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The Bree Louise, at last


The Bree Louise near Euston Station is in the Good Beer Guide and well-loved by the local CAMRA branch. Beer bloggers, on the whole, haven’t been impressed — here’s what Tandleman, Jeff, Ally and The Beer Nut had to say.

We popped in on a Friday night and wondered if perhaps the management had taken the online slaggings-off to heart. It was full, with plenty of  ‘normal’ after work types chatting outside or munching on pies. There were some students, some academics and some tourists. Quite a mix, in short.

It didn’t smell, and, although the decor was a bit tired-looking, the place was very clean. The mostly very young bar staff all looked like they were in the same indie band and were positively charming.

As for drinks, we started with a couple from Moorhouse. Witch’s Cauldron was sweet with a delicious bite at the end. Witchfinder General was also pleasant enough.

We then went for two extremes in one round — Bateman’s Dark Mild (3%) and Otley 8 (8%). The mild was fruity and sour (should it have been?) but, in all honesty, on the borderline of being bland.  The Otley was syrupy and reminded us of Fuller’s Golden Pride, but with citrusy hops at the end. It would have been better in a nice glass (the half pint tumbler strikes again) but we really enjoyed it nonetheless.

We suspect we saw the Bree Louise at its best but, on this showing, will be coming back again some time.

Not all online beer types have a downer on the Bree Louise — there’s a more positive take from Kake et al here.

18 replies on “The Bree Louise, at last”

Damn and blast. I searched to see if you’d reviewed it, but stupidly used Google instead of your own blog’s search function. Post amended.

Anyone else want to point us to where they’ve slagged off the Bree Louise?

I’m yet to be convinced by any really strong English beer. The Belgian’s just seem to do this much, much better.

I’ve never slagged it off as such but I’ve been here several times and just found it to be underwhelming even though I should in theory be delighted at the choice and the discount for CAMRA members.

As others have said the pub furniture is poorly laid out and doesn’t make for a comfortable visit.

The beer, whilst being a decent choice, always seems to be so-so rather than ever being in super condition. Maybe unlucky choices on my part?

I’ve always been a fan of the Doric Arch (nee Head Of Steam) even though it’s not half the pub it was before Fullers bought it but I still prefer it to the Bree Louise.

Nowadays though when we’re in the KX/Euston area, we go to the King Charles I – usually some Brodies on tap and if not they have their excellent London Porter in bottles…

Jonathan — I sort of agree, although I think Fuller’s strong beers are pretty special. They taste like they might be Belgian, though.

Ted — this could be a classic case of us expecting it to be Hell on Earth and thus being pleasantly surprised when it was sort of mediocre. The wonders of subjectivity. Thanks for the Charles I tip.


I’m afraid I find Golden Pride way too sweet and unbalanced. What other strong Fuller’s beer are you referring to?

I’m glad you had a decent time there. I actually went back to the Bree Louise a few months ago and tried many beers, making a note of none of them because they were just unimpressive and really it was a total repeat of the last time I was there, so blogging about it would have been redundant.

It is grimly fascinating though to sit outside and watch the array of humanity pass by.

Jonathan — 1845 and Vintage Ale. Not a fan?

Ally — I’m definitely beginning to think we were just lucky and hit it at the right time.

Haven’t tried the 1845. Vintage Ale – Had a half in a pub on a football related trip to Huddersfield last year. It had the overwhelmingly alcoholic note that puts me off English strong beers. Whereas a Gulden Draak might be 11.5% but has more richness than booming alcohol taste.

Having met the owner of the Bree Louise a few times now – most recently at a wine tasting – I’m not surprised if he’s improved the place of late, as he seems very switched on. Perhaps I should pay another visit.

I went to the Bree Louise on my way back to Euston yesterday. First impression was it’s a proper drinking boozer, nicely busy (even at 6.00 on a Tuesday evening) and with a decent selection of ales at the bar, plus three more gravity kegs by the looks of things. Sampled a Sambrook’s Wandle (very pleasant, light session beer) which at £2.50 (with my CAMRA discount) is pretty much Manchester prices, so no complaints there.

I think the only thing that spoilt it a little was the faint whiff of disinfectant in the air – probably because the gents and ladies are both just off the main room, rather than tucked away down a back-corridor. But apart from that, definitely somewhere I’d be happy nipping back to again for a swift one on the way back North.

Ha, yes, we are rather more positive than most, but then we do tend to be positive in general… I wouldn’t travel to the Bree Louise on purpose, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it if I was in the area. I do think it’s improved over the past couple of years.

Kake — being positive is something to be proud of! The internet can only sustain so many websites about which pubs and beers are shit.

Darren — very handy for trains north, as you say. I’m often arriving back at Euston *from* the North on week day evenings, so maybe we’ll bump into each other one day!

I have found the beer here is often flat and past its best. I might have been unlucky but I suspect there is simply too much choice.

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