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Old 08-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #1
Aug 2011
Tally, FL
Posts: 14

I'll be traveling to London soon and I'm excited to get my hands on some cask conditioned hand-pulled real ale. I know that cask conditioned refers to beer that has naturally carbonated in the keg and hasn't been pasteurized or filtered. What are the chances of finding a hand-pulled oak aged beer? I'm slightly embarrassed to ask, but are the days of serving out of wood casks over? Are some metal casks lined with wood/staves? Or does the contact with wood end after the secondary? Yeah I'm a little naive when it comes to the commercial brew process.

Just looking for the total pub/cask experience and don't want to miss anything unique to the area, I know CAMRA has been trying to keep the tradition going.

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Old 08-26-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
Ice9's Avatar
Dec 2007
Fort Wayne, IN
Posts: 456
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

I was just there a few months back and pretty much every pub we went to had multiple hand pulled cask ales available.
It was everywhere. Here is a list of the cask ales we tried in the 2 full days we had in London.

Fullers Discovery Cask
Fullers ESB Cask
Fullers London Pride Cask
Fullers London Porter Cask
Fullers Ghost Ship Cask
Fullers Chiswick Bitter Cask
Fullers Butcombe Bitter Cask
Fullers Hope and Glory Jubilee Ale Cask
Marstons Pedigree Cask
Wells Bombardier Cask
Youngs London Gold Cask
Samuel Smiths Old Brewery Bitter Cask
Morlands Old Speckled Hen Cask
Green King IPA Cask
Green King Abbot Ale Cask
Shepherd Neame Spitfire Kentish Ale Cask
Bottled/Kegged/Conditioning: Orfy's Boddington's clone, Orfy's Old Speckled Hen clone, SN Celebration clone
On Deck: Gumballhead clone, German Pilsner
Drinking: Old Ale, Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy, Bourbon Barrel RIS

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Old 08-26-2012, 11:49 PM   #3
Feb 2011
Clemson, SC
Posts: 1,222
Liked 121 Times on 73 Posts

What part of London? If you're going to be anywhere near Trafalgar Square you really need to stop by The Harp. They have 8 pumps (IIRC), prices aren't bad at all for downtown London, and their offerings are beyond phenomenal.

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Old 08-27-2012, 06:47 PM   #4
Aug 2011
Tally, FL
Posts: 14

We're staying in Southwark in the Mad Hatter hotel for 3 days. We'll be traveling all throughout London as diligently as we can, so hopefully we can get in as many spots as we can. First stop is Ye Olde Mitre although our hotel has a pub as it's run by Fullers.

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Old 08-28-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
Oct 2010
Providence, RI
Posts: 12
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Only beers you'll likely find in oak is a Samuel Smiths pub. The beer is average, but the beer is cheap and the pubs can be interesting.

The Market Porter at London Bridge tube/Borough Market is a great stop.
The White Horse at Parsons Green
Jerusalem Tavern has St. Peters ales. It is a really great pub. Well worth the trek!

Those are my top two pubs in London. Otherwise, just wander. All pubs will have real ale. Try the same beer back to back from different pubs. You'll be amazed at the difference. This is beer the way its meant to be.

Look for smaller micros, and don't be surprised at how pale and hoppy English beer has become!

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