This is a group for those who are interested in Real Ale and the modern variants. The group was started by the late Stan Owen a few years ago.
Currently the group has around 30 members, and is not seeking more participants as it is about the right size for the the pubs we visit. However, if you would like to join a similar group, please contact the convenors (Patricia and Sue, details below) who will help you set up another group.
We meet at least once a month usually on a Thursday lunchtime for lunch and to sample ales. This is not a regular Thursday but depends on beer events. We travel to the venue after the U3A weekly talk, or meet at the venue for those not going to the talk.
Duration - leisurely lunchtime 1-2 hours - join at your leisure, leave early if you wish.
Venues – pubs with an interesting offering of ales, often free houses or microbreweries, mostly in Ealing/Hounslow boroughs, occasionally further afield. We include local beer festivals. The plans for the next few months are shown below.
Format - casual chat with like-minded men and women from U3A.
The June meeting will be on Thursday 13th and will be Kevin's Central London Beer Investigation - Chancery Lane and Smithfield area. It's probably best to allow the whole afternoon due to the number of pubs to be visited.
Start: From the U3A meeting to Ealing Broadway station for Central line, to Chancery Lane station. If you are not attending the meeting, join Sue and the group at 12.15 outside the waiting room at Ealing Broadway, platform level. We should arrive at Chancery Lane by 1pm. Far end of train at Ealing is best, then Exit No 1 when we arrive there. It's just two minutes to the first pub (on the north side of High Holborn, west of the station).
If you are travelling independently either meet the group at Chancery Lane station at 1pm or shortly afterwards at the first pub (the Citte of Yorke).
Pubs to be visited are:
- 1 THE CITTE OF YORKE (as in our June 2017 tour) - A characterful Sam Smiths pub, Victorian medieval style. Good value lunch and beer. Table reserved in the magnificent rear Hall.
Move from here by 2pm. About 15mins to next pub, walking east back past Chancery Lane. Short diversion past a hidden gem which will be too crowded for our group.
- 2 THE VIADUCT TAVERN (Holborn Viaduct over the former Fleet River). Lovely old Gin Palace, decoration well-preserved. If busy, we may have to settle for a quick half of London Pride or similar.
The remaining pubs are closer together, and are
- 3 THE BISHOPS FINGER, WEST SMITHFIELD. Once the only London home of Kent's Shepherd Neame. Facing Smithfield Market, where the Museum of London is relocating in 2022. The name refers to the Canterbury pilgrims' signposts.
For those who wish to continue, now past Bart's and Betjeman's old house in Cloth Fair (a pre-fire survivor) to
- 4 THE HAND AND SHEARS, welcoming little multi-roomed gem. Timothy Taylor, a Stroud bitter and others on recent visits.
Various other possibilities close by for the still-curious. For travel home Barbican underground is two minutes to the east (Hammersmith and City) or St Paul's for Central Line about 10mins away.
Please let Sue know by end Sun 9th June, either at one of the U3A meetings or by email, if you will be going (so a table can be reserved for right number) and where you will join the group
The Ealing Beer festival in Walpole Park is a regular fixture for the group, this year we will be visiting on Thursday 11th July (festival runs from Wednesday 10th to Saturday 13th).
Wanted: suggestions for further venues in 2019 - please email Patricia if you have any ideas.
1 Dragonfly Brewery Acton - (that only opens at 4pm, so would be other than a Thurs lunchtime)
Details of our 2017 and 2018 outings are shown in the Beer Group outings 2018 & 2017 document. Outings this year, so far, have been:
- January - The Grosvenor pub in W Ealing/Hanwell, free house with a wide range of beers and a good menu.
- February - The Six Bells and the Magpie & Crown pubs in Brentford. The Six Bells is a Fullers pub, with a good choice of food, whilst the Magpie & Crown is a free house with plenty of beers for us to sample.
- March - pubs in Isleworth; The Ailsa Tavern (Shepherd Neame), the Town Wharf (Sam Smiths) and the London Apprentice (Greene King), all near the Thames.
- April saw us visit 3 pubs in Hanwell, which were The Green, The Dodo Micropub in Boston Road, and The Kings Arms on Hanwell Broadway.
- The May meeting was to riverside pubs in Strand-on-the-Green (near Kew Bridge). The pubs visited were The Bulls Head, The City Barge, and The Express Tavern. Thanks to Ed Baker and Sue for the research and organisation of this outing; a document with the history of this area and these pubs that Ed has produced is available through Links on the rhs of this page.
Conveners: Sue Sotheran and Patricia Donnithorne. Sue is the main phone contact (020 8998 6281) and Patricia the main email contact. Email through the blue bird contact on this page.
|Dates for your Diary|
|Thu Jun 13th||BEER INVESTIGATION Group - outing to Central London pubs, see Group page for details|
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.