61. Pitfield 1850 London Porter

This is the second of three beers in The Book to hail from the Essex-based Pitfield Brewery, following their Shoreditch Stout, which I covered a few weeks ago.

This is another dark beer, this time an example of that most London of beer styles, and a confirmed favourite of your author: Porter. As with the Shoreditch Stout, the 1850 London Porter is entirely organic and vegan, should that be a factor in your beer selection process.

In a rather endearing Accidental Partridge turn of events, this one proudly bears the denomination “2010 Champion Bottled Beer of East Anglia”.


Pitfield 1850 London Porter is a deep reddish-brown, rather than truly black, and pours with an enormous sudsy head, despite having been sat perfectly still for several weeks. There’s a good, fresh hoppy whiff, backed up with some inviting toastier aromas, as befits a decent porter.

It soon becomes clear that I’ve overchilled this bottle, because at first the 1850 tastes what I can only describe as a little bit strange. There’s an odd sweetness in there, which perhaps originates with the cane sugar which is added to the brew, and there’s an overwhelming and not entirely pleasant bitterness which makes it hard to detect any other flavours.

However, this all changes as the beer warms a little and starts to near room temperature. The flavour really fills out and deepens, and becomes a complex combination of dried fruits, burnt toast and nutty black coffee notes. The difference is quite pronounced, so I’ve learned my lesson there.

And I’m glad, because I like this tiny brewery and didn’t want to post a bad review. I’m now particularly looking forward to the third and final Pitfield beer which I have to track down: a mighty 9.3% Imperial Stout. I’ve haven’t come across that one in London yet, so perhaps a trip to Essex is on the cards!

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Dominion Brewery Co, Moreton, Essex, England
Style: Porters and Stouts
Strength: 5.0% ABV
Found at: City Beverage Company, Old Street, London EC1
Serving: 500ml Bottle

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