London Pride is an amber ale from Fuller’s. It’s tawny brown in colour with a loose, white head. Malt dominates throughout, with caramel and biscuit on the nose, palate, and sweetening on the finish. London Pride is suitable for vegans but contains gluten.
Most three year olds are happy drinking milk or, if they’re really lucky, squash. I was not like most three year olds.
Every Sunday at five minutes past noon, my dad would pour himself a can of Fuller’s London Pride to sip on as he read the newspaper. And every Sunday at around seven minutes past noon, I’d be sneakily dunking my fist into his pint glass and gumming the amber nectar off like an alcoholic Winnie the Pooh.
Decades have passed since my first experience with beer. This weekend, feeling weak and tender from a night of overindulgence, I decided it was time to check whether London Pride was still up to snuff.
Being the first beer I ever drank, it’s not surprising that I’m a big fan of how London Pride looks. This is the platonic ideal of beer for me: an amber, clear body with a loose, foamy head. Getting that head ratio spot on was a matter of great pride: once I was old enough to hold a pint glass reliably without spilling it, my dad set me to work pouring his pints. Oscillating between glasses full of foam and beers poured so slowly and carefully there was no hint of a bubble anywhere to be seen, I slowly honed my pouring skills. And promptly forgot them, clearly, as I poured myself a glass of mostly head.
London Pride smells like a mix of artificial carbonation and sweet, caramel malt. On the palate it’s that sweetness leading the way: caramel malt, biscuit, and sweet barley. There’s a light touch of bitterness right towards the end, but that’s overwhelmed by caramel sweetness on the finish.
This isn’t the most exciting beer. It’s uncomplicated; arguably a bit basic. But it’s also relatively cheap, widely available, and not a bad shout if you just want a beer in the background while you’re reading the paper or watching the rugby. You don’t have to put a great deal of thought into London Pride as you’re drinking it, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.