It’s funny how you can live so close to somewhere and want to visit it, but not actually get around to experiencing it until you have a good reason to! I’ve driven past the brewery on numerous occasions and thought it would be great to pay a visit, but somehow its never happened. Turning 40 and wanting to create 10 experiences to celebrate seemed like the perfect time.
The Tour itself is very reasonably priced at £12, especially as it includes beer tasting at the end as part of the price (Lets face it, its the main feature and draw and basically the reason for going). You meet in the pub at the brewery (I was unable to resist and got there early for a cheeky half of Honeydew)
Things that amazed and impressed me about the tour
- Fullers produce 250,000 pints of beer every day!
- They have a winning Ale in London Pride, but are also open and willing to moving with changing cultures and tastes to produce a wide range of beers. Honeydew, Frontier and Oliver’s Island are 3 great examples of this. There’s no Kodak on the horizon with this brewer!
- The tour guide balanced knowledge, banter, stories, openness to questions and good humour really well. It felt very comfortable, welcoming and good fun.
- There was a bottle of Vintage Beer for sale at £80. The thing that made me choke on my beer with this was that we had drunk a bottle of this just a few weeks before with a group of friends, completely oblivious to its value!
At the end of the tour you get the opportunity to head back into the Hock Cellar to head to the bar and begin the beer tasting!! Here I am with our fabulous tour guide and a shot of the bar. I didn’t try all of the beers in the shot, but I did try quite a few including a stout called Black Cab that I had never heard of before, and a new craft beer. For me, London Pride, British Pale Ale and Oliver’s Island were my top 3 beers. They were all good and it was a great end to a really great and good value experience. I headed out of the Hock Cellar and onto the gift shop. I bought a beer glass and just 2 bottles of beer! Definitely not the Vintage at £80…. All told I spent just £8 in the shop making the whole adventure a bargain at £22.50 including that wet the whistle Honeydew before the tour. If you like beer and are in West London this is a great afternoon out. Do it!