69. RCH Old Slug Porter

In retrospect, when I blogged about Pendle Witches Brew, I may have been a little harsh on The Grape & Grain, one of Crystal Palace’s very best pubs.

I criticised their slightly conservative selection of ales, but in fairness, recent weeks have seen guest visits from ales from some of London’s new wave of craft breweries: London Fields, By the Horns and The CronX have all been represented. To top that, the G&G have now provided three beers in a row for my humble blog, so I really should learn what side my bread’s buttered on.

The very day after I sampled the cask “Witches” and a lovely bottle of Worthington’s White Shield, this one came on tap: a curiously-named porter from a Somerset brewery I’d previously heard absolutely nothing about.

Any excuse to pay another visit to what is, truth be told, a great, authentic beer lovers’ pub where all walks of life rub shoulders.


Despite the name, RCH Old Slug Porter certainly is a fine looking pint. At first glance it’s as black as night, but closer inspection reveals a beautiful deep ruby red colour with a tan head.

It tastes just like a top-notch porter should. It’s dark and rich but medium-bodied, which is ideal for a porter. There isn’t too much of the tar, soot and smokiness that are more typical of a stout, and instead the “Slug” is full of dried fruits and christmas cake.

There’s a hugely satisfying dry, bitter yet wine-like finish, but the whole thing remains relentlessly quaffable and refreshing. Many people don’t expect that sort of drinkability from a dark beer, but my pint lasted no more than 10 minutes, and I’d gladly have had another.

It may be named after the least glamorous of creatures, but this is a first class porter, served here in prime condition.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: RCH Brewery, Weston Super Mare, Somerset, England
Style: Porters and Stouts
Strength: 4.5% ABV
Found at: The Grape & Grain, Anerley Hill, London SE19
Serving: Cask, pint

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