London Ale Taster embarks on 300 pub quest

THE newly-appointed London Ale Taster, recently appointed at Spitalfields Market, has embarked on an epic year-long quest to visit more than 300 pubs in search of the very best ales.

Steve Williams, a 49-year-old Chartered accountant from south west London, took the coveted crown of ale taster in front of a crowd at the Commercial Street market earlier this summer.

He said: “I’ve started my journey at Old Spitalfields Market, I have already visited a string of venues and I have been lucky enough to receive an invite to a lock-in at one of the most secure buildings in the world, The Tower of London, in a pub called Yeomen Warders.

“Old Spitalfields Market is providing me with a modest beer budget, so that I can drink incognito, offering a truly impartial view on the quality of the beers and the pubs and bars that they are served in.”

In medieval times, ordinary citizens were appointed to oversee and inspect various aspects of everyday life, effectively doing the work of our modern Inspectors of Weights and Measures.

One of the most popular offices to be held was that of the Ale Taster. His duties involved visiting stalls and inns on market days and during the town’s fairs to ensure that the ales, beers and other produce on sale were of good quality.

The role has now been modernised to meet the changed tastes and expectations of consumers within the food and drink sector, and Steve says he intends to offer as much insight to the people of London as he can as he reviews the many venues throughout his journey.

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