When I was in my twenties, I used to attend the bi-annual Festival of Britain with my father at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The Festival of Britain was a celebration of all things British and featured foods, products and celebrities from the UK. The celebrities were often some dried-up cooze who had outlived her youth on such daily English serials like Coronation Street. In addition to the 'drum and pipe' bands and the flea-market atmosphere of the show, there was also a beer graden that was sponsored by William Grant and Sons, distillers of the world-famous Glenfeddich Scotch Whiskey.
As William Grant and Sons sponsored the event, there was an abundance of cheaply-priced whiskey to be had by all. Shots of Grant's blended scotch went for 75 cents, shots of Glenfeddich were one dollar, and shots of The Belvenie were $1.25. With these prices, it was easy to see why some people just never seemed to leave the beer garden. As a chaser, the beer garden offered 6 oz cups of Fuller's London Pride for a dollar as well. I can say without doubt that this twice-yearly event was what honed my taste for both single malt scotches and Fuller's ale.
I later began seeing Fuller's London Pride at the LCBO, and for awhile both my father and I bought it regularly. Soon afterwards however, it seemed to disappear from the shelves. I had assumed the LCBO had delisted it due to lack of interest from the general public (who were undoubtedly convinced that Belgian beer was the cat's ass of world brewing history - fools!). I had continued to keep an eye out for it, and finally discovered it was added to the LCBO's seasonal offerings this year.
Fuller's London Pride is an excellent example of good British ale. The amber brew has good head, a balanced hop flavour and a refreshing finish. It was a very welcome change from the previously-reviewed Blackcurrant Rye Beer, which is the only liquor I had ever sinked during a tasting. The cool, flavouful ale was just as I remembered it, and it brought back fond memories of the great times I spent with my father getting liquored up at the Festivals of Britain.