I've just got back from a very beer filled week in London which more than made up for my normally beereft experience in Northern Ireland.

Odell Myrcenary and IPA
Three on keg.
I travelled across on Saturday to help with GBBF setup, with my first beer coming Saturday evening in the shape of the Odell meet the brewer evening at the Cask Pub and Kitchen. I of course have met Doug Odell before as he works on US Cask beer at GBBF, but that didn't make his (brief) talk about the beers on offer any less interesting.

The beers on offer and tasting notes
A selection of three Odell beers were available on draught (IPA, Double Pilsner, Myrcenary) but the real highlight were the limited edition bottle releases shared out around the pub to anyone interested. A nice touch by the Cask there. After the Odell-a-thon I also tried a Witter Saison-de-Fleur and Mikkeller Black, the former was tasty, the latter sublime. Could have easily had another half, but at 17.5% decided against it! A good evening indeed.

Sunday night saw a mini pub crawl around Euston station. Starting in the Doric Arch I had a perfectly tasty pint of Brains SA Gold. Déjà Vous prompted me to remember that I had indeed been there before! Next up was the Bree Louise, a lovely little backstreet boozer with a massive selection of cask ales and 50p off per pint for CAMRA members (also students, NHS and armed forces: not to be sniffed at!). They also offer customizable cheese plates, the stinking bishop on mine was particularly tasty with whatever it was I was drinking (in my excitement to get a plate of cheese I didn't make notes!) The evening ended up in the Euston Tap where all Bier Sans Frontiers staff had congregated and polished off two 24" pizzas. Beers were £1 a pint for all draught beers which was a steal! Tried Thornbridge versa weisse and Bristol Beer Factory Acer/ Saison. I like that the Euston Tap blog about their beers, it helps as an aide memoir of what I was drinking! (Too many exclamation marks...)

Four cask beers
7 on keg!
A return to the Cask was called for on Sunday for the Kernel meet the brewer evening. An impressive range of four cask and 7 keg beers was an almost bewildering choice for one who had not yet sampled the delights of the Kernel. I tried three of the cask and one keg beer; Nelson/Citra, Kernel/Redemption collaboration and export stout on cask, Imperial Export Brown Stout on keg. I really enjoyed all of the beers, especially the recreation of extinct recipes and look forward to trying more from these guys in the future.

Just a few of the many beers on offer!
Reflective drinking
After that the evening called for a visit to the Craft Beer Co. in Clerkenwell. Plenty of other bloggers have extolled its virtues; so I will lay off on the superlatives and merely state that there was sufficient choice to keep me amused for months (time and funds permitting!). The house lager by Mikkeller was particularly good, closer to a pale ale than I had been expecting an amber-yellow hue with plenty of fruit. The evening quickly descended into mayhem when I met a couple of Canadians who insisted on sharing their beer with me and I likewise reciprocated. Its pubs like the craft beer co where you feel comfortable sharing beers with complete strangers and for this and the spectacular surroundings alone the beers were worth the high asking price.
Julian finishes his pint of Magic Rock Dark Arts
 Most of the remainder of my week was filled with all things GBBF, but you will be able to read my round up of that later this week. I also attended the Flying Dog cheese and beer pairing at the White Horse at Parson's Green which I am still salivating about now. I intend to post about it as my CABPOM for August; so look out for that soon too!

In summary, London has plenty of decent pubs and I think having events organised around GBBF really makes it into a week celebrating beer in London. Would love to see more next year as Mark suggests here, though this will inevitably mean having to choose which event I least want to miss out on! As it was I didn't get to visit the Jolly Butchers, Rake or Southampton Arms as I had been hoping to. Ah well there's always next year!

I hope everyone else enjoyed their time in London during GBBF week. Who did I miss out on meeting at the various events? This week taught me I need a backup battery for my HTC!

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