When I was in London at the beginning of December of this year, I made it a point to have a pint of beer from the East End Brewery in Pittsburgh, Pa. The oddity of this is the fact that I am from Pittsburgh and drink the beers often, as the beers coming from Scott Smith's kettles are wonderful. So why would I travel to London at considerable cost to drink a beer I get down the street? Because it was there!
When I first started my travels to the land of fish and chips and pork pies I was not yet a beer drinker. Good thing too as there was not a lot of what we would call craft beer back in the 1970’s. As I got my training in good beer at Chiodo’s Tavern in Homestead I discovered that there was more than one beer style. Unfortunately nobody told London. I was drinking porter in Pittsburgh but no bartender in London ever heard of such a drink. “Do you have any porter?” “No, he went home early today”.
Finding good beer in London is pretty easy now. The Brits are finding that they can make interesting beers and so many are finding their way to London. European beers are as popular in the UK as they are here. American beers have been firmly planted on British soil and Sierra Nevada, Rough, Victory, Southern Tier and Duck Rabbit are as easy to come by as Young’s and Fullers.
Thanks to a rotating distribution system Scott was able to send 30 combined kegs of Black Strap Stout and Big Hop IPA to England and Europe. Two pubs in London had them on and the reviews that came back were positive. A long time buddy from London had a Black Strap and found it eye opening. One chap on twitter sent Scott a tweet with the word “blimey” in his review of the IPA. When a review incorporates the word blimey in it you have arrived. To stand next to a tap in a London pub sporting a beer from Pittsburgh is one that I am happy to stand next to. I support Pittsburgh brewers and will do so 4000 miles from home.
Photos are of the Craft Beer Company on Leather Lane, Clerkenwell EC1