Fuller’s London Pride vs. ESB – Beer Review

It was late in the evening when I found myself in London.  I had just fallen off a 3 hour train ride from the north and was exhausted.  Loaded with with baggage and attire that screamed corporate casual I couldn’t have felt more out of place.  By day I’m a Corporate Clown  because I have to be, but by night I need to transform back into a human being.  I was now faced with transportation to my crappy hotel by Heathrow airport.  I could take the “Underground” or get in one of those really cool London taxicabs.  I decided on the taxicab.

Wow, what a ride.  Only one set of doors and a cavernous back seat.  We drove forever and I took in the sights.  Suddenly I saw a familiar logo the size of a house positioned forever up into the air….ESB!!  I completely forgot the Fuller’s brewery was located here in London.  I took this shot which looks terrible but proves I was there (nearby).  Ok it doesn’t prove anything.








When I got home I immediately purchased 2 six packs from Fullers brewery (after I hugged the wife, kids, dog, goldfish, mailman etc…).  This was going to be a beer review that represented my recent trip to England, I reasoned after schilling $25 for 12 beers.

Before we get started (drinking) it’s important to note that both beers adhere to the English beer principle ie. best served warmish, flat etc.  Here’s my first English pub experience –   English Pubs – An American’s Opinion.

Hey one more thing, what’s up with bottles from Europe @ 11.2 oz?
You’re cheating me out of a swallow!

Fuller’s brewery – London Pride 

I poured this one first.  The color looks good and it tastes good.  It’s a high quality beer that I could drink a lot of.  If I owned Fuller’s brewery I would be proud of this beer too.  Not a spectacular beer but good.  Truth is I was eagerly anticipating that ESB ….

Rating: Not a standout but good
Alcohol by Volume:  4.7
Type: English Pale Ale
Buy Again? Probably not but glad I bought this six pack

From the brewer: Fuller’s London Pride
An intrinsic part of London, London Pride has been brewed by the banks of the Thames from the very first brew.Known and loved for its smooth, distinctive malty base and rich balance of hops flavours, London Pride is London and the UK’s favourite premium ale.

Fuller’s brewery – ESB

Extra Special Bitter, this one poured a darker richer brew.  The smell seemed more complex and the body perhaps a bit heavier (than the London Pride).  I was home back in England.  ESB is a wonderful beer.
Rating: Excellent
Alcohol by Volume:  5.9
Type: Extra Special Bitter
Buy Again? Yes of course, absolutely

From the brewer: Fullers ESB
ESB was launched into the Fuller’s family in 1971, as a winter brew to replace a beer named Old Burton Extra. The potential of the beer was soon realized and ESB was installed as a permanent fixture, creating an immediate impact.

Not only was it one of the strongest regularly brewed draught beers in the country (at 5.5% ABV), it was also one of the tastiest, and as the awareness of the beer grew, so did its popularity. ESB’s reputation was soon enhanced after being named CAMRA’s (Campaign for Real Ale) Beer of the Year in 1978, and the beer has not stopped winning since!

btw – I can justify an extra bottle tonight since I was robbed of 0.8 oz.




#london #england #pub #english #fullers


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2 thoughts on “Fuller’s London Pride vs. ESB – Beer Review”

  1. Nice review if these two classics, especially as they straddle 2 of the bitter sub – categories! Both these are better and more complex on cask, but still nice in bottle. Your lack of 0.8 oz is a result of the metric system- all beers outside of the US are either 330ml, 375ml (for a few Belgian beers traditionally bottled in wine 1/2 bottles) 500ml, 650ml, or 750ml. Canada is an anomaly as their ounces are smaller (but pints are bigger!) I hope you got to try some of the new wave British craft beer as well as the traditional ales!

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Beer Wrangler. I dearly wish I could have tried some of the British craft beer. I didn’t have enough time and was also interested in trying the traditional stuff. I was not disappointed.
      You’ve got a great website, very interesting and thorough. http://www.beerwrangler.com/


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