TOP 100 PUBS – THE EXPRESS TAVERN, BRENTFORD

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Just when it was believed that cask had been killed completely by the Great Heatwave (and Peroni), I bring further evidence that cask lives !

And again it’s Bass that provides the proof.  Who’d a thought it ?  Not R. Coldwell Esq.

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But first, how did I get here ?  As the song goes.

On the 195 from Hanwell, of course.

Express

I’m sure Brentford is worthy of a more scholarly insight than I gave it waiting outside the County Court in the drizzle.

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Brentford Brutalism at its best

Particularly as this is the place where some bloke bravely opposed Caesar on his way to impose Moretti on the cask-loving St Albans, it says here.

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Who knew

Apart from that it’s only known for the riverside walks and the four pubs at each corner of the football ground.  Which they’re leaving soon.

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Never been in any of them

But they’re moving just round the corner from the Express, possibly the best Bass next to a football ground in England.  Discuss.

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Magic

Which I suspect will be a bit of a mixed blessing when the Hull Tigers tip up next season, assuming the new ground is finished before the new White Hart Lane. A fair bet.

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Nearly there

The Express is best seen from across the road, and at night, when the illuminated Bass triangle can be seen in all its glory.

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A reliable sign

Not that it just sells Bass these days.  I blame this choice nonsense on the Dolphin.

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It starts well
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Bass at the end

BUT.  The Express is thriving at 2pm on a Wednesday, and I count half a dozen Bass glasses, which is what I want to see.

And it’s close to nectar, cool, rich and complex (NBSS 3.5+).  In fact, if the group of CAMRA ramblers opposite hadn’t all been on the Harvey’s I suspect it would have reached Tynemouth standards (too foamy to match the Star).

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“Everyone for Harvey’s ?”

Still, my lacings whacked the Sussex into the Thames.

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Wow

Better Bass than on my visit a decade ago, and a cosier boozer than I remembered, with a good mix of trade and some proper pub grub.

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Proper seating
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A touch of Halifax Big 6 there

The sort of place you could lose an afternoon, in fact.  But I had work to do.

32 thoughts on “TOP 100 PUBS – THE EXPRESS TAVERN, BRENTFORD

  1. This line was an education to me: “if the group of CAMRA ramblers opposite hadn’t all been on the Harvey’s I suspect it would have reached Tynemouth standards (too foamy to match the Star)”

    Now, I know you’re always asking the bar staff about which cask has been selling briskly, but I didn’t realize that if several pints of a particular ale had been poured *just prior* to you entering the pub, that that alone would have a direct effect on the pint you’d get. Am I reading/interpreting you correctly?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It is rather exciting to watch Mark. Seven or eight men wandering around aimlessly in front of the hand pulls waiting for the others to order. Lacing up shoes; reading menus. Counting out change to see if they have the exact amount. Ordering takes longer than actually drinking the pints.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. But too many pints pulled runs the risk that the heavenly beer you were waiting for, in eager anticipation, will run out!

        A dilemma for the seasoned toper?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My local opens at 5pm.
        I’d tend to be one of the first customers in but,even though the landlord always pulls half a pint through the lines of all his taps,I still don’t like to have the first pint.
        So I tend to get herself to drop me off at 5.15pm because I know a couple of other old boys will be ahead of me.
        Even then if I don’t see a Murphy’s glass on the bar ( thank goodness for branded glasses) but a Beamish being drunk I’ll reverse my usual order of preference and then switch back once there’s a flow.
        I never touch the third stout – Guinness.Can’t stand it.
        By 6pm the nectar is flowing well so I might finish off with an Indian Summer IPA but it always has to be in a Hophouse 13 glass as it has a decent widget ensuring a foamy head.
        Part Two of the drinking plan then swings into operation.
        It would be unfair to asked herself to pick me up as she’s already half way through a bottle of wine.
        Fortunately the taxi rank is at the bottom of a steep hill and directly opposite my second favourite pub which currently has a very good Dunkel Weiss on tap and several interesting bottles of craft.
        7-7.30 would be my normal taxi time home for vittles but as is often the case with taxi drivers they’re never about when you need ’em.
        So I normally pop into a third pub for a Jameson’s and a half to wait for one.
        Sadly last night there was a howling gale on and no taxis to be found so it meant a brisk 20 minute walk home via a swerve into the local tennis club outside my back gate for a final pint of Murphy’s – one of the best in town.
        And then it was home to shepherd’s pie and a glass of red at about 9pm having consumed an entire week’s Nanny State-recommended intake in one night.
        Amazingly Ron Pattinson keeps up this level of skulling for days at a time …

        Liked by 4 people

      4. I wish Ron would do a separate blog about his pubbing that didn’t have all that silly brewing history in it. I’d pay to read about his adventures in dumpy locals in Newark last week, but history is just that. History.

        Like

  2. “Particularly as this is the place where some bloke bravely opposed Caesar on his way to impose Moretti on the cask-loving St Albans, it says here.”

    Peroni surely as was established three years before Moretti.

    “Magic”

    I bet it’s very pretty with the neon at the top all lit up at night.

    “and at night, when the illuminated Bass triangle can be seen in all its glory.”

    I was right! 🙂

    “It starts well”

    Ten cask ales?

    “Bass at the end”

    And all, apparently, in the order shown on the blackboard, except reversed. 😉

    “But I had work to do.”

    Work? I thought you were retired (looks at the name of the blog). 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Pub-ticking IS work. Ask Duncan.”

        Riiiiiight.

        It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it. 😉
        (On my phone in Powell River waiting for ferry home so can do better smilies)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We’re going down you know, so barring a lucky draw in the first round of the Crappo Cup, Hull City Association Football Club (Tigers) Limited will not be tipping up at the shit new ground that isn’t Griffin Park. We’re all off to Fleetwood. I fully recommend that Manchester Hunter bid 58p for our starman who plays down the right in the January sales.

    Whilst the illuminated Bass sign is superb in the dark, I don’t see the point of all the illuminated weeds inside the pub. I recall it being a fairly dimly lit, homely place. Additional lighting is not to be encouraged.

    Allam Out.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope that the Codheads will be two divisions below Fleetwood and ourselves next season, back in the Vauxhall Conference where they belong. Can’t see them being promoted, they will unfortunately probably be only one relegation away from us in the Fourth Division.

        Every pub is unique unless it is an Ember, Martin. This pub very much emphasises this point. Most large,London public houses like this would have become dining hell holes years ago, this has retained its earthliness whilst still retaining its London style. One of the best pubs in Ken Livingstone’s make believe county.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. How did you get on at Brentford Crown Court? Presumably guilty on all counts of; Perpetuating the myth of sad BBB, Being a sympathiser of a banned organisation – The Marston’s protectionists, and Publishing images of empty public houses. I’m guessing Pubcurmudgeon’s supporting evidence was your downfall. When will you be sentenced?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I really enjoyed my visit to the Express Tavern, almost two years ago now. The Bass was excellent and the food was good too. It’s also nice to find a pub which still retains two bars.

    Liked by 1 person

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