So as I said in this post we went on the tour a few weeks ago. We only spent the one night in London but crammed in plenty of beery goodness.
We started by having lunch in the Crown and Anchor, which was a Young's & Co pub but now seems to be part of a small group under the name of 'Convivial London Pubs'.
This was quiet at the time, with some very friendly and helpful staff, happy to give us the directions to get to the Tour. He also suggested we later visit their sister pub 'The Lamb'.
A great jalapeño burger washed down with a fresh Wandle by Sambrook's Brewery was a good start.
Onto the Fullers Brewery then, I'm not going to go through the whole thing here, I suspect a lot of readers here have either been on a tour before or are reasonably knowledgeable of the workings of a brewery. It was very professional in the set up of the tour, I think the sheer size of it amazed me most and I'd recommend the tour to everyone.
There are more photos of the brewery here on Flickr.
Entering 'The Hock Cellar' is where most people want to be though if your truthful, your served half's of many of their excellent beers, from pump or bottle.
They suggest you start with the lower abv beers and work your way up to the stronger ones, but most people went for their favourites it seems.
I started with the ones I'd not tried before, Gales Spring Sprinter the seasonal golden ale 4%, Gales HSB at 4.8% (Horndean special bitter) which was really nice, a lighter bodied ESB. I then tried most of the Fullers they had on offer, they were happy to open bottles too. And as you'd expect all were in great condition, London Pride never tasted so good!
My wife went for their Honey Dew, Discovery, Golden Pride and Bengal Lancer, her favourites being the first two.
Later on after food we went to the The Lamb as previously suggested, as it houses its own microbrewery in-house. I opted for the taster tray, 4 of their own brews and 1 from another pub in the group housing 'The Botanist Brewery'.
Their 'Helles' (not a favourite style of mine) was very nice, 3.8%, well carbonated, fresh and light, good malt and some butter. The Hefeweizen, 5.5% I felt was a poor example, very little of the characteristics you expect from the style.
Up onto the American Pale Ale quickly then which was pretty nice, 5%, on Untappd I commented 'Peach, lychee, soapy, dry'. They nicely picked the ball up again with that one, and carried on well with the Imperial Stout. This was a lower abv at 5.5% for an IS but held a good body, nice and smooth with chocolate, coffee and just the right amount of bitterness, a well made stout.
The Botanist Brewery (which is housed very near Kew Gardens) provided a nice finish, a strong ale/red ale at 6.2%, rich and malty, chewy malts, with good hop profile. I'd certainly recommend The Lamb if your in Chiswick high street as a great place to drink, its was very popular that night also.
We then went back to the Crown and Anchor as they had some live jazz on, i think my wife was a bit on beer overkill by this point and wanted a different form of culture! A great quartet playing New Orleans style jazz, with patrons and staff dressed up in 'day of the dead' costumes and make-up.
I had a bottle of Anchor Steam beer, and then a pint of Sharps Cornish Coaster whilst tapping my feet into the night.