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 next outings in 2020 will be on:
- Thursday 26th March - last outing of the Winter term to The New Inn, South Ealing Road. This is re-opening in March, after its refurbishment, under new management – we'll go and check out one of our closest watering holes.
- Thursday 23rd April - St George's Day, we will be visiting Acton; pub details to follow. Timing on the day may be a little different from usual.
- Thursday 21st May – Express Tavern, Kew Bridge
- Thursday 11th June – Trip to pubs in the City, led by Kevin
- Thursday 9th July – Ealing Beer Festival, Walpole Park
- August – no meeting
- September - outing to pubs in Barnes, led by Maureen and Ken.
Patricia and Sue will advise details on all of these outings in due course.
During 2020, we may also investigate
- The Brook, Brentford (ex Royal Oak, total refurbishment, free house)
- The Dragonfly in Acton (that only opens at 4pm, so would be other than a Thurs lunchtime)
Any other suggestions for further venues in 2020 welcomed - please email Patricia if you have any ideas.
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.
Our outings for 2020 have been:
- February - the Eel Pie inn in Twickenham, a Hall and Woodhouse pub which serves Badger Ales from Dorset. This was followed by a walk by the Thames, near Eel Pie island (of music fame) then through York House gardens (where we saw the "Naked Ladies" statues) to the White Swan, a free house by the river. After that a small group of us went to the Eel Pie Island Museum, which has lots on the history of music related to the island.
- January - The Black Dog, Albany Road in Brentford. A return visit to this pub with a great selection of beers and ciders, and a good range of interesting food.
Details of our past outings are shown in the Beer Group outings 2018 & 2017 document. Outings in 2019 were:
- 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.
- June saw us visiting a number of pubs in the Chancery Lane and Smithfield area of Central London. Pubs visited were:
1 THE CITTE OF YORKE - A characterful Sam Smiths pub, Victorian medieval style.
2 THE VIADUCT TAVERN - a lovely old Gin Palace, decoration well-preserved.
3 THE BISHOPS FINGER, WEST SMITHFIELD. Once the only London home of Kent's Shepherd Neame. The name refers to the Canterbury pilgrims' signposts.
4 THE HAND AND SHEARS, welcoming little multi-roomed gem. Timothy Taylor, a Stroud bitter and others on recent visits.
- July saw the highlight of the Beer Investigation group's activities with our visit to the Ealing Beer festival in Walpole Park (right on our doorstep). One of the biggest beer festivals in the country with over 400 Beers available plus Ciders, Perrys and English Wines - those who attended on a warm and sunny afternoon had a pleasant time sampling a variety of the beers on tap.
- Resuming in September, the group visited The Forester beer festival - a smaller beer festival than the main Ealing one, but none the less an interesting one. Recommended by our Chairman, Derek and others.
The October outing saw us visit The Tabard in Turnham Green and the Packhorse and Talbot on Chiswick High Road.
The November outing was to pubs in Hammersmith, starting at The Draft House - a modern craft beer offering, modern style pub where there was a chance of hearing each other talk!
Afterwards to The Swan, King Street - traditional, more history and good ale offering, but very noisy; music and traffic.
The December outing was to The Wheatsheaf, in Haven Lane, Ealing; a nice cosy pub with a varied menu and Fullers beers.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.