I love the time when a group of people come into one of these pubs and say “I’ll have a pint of Ste…..” which trails off as they realise no, they can’t. The only goods sold in these pubs are the Samuel Smiths brands, even the spirits, crisps and soft drinks are all branded to this brewery. I believe the only brewery to do so in England, in America I see Goose Island have an own range of soft drinks but I bet they haven’t got this far in the branding.
Not everyone’s pint of beer but I rarely find a bad one of their pubs, just recently London pubs have been having a bit of tart up and a new lick of paint. Unlike many other breweries when this company do up a pub there is no danger of it becoming a wine bar affair rather than a pub. The Crown near Tottenham Court Road has fairly recently been done and it now a very nice place to wander into for a drink, many have commented on the work done to the Princess Louise in Holborn which is frankly stunning.
The brewery pubs do have a soft place in the hearts of those who go to them, each pub in unique and many with unusual and beautiful features that the Brewery takes care not to lose. The London pubs have been the focus of many a pub challenge, this one http://www.samsmithschallenge.co.uk/ is one of the best detailed maps for finding their pubs. Good Beer guide is useless for these as brewery’s beers are not considered real beer under CAMRAs guidelines sadly.
Pricewise they only usually put up their prices when duty goes up and when by the same amount which is unusually fair in this day and age. Bottle beers are more expensive than pump but not to a ridiculous point, the range is good too. Taddy Porter and the Oatmeal Stout being personally favourites and they are especially lovely on a cold winter’s day in front of a warm fire in a pub accompanied by a book and my mobile switched off so I can’t disturbed by the Husband who has probably realised I haven’t gone shopping but will be in a pub somewhere. Bliss.
Brewery Webpage: http://www.samuelsmithsbrewery.co.uk/
And yes, it is a webpage not website; they may have joined the 21st century but only just.