Last night it was East Twickenham, an area which seems to have smartened up in recent years, yet where the trade has seen a bit of turmoil with pubs either lost to property developers or under threat – the two can be related of course. I missed the first pub on the list, the Aleksander freehouse (formerly a Young's pub called the Marble Hill), which was unfortunate as I'm told it was offering Oakham Citra and two Thornbridge ales.
Fortunately when I caught up with the other eight or so chaps in the Crown it was pretty much the highlight of the evening. Four ales on, all in excellent condition. A few years ago this was a pretty scruffy pub, but after it was refurbished and reopened last year it's now a delight – comfy, attractive, friendly service, and reputedly the food is good too.
|Two clips for the same beer!|
White Swan. Another freehouse, the pub is raised up from the street and it looked like yesterday had been one of the days when the high tide floods both the road outside and the beer garden. Was this also why it reeked of fish, or was that left over from lunch? Either way, I think there were five ales on, all reportedly in fine condition, including my choice of Flack Catcher, a tasty bitter from a brewery I'd not heard of before, Flack Manor.
That was supposed to be the end of the crawl, but a few of us had been discussing the other changes in the area's pubs, in particular from the cr*ft beer perspective, so we decided to pay a quick visit to the relatively new Ales & Tails cocktail bar and 'craft beer house'. Although they advertise having eight cask ales, only two pump-clips were visible, one each from the Brighton and Hastings breweries, and both sadly tasted slightly sour. Fortunately, they had had just put on a third ale, Clarence & Fredericks' American Pale Ale, and that was excellent – but then I've not had a bad beer yet from this new Croydon-based brewery.