The Green Man

So every evening while in the UK, we would walk the half a block down to the Green Man pub in Hurst, Berkshire. I have no real frame of reference in Kansas City, or America for that matter, through which to describe these little English pubs, especially the Green Man. If there was a place like this in town, I’d drive there every chance I could. The timbers in the roof were made from decommissioned ships and are over 1000 years old. The pub itself was a gatehouse for the Windsor estate, which means it’s been there for about 400 years.

The door to the green man couldn’t be more that 6 feet tall – if that. I must have hit my head on doors at least 5 times a day. Inside the pub it is warm, friendly, and extremely small. I’m six feet two inches tall and I could rarely, if ever, walk from one side of the pub to the other without ducking for the beams. The rooms are tiny, as are the bars themselves, and the fireplace in the main room is always burning. I think the way to think of it would be, if you took a living room from an American home built before WWII and turned it into a pub, that would be about right. You feel like you are hanging out in someone’s house.

They serve cask ale here and it is unlike any beer I’ve ever tasted. Cask ale is not carbonated, nor is it filtered or pasteurized so the yeast is still active. It is kept in cellars underneath the pubs and isn’t freezing cold. I think they keep it in the mid to high 50s. They siphon the beer up to the bar using a “beer engine” or handpump and it is the freshest tasting beer I’ve ever had. The way it is poured makes a really nice head on the beer which should last the whole glass. My friend taught me that one way you tell if they keep their glasses clean is that the head should sort of smear onto the inside of the pint glass the whole way down. They serve them in either dimpled glass jugs or thick 20 ounce pint glasses – my personal favorite.

The beer I ran into most was a Bitter Ale brewed by Brakspear and it is an incredible beer. One night we had a “Porteresque” by Allgates which was my favorite beer I had over there. I read online that there is a cask beer at 75th street brewery, but I’ve not been out to try it yet.

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