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Cheers From the UK – Have A Beer

My photo of London's bell towerI’ve spent the last two days in London and I’ve had a chance to experience much to what this city has to offer in terms of awesome architecture, fast paced humans, city dwellers and beer.

Upon arriving in the United Kingdom I dropped my butt down on a seat and ordered a Guinness as it’s made in the “old country.” I’ve had plenty of Guinness in the States but it must taste different back “home” in the UK, right?

Right.

What I can only describe as the pleasure of an ice cream float meets beer without the cold and without the ice cream. Creamy smooth with a thick head which holds like ice cream and floats on top of the beer with the consistency of cream, you can’t any bubbles… it just hangs. Amazing. The head is the last thing in the glass when you’ve emptied it of the contents as well. Very neat.

It tastes a bit smoother and thicker and the perception of drinking it right in London probably adds to the effect. Today, after 6 hours of walking the streets of London I stopped at an Irish pub and got a pint o’
Fuller’s London Pride followed by Guinness Red, which Guinness says is a “Smoother, Sweeter Guinness.”

Fuller’s London Pride was a great ale, rich in hoppy taste and smooth in texture, a little lighter on the pallet than a Guinness but seemingly much stronger (although it says onlky 4.7% ABV on their website). Perhaps it was all the walking that day, but two beers by 1400 (2:00PM in the States) was enough to make me know to stop drinking.

The Guinness Red was different, not exactly unique in flavor, tasting much like a Killian’s Irish Red with a standard Guinness creamy head and smooth textures. Good beer, don’t get me wrong, but I should have went for the Extra Stout as it might taste more like a classic Guinness and not like a receipt I’ve had before.

Each beer I received at the pub had a pint glass to match the right beer, very nice style. Oddly, bartenders look at you when you tell them to “keep the change” or drop them a few pounds. One said, “ah yes, I know you’re from the States, you actually tip. English don’t tip.” Surprising, considering the amount of bloody drinking they do!

The best sign I saw at the bar, “If you look younger than 21 we’ll ask you if you’re 18.” Holy crap, in the US you have to look younger than 27 to be validated to be 21. I grew up in the wrong England… the New one.

Anyway, heading back tomorrow. Cheers from London!

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