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Few pubs feel as opulent as Fuller's Old Bank of England pub in London. The building was erected in 1888 as the Law Courts Branch of the Bank of England. Fuller's totally remodeled the interior when it became a pub in 1995.
Michael Jackson would start in the most important barley-growing region, East Anglia. In 1992 he wrote: "Which is the most interesting brewery in Britain? Candidates must include Brakspear's on the Thames at Henley (with a tasting room full of angling trophies) and Hook Norton, a classic Victorian tower brewery at Banbury, Oxfordshire. Unfortunately the prettiest brewery, Donnington (with waterwheel, millpond and wild fowl) at Stow-on-the-Wold, is too small to cope with visitors."
Stephen Beaumont heads too the Griffin Brewery in London. "Certainly, to the ale-drinking public beyond British shores, (the three core brands) are a far more flavourful and enjoyable introduction to the beauty of English ale than were the sad collection of beers I had available in my early days.
Few underground, or train, stops in London offer a beer lover the range of experiences as those available when you get off at London Bridge. The historic Hop Exchange, some of the freshest pints in town at Market Porter and plenty more are just a few steps away.
For more than 30 years, the Campaign for Real Ale's mission has been to act as champion of the consumer in relation to the UK and European beer and drinks industry. For starters, it saved real ale (cask-conditioned beer), but that's turned out to be only a beginning.
"It was once one of the world's greatest brewing cities; it still has more beer pumps per head than any other in Britain, and there is nowhere I would rather pubcrawl," writes Michael Jackson. "When the pub, an English institution, finally flings itself across the Cheviot Hills and into Scotland, it becomes quite florid. Edinburgh has some spectacular examples along with boxy little bars, identified by their founders' surnames, that would not look out of place in Ireland."
Stuff some gear into a backpack, take the country out into the countryside and hike from one town to the next, stopping in pubs to eat, drink and sleep. Head to Dorset county and you'll find an England that foreign tourists usually neglect. Thomas Hardy had immortalized its scenery in novels such as "Far From the Madding Crowd." Additionally, journeying in Dorset is a form of time travel, with sights ranging from Iron Age forts to Roman amphitheaters to Victorian seaside pavilions.
India Pale Ale - the name stirs up images of tall ships and faraway places. A beer with such a name should have a bold and stirring character, and India Pale Ales (IPAs) usually deliver. The bitterness, hop aroma, fruitiness, and high mineral content characteristic of this style offer adventure in every pint.
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