Advice, please


What do Wells and Young’s Bom­bardier and Greene King IPA have in com­mon?

They’re both brands with a rep­u­ta­tion for being bland, bor­ing and often bad­ly kept, as the token ges­ture towards ‘real ale’ in mediocre pubs.

And yet both are list­ed by Michael Jack­son in his 500 Beers book, and oth­er blog­gers and beer writ­ers have start­ed to ques­tion their knee-jerk dis­missal, sug­gest­ing that they are not so much bland and bor­ing as straight­for­ward and nonethe­less well craft­ed.

So, we want to give them anoth­er shot but, to be fair about it, we want to make sure we drink them in the best pos­si­ble con­di­tion.

So, where can we find absolute­ly the best pint of each in or near Lon­don?

10 thoughts on “Advice, please”

  1. Bland and bor­ing? Well that depends if your com­par­ing them to the rest of the world of craft beer or just keg mega-brands. For me bor­ing is an accu­rate descrip­tion.

  2. I’m not sure it’s a ques­tion of find­ing absolute­ly the best pint, more of hav­ing the deter­mi­na­tion to drink a few of them on a row.

  3. They’re the Ford Escorts or Vaux­hall Astras of the ale world. OK but unex­cit­ing. Hav­ing said that, I enjoy Bom­bardier when its in good nick. The North Star in Ley­ton­stone always seems to have it on, and its gen­er­al­ly a safe bet if their oth­er pumps are hav­ing a bad day.

  4. I only have hope­less­ly out of date sug­ges­tions. Four years ago The Mitre on Craven Ter­race in Padding­ton served a nice pint of Bom­bardier. It had a nice restrained fruiti­ness. Hop­heads would­n’t be too keen.

    Again dat­ed infor­ma­tion but I had good luck with Youngs at the Lamb in Blooms­bury but reviews I have read of late have not been encour­ag­ing. I liked Youns Ordi­nary enough to try and clone it at home and found I like my own ver­sion much more.

    What do Wells and Young’s Bom­bardier and Greene King IPA have in com­mon?” Evi­dent­ly they both sold Wag­gledance. I had­n’t looked at the Wells/Youngs web­site in years and see that Wag­gle is now a Wells beer. It appears to be lighter in col­or and if I remem­ber cor­rect­ly is now reduced ABV (from 5 to 4.5). Has this beer changed? It seemed to be uni­ver­sal­ly maligned when it was brewed in Wandsworth (although I pre­ferred it to Fullers Hon­ey Dew).

  5. I guess I’m a hop­head, so nei­ther beer excites me. How­ev­er, I’ve had a decent pint of GK IPA in the past. I think the prob­lem is these two brands are among those most like­ly to be seen as token ales in pubs where beer qual­i­ty is far from the high­est pri­or­i­ty, hence the cement­ing of a bad rep­u­ta­tion.

    I main­tain that Bom­bardier is no good though. Yuck.

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever had a “good” pint of GK IPA, in much the same way as I’ve nev­er had a bad pint of GK IPA.

    (Much like a pair of Don­nay socks from Sports Direct)

    It is what it is, and I’ll always drink it over and above a lager (not in a snob­by way), token ale or no token ale, unless it’s a boil­ing hot day.

    Bom­bardier, how­ev­er, I real­ly can’t stand…

  7. The Green King I real­ly don’t know as I have nev­er had a pint which was­n’t socky in taste still try­ing though. I can only sug­gest for the Bom­bardier a good Wells Youngs pub would have a decent­ly good pint on although they are dif­fi­cult to find as most of them seem to pro­mote wine over beer. The Princess Alexan­dra in Wim­ble­don did a good pint of it accord­ing to my part­ner when we went in there for lunch a few week­ends back.

    Knut, maybe Michael Jack­son is gone but as well a beer ‘slid­ing down­hill’ could it be that tastes are chang­ing hence a beer isn’t liked or rat­ed nowa­days but one thing I have found is that peo­ple tend to dis­miss some beers with­out ever try­ing them, let alone search­ing out a tip top con­di­tion pint of it to actu­al­ly try it, they just go along with the pop­u­lar view with­out check­ing them­selves.

  8. The Red Lion in Brom­ley is about as good as GK gets in my expe­ri­ence. How­ev­er, they also do ter­rif­ic Har­veys and guest ales so I’m rarely tempt­ed.

    Bom­bardier? Can’t help you.

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