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The Porterhouse

Not Rated.
The PorterhouseThe Porterhouse

Taps: 12 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
88
very good

17 Ratings
Ratings: 17
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.34%
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]

21-22 Maiden Lane
London, WC2E 7NA
United Kingdom (England)
phone: +44 20 7836 9931

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Todd)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$

The Porterhouse was pretty close by our previous stop, The Harp, so it wasn’t too long before RichLightWeight and I had another beer in our hands.

The Porterhouse runs high on the Irish brewpub theme, but it is tastefully done and thankfully devoid of little plastic leprechauns and shamrocks so often seen in the faux efforts, though the PH is the real deal. The design of the interior is first class, high quality materials have been utilized all over in the creation of a sprawling multi-level interior that is festooned with thick woods, copper, antiques, steel fittings and a lot of by-gone bric-a-brac including glass encased empty beer bottles from all over the World that form one whole wall. Intriguing décor is one that I could have walked around all day such was the interest level that it invokes.

The service is the ‘look at me aren’t I pretty’ sort of affair. LOTS of identically dressed robotic servers, yet the service seemed a little slow, this is all the more annoying when you see groups if inactive chatting servers huddled together in gaggles like women do outside toilets. Still when they get around to serving the mere mortals it is quick, albeit without much conversation or even a smile.

Beer range is the highlight here and the whole reason for heading into the darkened warren past the bouncers outside. Serves a super varied range of Stouts, Porters, Lagers and other brews such as Pale Ale and Wheat beer, sadly most of them seem to be served on Nitro dispense. I didn’t notice any Cask beer or even a Handpump, but RichLightWeight informed me that the Porterhouse definitely had both. The Oyster Stout which I ordered was very good, no doubts about that. In fact, all the beers are imported from the Porterhouse in Dublin, Ireland (hence the Beer Bar designation) and are of the best quality ingredients, but then they should be, because Brendan Dobbin was involved with most of them. I first came across his excellent beers at the equally legendary West Coast Brewing Co. in the very early 90’s. West Coast Brewing had an inspiring California sunshine & beach inducing name, so did their beers like the infamous Yakima Grande Pale Ale, but it was actually situated in a shite-bombed barb-wired Pub called the Kings Arms in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester; it all resembled a US military compound in Iraq, but Brendan Dobbin is certainly a very talented brewer and it is nice to see that he is heavily involved with the creation of the Porterhouse beers. A range of interesting bottled beers support the drafts, though the range is good, it is very expensive, far out of my thin wallet range.

Well, what to say about the Porterhouse overall? A nice enough place and a decent range of true to style beers, but honestly, there is just something missing here for me. *Soul*. Given the excellent high quality well-designed interior and the superb range of well kept beer I should love this place - but I really didn’t take to this place at all. It was crowded and full of people who want to be seen rather than drink good beer, and that’s fine, the Porterhouse is not just there for boring old farts like me to drink beer. From the penguins on the door, right down to the nightclub feel inside, it exudes image over content, which may be a little unfair, but that is how it feels to me, but as I say, perhaps I’m just an old git. That said, and my personal foibles aside, the Porterhouse definitely has great house beer, but it Nitro, and over-priced and I just cannot put up with all the posing around to get it, especially at the prices.

Worth a visit at least once, definitely for the beers, or even if you’re on the pull - but I will not be in a hurry to get back here.

Last Visit: Saturday 24th June, 2006.

07-05-2006 05:25:01 | More by TheLongBeachBum
More User Reviews:
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Lare453

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

04-27-2014 10:49:58 | More by Lare453
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Mebuzzard

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +16%

12-18-2013 00:04:15 | More by Mebuzzard
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tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

10-24-2013 21:19:08 | More by tbeckett
Photo of thepeter
thepeter

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$

I am shocked I have not reviewed this place before. I have been here many times and met up with my old college roomate here the other day. A very cool looking place with copper piping almost everywhere, I once heard there was £2M worth of copper in the place but who knows. . . that sounds like a lot to me. The pub is separated into different floors and rooms which I am finding difficult to explain but can give it a very cozy feel if you find the right nook or a more social feel when you are in a more open area. It can get very packed on the weekends so I don't go then. The beers are all kept rather well and being that they have mostly their own beers on tap they do a good job of making sure they are tip top, No cask here though which would be nice as I believe some of their beers would be GREAT on Cask. Service is pretty average, you always have to wait even if the place is empty and the staff are adequate enough. I have definitely had to ask for correct glassware on occasion though. Food is better than average but not by much. I don't think I ever will go there again to just get food, but a snack with beer is nice enough. the value for the area is fine. This is the kind of place I find myself going with non beer geeks who are visiting and they all seem to like it.

01-05-2012 14:23:06 | More by thepeter
Photo of BeerResearcher
BeerResearcher

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

This 3 level Dublin-based pub is one of the largest boozers, area-wise, that I’ve had the pleasure to visit during my on-going London Pub Crawl series. It was awarded the CAMRA/English Heritage award for conversion to pub use in 2002.

Neatly tucked away on narrow Maiden Lane, you first come upon a large garden patio (smokers paradise) preceding the fancy pants double-door entrance. The doors lead to a dramatically vast interior anchored by an immense wooden L bar. It’s sort of like stepping inside a massive old wooden ship that a band of flamboyant, beer-loving pirates invaded, and then decorated.

The stairway down to the left leads to the basement level where the restrooms (more on them later), TVs and an entertainment stage are the focus. To the left of the bar, a wide stairway leads to a quite foyer nook halfway up the stairs. The top level provides you a more spacious seating area. Extensive (and expensive) wood and brass-trimmed brewery-related piping and plating run throughout. Even the hanging light fixtures are brass-trimmed. A very cool brass clock hangs over the upstairs balcony and can be viewed from most any place in the top floors. The wall nooks and windows are lined with Porterhouse beer bottles and knick knacks. It must be a bitch to keep clean!

