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 thoughts on “The Bree Louise, at last”

  1. 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?

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. A half-decent pub with­in shout­ing dis­tance of Euston sta­tion? I’ll have to have a shufty when I’m next down in the Cap­i­tal (Tues­day, iirc)

  6. Bai­ley,

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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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