Pant-wettingly Good Beer

Last night I went to the Porterhouse pub in Covent Garden, a drinking establishment which I have been going to, albeit very infrequently, for the last 7 or 8 years.  I think it was Liv, Rob or Ramin that introduced me to it back in the days when I used to finish work at 2pm on a Friday and would then jump on a train up to town for a few drinks with the high flyers.  I even went there for my birthday one year, probably 2002 or thereabouts, when Steve famously threw up on the train on the way home.

Anyway, last night was the first time I can remember going there when it wasn’t busy and it was great.  In order to fully understand how much of a difference it made you have to appreciate just how busy The Porterhouse gets.  Imagine a pub the size of a large cinema auditorium that spans 5 floors, has 4 bars and a series of staircases resembling an M.C. Escher drawing.  Now fill that pub with so many people that the queue at each bar is 4 or 5 people deep and moving anywhere within the pub requires so much effort that you’d rather wet yourself than try and get to the toilet.  That’s exactly what it’s been like on my previous visits, although I should point out that I did manage to bulldoze my way to the loo when necessary.  So when I got their last night and discovered that I could walk freely around the pub and get served within 5 minutes of going to the bar it was great!

So, I guess you may be asking yourself why I kept going back to somewhere that made drinking such a pain in the proverbial?  In one word, beer.  Or, in 5 words, a sh*t load of beer!  It’s one of those pubs that has a 2 page food menu and then a 20 page beer menu.  They’ve got pretty much every country covered and however much of a beer nut you are there’s going to be a few new ones for you to try.  Admittedly you’ll pay a premium for them and these days you can pick up quite a few of them in the supermarket (why would you pay £4.50 for a bottle of Wells’ Bananabread Beer when you can get for £1.69 in Tescos?) but if you’re willing to experiment you might just find something special.  As well as the bottles they’ve also got a pretty varied selection of draught beer, most of which seems to be brewed specially for them, which covers the entire range from dark porter to light continental lager.  Its better value than the bottles but still not cheap, then again what pub in Covent Garden is?  However, last night they did have 3 beers on special offer, including a very nice ale called “Clotworthy Dobbin” (5%) for only £2.50 a pint.

So, if you’re in the area and fancy something different I’d recommend popping in, but if it’s a Friday night be prepared for long waits, throngs of people and slightly damp pants.

Posted by Si

Published in: on 12/05/2009 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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