It’s a bit cluttered. I’m trying to spy the tap handles, but all the little doodads and bric-a-brac catch my eyes, forcing me once again to concentrate on the task at hand…deciding which beer to try next.

The seating choices are varied enough to suite any individual or group needs. Hang out near the bar on simple wooden stools, or relax upon cushioned leather armchairs and/or coach-style benches, or just stand around gawking, beer in hand. Choice is yours. Enjoy your surroundings early in the day, before the after work crowd arrives…unless you enjoy mob scenes. In that case, arrive at 7pm (1900) on a Friday night.
The on tap selections are brewed mostly by Porterhouse and poured under pressure. There are always a couple of “Real” ales and guest beers (Erdinger on this day) available. I can highly recommend the Plain Porter and the Turner’s Sticklebract Bitter on cask. Lovely stuff! There are plenty of bottled selections from the wonderful world of Beerdom plus a solid selection of wines and mixed drinks for the folks not very interested this review.
The food menu is fairly extensive. A mix of pizza, burgers, fish & chips, standard Irish and gastro-pub food is available. The best option might be the fresh Rock Oysters. ½ dozen for 7 pounds is a very fair deal by London standards.
Now to the restrooms as promised; My wife felt a little uncomfortable going to the lady’s room because a group of guys were hanging out by the door. We’re sure they meant no harm, but creating a little separation between the restrooms and the lounge area would be smart.
All-in-all, an interesting pub with a bounty of very good beers to try.
Place Porterhouse on your ‘Should’ visit London Pub list.

11-11-2011 20:12:28 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of DerBayer
DerBayer

Germany

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$$

OK now this is a bit pricey just like every where in London but still you get quality/value for money and one of London's best selections of beers.

There is Doppelbock, Weizenbock and some Belgian Triples. There is also Califormian steam beer, Samichlaus and many others. I go there just for the selection since the food does not look that great and neither does the clientele.

It also tends to get packed quickly and very noisy. Location is good since it is right next to covent Garden and you can get everywhere from there. Nonetheless well worth a visit!

10-16-2009 21:58:27 | More by DerBayer
Photo of BarryNL
BarryNL

Netherlands

4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

This is the London arm of the Porterhouse Brewing Co. - supposedly Ireland's biggest independent brewer. It has the full range of Porterhouse's own brews comprising three stouts, three lagers and a handful of others including the monster Brainblasta and the Porterhouse Red.

If there isn't enough to choose from in their own range there is also an extensive menu of bottled beers from around the world with many of the finest examples of various styles to be found.

I've visited the Porterhouse both in London and Dublin and I have to say, I found the beer in Dublin far better - I believe they brew it all in Ireland and ship it over to the London pub so maybe the travelling doesn't do it too much good. Nevertheless, the beers are still good and a better selection than most pubs - and there are usually good guest ales on tap as well.

The menu consists of good pub grub and the atmosphere is good - almost constantly busy and the layout is something out of an Escher painting.

Always worth a visit when you're in London.

02-27-2009 19:47:40 | More by BarryNL
Photo of soulgrowl
soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$

The Porterhouse didn't look like much from the photograph in my copy of CAMRA's London Pub Walks. But it is really, really unique - the interior is like no pub I've ever seen, split between five or six floors and semi-floors, with all sorts of nooks and crannies bound up in a labyrinthine interior design or brass, steel, and wood. Reminiscent of Erector sets, the whole place has a pleasingly twisted layout and aesthetic, like an M. C. Escher drawing or a setpiece from a Jules Verne story. The reason it only gets a 4 from me for atmosphere is because it gets really, really crowded and loud - no doubt an inevitable symptom of its singular awesomeness and its proximity to Covent Garden and Charing Cross. Get there early and get out early.

Service is a tad surly, but that's understandable in light of the crowds. Though they have a remarkably interesting lineup of house-brewed beers as well as an extensive bottle selection, don't expect to talk beer with the barmen - they're busy. But the beers are very nice; there is only one real ale, the TSB, but you're sure to enjoy the other brews on offer, ranging from the brewpub's own excellent oyster stout to unexpected offerings from America and Belgium such as Goose Island IPA and La Chouffe.

Definitely worth a visit - and repeat visits after that. Easy to find near Charing Cross.

10-27-2008 16:22:17 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of jro4200
jro4200

Illinois

2.68/5  rDev -30.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$$

My first impression of the place was good: nice interior, good beer selection, alright atmosphere. However by the end of the evening I was wishing I had gone somewhere else.

The layout is complex with mezzanine and sub-mezzanine levels spiraling above the ground floor area. There are small bars serving each little area but each one has a very limited selection compared to the main bar downstairs. If the nearest bar doesn't have what you want you have to find your way through the maze of stairs and levels to the main bar, which can be near impossible when crowded.

The beer selection does look impressive on first glance. However a large bulk of the selection is cheap lagers made to look fancy because they're from a foreign country. San Miguel from Spain, Kronenbourg from France, Stella from Belgium etc. And the beers that did look interesting where hard to get because they didn't have half of them in stock. House beers were standard - not bad but nothing exceptional. And it was a shame they only serve one, the TSB, on cask.

Service was awful. We were there when it was very busy - during an England match - but even so trying to get someone's attention whilst they're chewing their fingernails staring into space was hard.

11-30-2006 05:18:44 | More by jro4200
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The Porterhouse in London, United Kingdom (England)
88 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.