London – Lambeth (Borough of) – Hercules

I saw this pub when leaving Lambeth North underground station and it wasn’t listed in the Good Beer Guide and there didn’t seem anything obviously exciting. But, it looked an interesting building and I had anticipated getting half a pint of London Pride.

The welcome was authentic, prompt and engaging, with the staff member seeming personable and keen to welcome customers. I looked at the beers on the pump clips and there were a few options, but I asked if there was anything dark anyway as it’s best to check.

What I had managed to miss was the huge selection of beers behind the bar, with four dark options available. This was a ridiculously good selection and it’s marvellous to get offered dark beers of varying strengths. The staff member was very tempting in selling the imperial stout, but I went with the rather more moderate Coldblooded from Siren Craft Brew. This was a decent beer, initially unexciting perhaps, but with a delightful lingering taste of chocolate. I like this from a beer, subtle but with an element of decadence and it grew on me during the drinking.

There weren’t any other customers for a while, although a couple came in for a Diet Pepsi each. It was a moderate shame that the pub’s fine beer selection wasn’t being taken advantage of and they must get busy in the evenings to justify having this range. There was a food menu available, but it was quite punchy in terms of the pricing and they probably needed a better value lunch-time menu given the current situation.

All told, I think that this pub should be in the Good Beer Guide and it has changed my mind entirely about Fuller’s, as this is a beautiful location. I also liked how pro-active the staff member was in offering samples of beers, it gives me confidence in what they’re offering and it gave him a chance to show his knowledge. Friendly, comfortable and welcoming, it might yet be a candidate for my pub of the year…..