Fuller's head brewer: reimagining London pride for a new generation

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

London Pride: new kegged version targeted at younger drinkers
London Pride: new kegged version targeted at younger drinkers

Related tags London pride Keg Beer

Traversing the bearded throng of last week’s Craft Beer Rising festival in London, you’d be forgiven for thinking the UK’s big brewers had sat this one out. 

But not too far from the madding crowd (two sets of stairs to be precise), Fuller’s launched a new kegged and unfiltered version of its reputable London Pride ale. 

Fuller’s is one of the latest brewers – including Harvey’s of Lewes and Purity Brewing Company – to release rebranded and kegged versions of popular cask products in the hopes of attracting a younger audience.

So what are the brewer’s plans for the new and improved London Pride? And can it live up to its cask counterpart?

“There’s just this perception that cask is better because it’s live and it’s natural,” says Fuller’s head brewer Georgina Young. “We recognise that there is growth in keg, and we’ve invested in our own facilities with a centrifuge and a new cross-flow.

“This is the same London Pride as in the brew house, the only difference is that rather than putting it through a filter, we have just used the centrifuge to create the haze – so we have a balance between the haze and the flavour.”

Whilst the new format means pubs without the facilities or skill  to serve cask beer to an acceptable standard will be able to stock London Pride, the decision to go unpasteurised brings with it its own challenges, including a three-month shelf life. 

Georgina Young: took on head brewer role in January

“I don’t think it’s going to be in every Fuller’s managed pub,” says Young. “There is a place for this if they don’t have the cellar facilities for cask – for hotels, weddings, this is more accessible.”

As well as managed houses, the new London Pride will be available for pubs in the company’s tenanted division and for free trade customers.

“We’ve been making kegged London Pride for export for many years now,” she says. We just thought: how do we use this great beer that we’ve got to develop something that may be slightly more catchy for the younger person who is really getting into beer at the moment.”

For Fuller’s, which has astutely stuck to a heritage-focused brand message whilst bringing its aesthetic in line with more modern tastes (Frontier lager’s uber-trendy pump clips, for example), it’s not about cutting out one type of drinker.

But with younger drinkers increasingly favouring high-impact kegged beers, broadening the demographic that will find London Pride appealing was a no-brainer. And following the rollout there are several new, more experimental beers on the way.

Young says: “We’ve got black IPA’s, we’ve got table beers coming out later this year, we’ve got an unfiltered lager coming out – it’s just trying different things.”

She also mentions a range of upcoming collaborations with other brewers, but is tight lipped about their identities.

The major benefit of the ‘craft beer revolution’ is that the industry has become exponentially more accepting of experimentation, she says, finishing: “It’s OK to fail and I think [craft beer] has given us permission to reduce the barriers and extend things out.”

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