An excellent afternoon out yesterday at the London CAMRA 40th birthday party. We took over the Counting House - the Fullers one on Cornhill, in the Square Mile, not the JDW - for a superb range of beers from a variety of London brewers, plus a few speeches, and pub quiz where all the questions (pretty much) were about the history of CAMRA and yours truly's team didn't even feature in the top 6...
The Fullers beers on offer included the brand new Black Cab Stout, which was launched last week. On Twitter, John Keeling said, "Many people are surprised we have made a stout considering we already make a porter.We are a London brewery by the way." Yes indeed, and don't forget the Double Stout...
Anyway, Black Cab is a lovely stout, black with brown hints and a beige head, then roast malt, milk chocolate and a hint of red fruit on the nose, and a roasty dry yet sweetish body with burnt fruit, plus hints of fruitcake and toffee. Perhaps a little sweeter than I normally go for, but I'll definitely be trying it again!
Others on offer, according to my failing memory, included Brodies American Brown (which is quite excellent), Twickenham Sundancer, Sambrooks Powerhouse Porter, and Redemption Trinity. (There was also one from London Brewing, AKA the Bull Highgate's pub brewery, but I forget the name and the Bull's website appears rather broken...)
Hmm. You won't see that sort of range in a Fullers pub very often, methinks.
As well as speeches from various CAMRA folk, including one by regional director Kim Martin who ably summarised the London branches' desire to see the Campaign embrace craft beer rather than rejecting it, our host Richard Fuller gave a good summary of the history of Fullers and its relationship with CAMRA from 1971.
All in all, an excellent event, and I wish I could have stayed longer!