And a pint of Mild please (the Market Porter, Borough Market, London).

Published on 20 April 2003 in , , , ,

Having wittered on about the lack of mild in London pubs just two days ago, it was a pleasent surprise to walk into The Market Porter near Borough Market yesterday evening and spy Coach House Gunpowder Strong Mild on one of the eight handpulls.

During Spring 2002, I spent a few months working with a company whose offices were on the South Bank, just near the historic market. We were using their CPMS system as a trial for a site, so I’d been seconded in to work with them on getting it all ready.

During my time there I came to appreciate the wonderfulness of the Borough Market area. Lots of fantastic delis, pubs, a wonderful traditional wine bar and a brilliant market on Fridays and Saturdays.

I had however not been to the Market Porter, and walking in I was naturally in heaven in a pub which had a blackboard at one end proclaiming "This Week’s Guest Ales", with not a list of beers underneath, but a number – in our case, 25 – rising to 26 during our visit. Out our the 9 beers that were on whilst we were there, only the wonderful Bombadier and Harveys Sussex had we spied before.

From a beer fanatic, this place was a dream. Old pump clips adorned every available bit of wall space, and indeed it was the large number of clips for milds that made me check what was on two handpulls I hadn’t seen before, where I was very happy.

Later on I had a wonderful pint of Mercian Blade whose golden, almost lager like colour lulled you into a complete false sense of security when the fruity, elderflower taste exploded on the tongue.

The pub itself was rather nice – it’s an old pub and quite traditional looking, although the floor was missing sawdust! At the back end, a roaring real fire was blazing away. The addition of two TV sets didn’t really fit in with the decor, but we’ll let that one lie.

Although we stayed for only two pints, I have this feeling we’ll be back at the Market Porter again, and the presence of yet another bustling pub with a large number of handpulls really does show that real ale isn’t dead despite how much the big breweries try to make us believe otherwise.

As for the Gunpowder Strong Mild, well relatively speaking it was strong. Most milds are around the 3% mark, so Gunpowder came in at a head spinning 3.8%! Luvely!