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One of my favorite beverages back home is a locally brewed Vanilla Porter. As the Porter style of beer was invented in London, I was excited to try some local English porters... but in every pub, I've been greeted with confusion and dumbfoundedness when I've asked for a porter. It seems local barmaids have never even heard of a Porter.

Surely there's somewhere in London, though, where I can try a locally brewed (ideally on tap) London Porter. Where?

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Have you been going to pubs featured in the Good Beer Guide (or similar), or just wandering into random ones? –  Gagravarr Oct 9 '13 at 15:58
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With all the wonderful ales originating in England, I am always surprised that many pubs go to the trouble of having 5 or more different beers on tap only to offer a range of broadly similar industrial pils/lager. –  Relaxed Oct 9 '13 at 16:08
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I've no idea how long they'll have it for, but The Euston Tap normally has a porter on tap, and at present it seems to be Redemption Fellowship Porter which is brewed in North London. –  Edd Oct 9 '13 at 22:08
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You'd probably do well to see what the local CAMRA (Camaign for real Ale) recommend: http://www.camralondon.org.uk/ –  James Woolfenden Oct 18 '13 at 13:23
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@hippietrail I actually remember a wonderful place in Sheffield and indeed the atmosphere was quite different. It's just the sharp distinction between “alehouse” and “pub” I am unsure about. I am not a native English speaker but as an example CAMRA is happy to name good “alehouses” as their “pub of the year”. –  Relaxed Oct 18 '13 at 15:20

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Porter is currently an unfashionable beer style, as far as the mainstream goes, so in the larger 'chain' pubs you'd be unlikely to find one.

However, that's not to say there's none to be found! Your first step is to find the right kind of pub, for which there are many resources available; the best physical one I would say would be CAMRA's Good Beer Guide (bookshops everywhere). Online your search terms would be 'real ale', 'craft beer', and of course 'london pub'.

Here are some specific resources which should help:

Beer in the Evening - general pub reviews

Fancy a pint - pub reviews with an ale-drinking preference

The GBG pubs of London - but without the commentary that the book itself provides.

Finally, you could always cheat and look in a supermarket for a bottled version - not as good as the real thing, but consistently a decent pint.

Finally finally, if you're in East London I would personally urge you to try something by the East London Brewing Company - they don't currently do a straight porter, but their mild is worth a special trip, to my mind.

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The Good Beer Guide is also available as an app on a number of mobile platforms, which is a particularly useful way of accessing it. –  Richard Gadsden Oct 13 at 14:16

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