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10-11-2011, 07:06
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Thereare over 800 breweries in the UK – how many would you like to try a beer from?

Myanswer is over 800. I’d love to drink a beer from every brewery in the UK. Evenbetter would be a couple of beers to see the range of what they make.

I’mguessing that some of it will be incredibly good, surprising, interesting andbeers that I’d like to drink again and again. That’s why I’d like to try themall. But there will be a lot of beer made which isn’t delicious. Some will be badlybrewed and should never be sold while others will be boring or lacking quality.And some beers will inevitably suffer at the hands of the pub serving it.

It’sa lottery of whether that pint you order is going to be good, which is whydrinking in pubs you trust is a good start.

Thereare three London pubs I drink in more than any others: Southampton Arms, Craftand The Rake (there are others I trust but go to less often - I guess I'm too busy chasing hops in the beer bars). I trust these pubs to not put crap beer on the bar: they orderbeer from breweries which they know are good, they look after the beer and theysell it fast which is good for tap turnover. I know that I can go into one ofthese places and always get good beer. It’s not about the number of tapseither: if these bars only had one keg line and one cask handpull then I’dstill be confident that I’d get a good beer. And the selection isn’t just aboutfinding new and over-hopped beers to drink, if a pub will always look aftertheir beers and serve them in perfect condition then that’s as good as anythingelse. Finding places like that make me want to return regularly.

It’shard to know if you can trust a new brewery or not (branding is a good start –if care and attention has gone to that then there’s more confidence in the beer)but by finding a good pub who you know chooses the best beer, there’s thesafety net against a bad pint. It’s good to be able to walk into a pub and knowthere’ll be too many beers on that you’d like to drink.

Atthe same time, one of the great things about drinking in different pubs is theunexpected: the unexpected great pint, the unexpected great pub or theunexpected which happens inside them. Sometimes you have to take a hit with abad or boring pint but there’s always another pub around the corner and younever know what you’ll find there.

Doyou return to the pubs you trust for good beer more than searching out newpubs? Where are you most likely to drink beers from new breweries?

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