I went up to London at the weekend, not to get to the GBBF, but to see a mate. The lovely Lisa had spotted many pubs were making an effort with their ales to coincide with the GBBF though, and we managed to take advantage of this.
The fact that this was the only weekend the Old Mitre is open tempted us, but as our friend lives in walking distance of the White Horse in Parsons Green that made more sense.
The pub was packed out when we got there but they had plenty of bar staff so it didn’t take long to get served. Popularly known as the Sloney Pony most of the clientele did look posher than what you find in your average boozer. Apart from the woman who’d dressed up as a Thai prostitute that is. Or so my friends who’ve been to Thailand tell me, my interest in Thailand only goes as far as the boxing of course.
The pub has long had a reputation for serving good beer, even in the days when it was a Bass pub. Its particular claim to fame was that it employed a full time cellar man and I once had a trip with the Craft Brewing Association to visit the cellar. I can't say much more about that as we got to visit the bar too and they had a barley wine on draught. I've no doubt that I was briefly very knowledgeable about cellarmanship until my memory dissolved in alcohol though.
There was a good range of beers on offer, tending towards the more unusual. Never having seen Fraoch heather ale on cask I had to give that a go and the lovely Lisa went for something herb flavoured from Thornbridge. Both tasted a bit funny, not 'funny ha ha' more 'that's funny this tastes a bit crap'. After that Lisa retreated to the safety of a pint of Harvey's bitter whilst I went to no hops to more than you could shake a stick at with a Dark Star Hophead Extra.
The Hophead Extra was a cracker, very much in the American IPA style and not the sort of thing you often see on cask. It had huge taste of citrussy hops and more alcohol than it is sensible to drink by the pint.
I'm glad I had it as after that we moved on to a Spanish restaurant where the beer was nothing worth mentioning, so I won't.