Fuller's London Porter

Llywelyn's Pub, 4747 McPherson Avenue, 314-361-3003

Jan 7, 2004 at 4:00 am
It's wintertime, and as such, you'll be gaining some weight. No way around it, mate. The extra bulk is accumulating by the second, gradually globbing on to your every cell, filling the nooks and crannies of your person with fat, glorious, deliciously decadent fat, the kind that ruins your morning meeting with the mirror and leaves you in stunned, shamed silence. What the fuh? How did that happen? Could it be...all the beer?

No, it's not the beer. How could it be the beer?

Ah, blubber, the kind that jiggles as you waddle down the boulevard while you shove chips into your fishhole. The weight, which in the sweatier months simply falls off your person as you wonder at the glory of your perfect physique, in the winter months gathers like fleshy moss to an old oak, accumulating so gradually that it's impossible to detect until, one morning right about this time of the year, you come to discover that you've got too much ass for your pants.

Okay, maybe it's the beer, but so what? You need the extra insulation to blanket your skinny innards from the cold outside. It could save your life someday when your Bentley breaks down and Jeeves is busy readying the winter castle for the fox hunt. Plus, even if it is the beer, work around it. There are other ways to cut corners, other methods for shedding the extra beef. Like maybe exercise. (We highly recommend swimming.) Why would you want to deny yourself for all eternity something as glorious as a Fuller's London Porter, a thick, chocolatey British concoction served by the pint at Llywelyn's Pub in the Central West End? Long answer: You shouldn't, because life is short, and this beer is a stunner, all dark and rich and creamy. Short answer: Don't do it.

That's one thing the Brits excel at: pints, both making them and drinking them, but you know that. They're also excellent at creating an atmosphere conducive to pounding them, one that's dark enough to hide the ghastly pimple on your double chin but bright enough to look into your dear friend's eyes when he's talking to you about his year. That and their wit, dentistry and boundless enthusiasm for other nations' misguided wars. Plus, they produced Eddie Izzard, which almost makes up for the last two decades of output by Paul McCartney -- who, come to think of it, could stand to lose a few pounds himself.

Llywelyn's Pub in the Central West End is a landmark, and any homesick Brits seeking some solace would be well advised to drag their impressive guts to McPherson, where they pour a mean Fuller's. In fact, they offer three different varieties on draft: ESB, a strong, scrumptious ale; London Pride, a lighter, more delicate ale; and our favorite, said London Porter, a hearty, hefty ale originally created in the eighteenth century by combining old stale ale with some newer brown and pale ale. Enter the pub and you're in a...pub! Llywelyn's, with its no-bullshit wooden interior, smoked-out atmosphere and overall feel of Great Britain (specifically, Wales), could stand belly to belly with any pint establishment anywhere on the Isles. It feels like back home, with lots of tap handles (seventeen) and dark wood and an overall vibe of drunken Welshmen eating their homemade crisps and complaining about that bastard Blair and his blind enthusiasm for this Iraq debacle. Somebody's gonna get fat on all that oil, and it may as well be you.