renshaw St, but more famously known as Rapid Street, after the hardware(etc) store that has taken over the whole bleeding street & recently appeared on “The Apprentice”) & The Edinburgh, Wavertree (good Irish folk on a Monday too).

Anyway, ‘scuse rambling!

“Does serving it from a wooden barrel really make a difference?”

These folk – – would raise a foaming tankard to you & shout a hearty “yes!”

for they are The Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood
(though actually, their aims are no longer strictly about beer from wooden barrels, just real ale it seems – but I love the fact that they still exist – very English!)

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