The Rose & Thistle is a classic neighborhood local tucked away down back streets. Its diverse clientele reflects the local area which is hemmed in by Oxford and Tilehurst roads to the north and south, Reading West station and railway to the west, and Prospect Street to the east. Go east beyond Prospect Street and you’re in Nag’s Head territory…
Our second visit to a Meet & Eat and it’s fair to say this franchise has a definite edge over Hungry Horse. As at The Sportsman, four cask ales were on although this time there were no guest ales – it was all Greene King. Nevertheless we enjoyed some very good brews.
The choices were the standard IPA and Abbot plus a couple of solid seasonal golden ales. From Greene King came St Edmunds, while Old Golden Hen was unmistakably Morlands. We tried each and found them both excellent. The latter brew was outstanding.
St Edmunds struck Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer as very familiar; a typical west coast American style. It is brewed using pale malts and Cascade hops. The Hen however was special. It too uses pale malts but a different hop, the Australian Galaxy.
This, like all antipodean varieties, delivers a most amazingly complex taste and aroma, all from a single hop. Ever since I tasted Elysian Brewing’s Savant (Nelson Sauvin) and Space Dust IPA (Citra) in Seattle I’ve been hooked on these Oz and NZ hop varieties with their unique citrusy, tropical fruit characteristics.
At the Rose & Thistle most locals arrive on foot: we wouldn’t advise trying to drive and park here – it’s all resident permit parking with extremely limited options for non-permit holders.
Food offering was from the same Meet & Greet menu as at the Sportsman but with no daily specials. In fairness this is a much smaller pub. Service was prompt and attentive.
Even though we arrived after 7pm on a Friday evening, we were in and out in around an hour. The pub was busy inside, out front and out back in the enclosed beer garden. This by the way is a very nice feature of the pub, especially given its inner-city location.
The Rose & Thistle: highly recommended 🙂 🙂