Monday, May 28, 2012

The Market Porter (Borough)

Last week, right after shopping at Utobeer (review), we went to the nearby pub The Market Porter, another one on our Top 25 list.

The place looks well kept from the outside, but is fairly plain inside, with game machines and all. There's a restaurant upstairs that we didn't visit;  though, judging from the photos on the pub's website, it look considerably nicer than the downstairs area.

I've been here on a weekend market day and the pub's immediate proximity to it makes it a very busy place. This time we went on a week day, just after the market's closing time. The pub was considerably less busy, though the nice sunny evening meant that a lot of people gathered drinking outside. The staff at the bar was probably still set to "busy market day" mode, served us a bit dismissively and insisted on giving us plastic cups even though we had a table inside (got our glasses after some discussion).

The pub apparently serves a large amount of real ale, "with beers changing up to nine times a day". The number of taps are limited, though, so expect a relatively small selection of ales when you get there, especially compared to other pubs on the Top 25 list that we have reviewed.

Our ales seemed a bit flat and tasteless and given that the two lagers our friend this evening tried (Fosters and San Miguel) were both also flat and watery, we couldn't help but think that there was something very wrong with this pubs taps on the evening. On the bright side, I have had some of the best crisps I have ever tasted - if only I could remember the brand's name!

Here are some quick notes about the ales that I tried:

Hoggleys - Golden Wheat Beer
Slightly cloudy hay-colour beer. Almost odourless. Some bitterness at first taste, but not very much taste coming through. After a larger gulp, some sweeter notes can be tasted, honey and fruit. You have to think hard to notice anything though. Quite apathetic and washed down.

Market Porter, Summer Ale (brewed by Marston)
Gold-amber colour, with a nice tight head. Not a strong smell, hops and citrus. A refreshing first taste, flavour-packed compared to the previous one that I had. Ginger and honey and hoppy bitterness. It gets sweeter at the swallow, well balanced by some slight tartness and earthiness. Would happily drink plenty of this on a nice summery day.

And here are GB's notes:

Market Porter, Summer Ale (brewed by Marston)
A clear, light golden ale with a creamy head and a honey and ginger aroma; on the first taste it was sparkly, slightly sweet but hoppy. I picked up notes of wildflower and pollen on the swill, and was then treated to a smooth, slightly musty, gently bitter swallow, almost no lingering aftertaste at all. I think I'd really have really liked this beer if served in a pub that looked after its beers better.

Hoggleys, Kislingsbury Bitter
Is a slightly cloudy, light brown ale with a big, frothy head. Impossible to get any scent from it, and not much on the first taste either. Incidentally it was completely flat, not just a natural lack of artificial bubbles, but still as water. In the mouth there's a touch of bark and a creamy, Yorkshire bitter style with a light, woody swallow. This is an unexceptional beer in every sense: inoffensive but totally bland. It's clearly a perfectly serviceable example of northern bitter, but something went wrong along the road.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, doesn't look like you're enjoying my Top 25 list too much (though glad you liked the Dog and Bell and the Mad Bishop and Bear), much as I'm flattered you're working your way systematically through the list. Will consider some of your experiences when I (hopefully) come to revise the guide for a future edition. Meanwhile, I hesitate to say it, but I've updated the Top 25 list to reflect some new openings and rediscoveries, and posted it at