Fuller’s Red Fox
I rather miss not living near a Fuller’s pub – they are one of my favourite brewers. They just get it consistently right with their beers, and unlike Young’s, Fuller’s beers don’t give me ridiculous hangovers.
And I especially miss Fuller’s pubs in the autumn when they do their beer festival.
Last year they started this now annual tradition with Honey Dew, London Porter and 1845. They followed it up with a special brewing of the lovely India Pale Ale in the spring. And this time round, they’ve brought back one of their finest ales – Red Fox.
It was probably one of the first London brewed beers I tasted when I first moved to London in the Autumn of 1999. People from the north often ask how I can drink ‘southern beer’ but the beers of Fuller’s quickly persuaded that it was the Boddingtons obsessed Manchester that was missing out. Unfortunately it had its last outing in 2001.
Red Fox is easily drinkable. It goes down ridiculously easy, making it a perfect session beer. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a complex and interesting beer. For my mind, some of the best beers are the subtle ones – ones which on the face of it persuade you that they’re less than they actually are, but when you study and analyse, they are so much more. Red Fox is one of those beers. Deceptively simple, but in reality, a beer with attitude. It’s brewed with toasted oats, there’s a distinctive, yet subtle, burnt taste to it that gives it some serious flavour.
After all this hype, build up and fond memories, was it as good as I remembered? My first sup of Red Fox this year (at the Euston Flyer near Euston station) was delayed with some trepidation in case the beer didn’t match up to my rose tinted taste buds but thankfully it did. And the several pints I quaffed last night in the Churchill Arms in Notting Hill, went down seriously well.
Okay if there was an award for best beer in the world, this wouldn’t be it and it seems to be either a love it or a hate it for some people. But for me, it’s a firm favourite and without a doubt, one of the finest ales Fullers have ever created. Although whether the next entry in the Autumn Beer Festival of Mr Harry – not brewed for 10 years – will knock it off the top spot, remains to be seen!