A London Miscellany: Leyton on RM40

Every summer, the European contingent of ratebeer.com meet up for a beery bash one weekend. We're an eclectic bunch; some hardcore Scandinavian raters with laptops, more than a few Brits full of banter and the occasional mad ex-pat Welshman working in Japan. After breakfast beers at Kernel, our itinerary took us up east for lunch in Leyton.

The King William IV is a rambling pile of gables and flower baskets on the High Road. Inside, it's a boozer. In the finest sense of the word. There are Saturday shoppers, wrinkled regulars, pre-match lads. And they are all here to drink beer.

And what beer there is. Brewed on-site - this is the Brodies brewery tap - in such an array of styles as to make tickers and beer geeks cry into their notebooks. Definitive English bitters.  A slew of New World citrics such as Amarilla, Kiwi and Californian. Darker delights like Superior London Porter. There was even a 13.3% tripel. The price? £1.99 a pint, squire. Any pint. Now, that's an enlightened pricing policy.

From the front door onwards, the pub expands as if it's let its belt out a couple of notches and relaxed. A large bar gives way to a larger maroon room at the back, all crammed with etched mirrors and stag's heads and a petrol pump. Like you do. In other places, it would look identikit kitsch; here it works. The St George's flags are a clear declaration - of pride. English pubs are too often backwards at coming forwards and celebrating their heritage. The King William IV has no such reservations.

Out the back, there's a few toper traps and the brewery. I sat out there with a few others in the occasional rain, supping Californian and watching a spitroast lamb wind its way to greatness. Later, with pints drained, the lamb singed slowly until its leg dislocated and swung around like a macabre charred clock hand.

Before I knew it, it was time to go. A bottle of Brodies' bought - you don't need to ask the price. Our bus was waiting- personal service as we'd hired a 1959 Routemaster for the day. When we roll, we roll in retro-style.

Everyone was thoroughly refreshed. Up on the top deck, the Scandinavian contingent started singing something melancholy. Which would never do. Us Brits had to respond.

So that's how I came to be sitting on the back seat of a red double-decker, in a traffic jam, drinking Brodies Seven Hop from the bottle, singing "The Wheels On The Bus".

1 comment:

  1. i agree with Kernal being the best beers in London but Brodies.ive always been underwhelmed by their beers.£1.99 for average beers is not as good as £3.50 for good beers. cheers john