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Beer of the Week (w/e 7th August 2022) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

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Submitted on Wednesday, 28th July 2021
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The Express Tavern, Brentford

56 Kew Bridge Road
Phone: 02085608484
Correct details

Served areas

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Reviews of The Express Tavern (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Steve of N21 left this review about The Express Tavern

First time to visit the new Brentford stadium albeit for a London Irish match and first time to visit the Express Tavern since the Bees built their new stadium right behind the pub.
In all my previous visits to this fantastic pub I’ve never had to stray further than the front bar section on the right hand side as I usually visit during the quieter times. But that is not an adjective you can use for a match day and finding this section packed tighter than sardines in a tin I got my pint of stout and decided to explore the rest of the pub and was really impressed with what lays beyond the original pub building.
The modern square extension is nice enough but the plastic grass coated outside section to the back with its own bar, couple of teles and enormous umbrella covering, which gave the feeling that you’re still indoors rather than being out in the open, is a fantastic outside space. And the there is further outside tables to the side of the pub.
Also really impressed with how the staff were managing the throngs of thirsty Irish supporters and was interesting to see the Guinness being part poured in the room behind the ball bar and then topped up from the pumps on the bar when ordered, something they were having to do constantly. Consequently this was speeding up serving time for the rest of us not on the Guinness and we got served within minutes of reaching the bar on each occasion which is pretty impressive for a match day. Ale quality was good and the Irish musician in the extension section was stoking a fine pre match atmosphere.
I really like how the Big Smoke brewery runs their pubs and now especially happy that they have taken over the Old Wheatsheaf in Enfield town close to me.

On 24th December 2021 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1836 recommendations about 1773 pubs]

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Express Tavern

We returned to the Express Tavern yesterday as a group of 11. I'd been concerned that the pub is so close to the football ground to make any visit enjoyable, but it wasn't as packed as I'd expected with home and away fans mixing happily.

The ale range yesterday was Burning Sky Porter, Saltaire South Island, Bristol Beer Factory Notorious, Vale Brill Gold, Gorgeous Gunpowder, Howling Hops We Buy Teeth, Exeter Fraid Not, Bass, Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter & Big Smoke Solaris. Ciders were Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon, Cotswold No Brainer, Abrahall's Lily the Pink, Lilley's Mango Cider & Saxby's Strawberry Cider.

The Big Smoke chain are no longer issuing loyalty cards to get a 10th pint free, but are continuing to honour those that had already been issued. In addition, a 10% CAMRA discount is also offered, which will replace the loyalty cards.

Drinks were being served in plastic glasses regardless of whether drinking inside or out and table bookings were seemingly being enforced by staff at the door, due to the football match.

A very good venue for a pre- or post-match drink if visiting Brentford's football ground and an excellent place to visit at any other time too.

Visit on 4/7/21:

I'm finally back to writing pub reviews. 107 days after my last pub visit, a period of time which included a 31-day alcohol fast to prove to myself that I wasn't an alcoholic (!), I'd made a reservation for 5 of us on opening day for the Express Tavern. Reservations wouldn't normally be my thing. But we did it to ensure we could enjoy a few drinks on what was clearly going to be a very busy opening day for pubs. As part of the Big Smoke chain of pubs, the Express has always been a fairly reliable place for a drink or two. So, it was an obvious choice when I saw that tables were available online.

Situated close to Kew Bridge station, the pub has a couple of rooms. There is a small bar are to the right on entry and a much larger drinking area to the left. This gives way to a new partly indoor area with a sliding roof and an outdoor drinking area just beyond.

Arriving shortly after opening, the welcome was a bit chaotic. A couple of bouncers "controlling" the door approached me after crossing the threshold. Quite a number of staff also approached me. It was clearly not the new norm to head straight to the bar, which I had done!

Once shown to our table, we were invited to download an app. Lots of questions and about 15 minutes later, we finally got our drinks. Selecting a beer/cider in this day and age can be difficult, given you don't necessarily know what is on. Moving around the pub was discouraged. The app did not provide any clues. Eventually, I worked out that the selection was Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter, Big Smoke Distant Lands, Kent Citra, Pig & Porter Trotty Veck, Thornbridge Strickland, Five Points Best, Thornbridge Jaipur & Triple fff Full Back Stout. The 2 ciders were Lilley's Wild Dog & Mango Cider.

We worked our way through all of the ales and ciders and enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon. The pub did get quite crowded and social distancing started to go out of the window, especially in the gents toilets. But that was perfectly understandable given the circumstances the pub had been placed in (what a great decision to open pubs on a Saturday).

After having several pints for the first time in a session since March, we all left feeling somewhat tipsy. It was only later that I discovered that use of the app had meant I had paid for a pint that we never actually received. Despite no reply from an email I sent to the pub, the mistake was rectified by Big Smoke themselves and I should hopefully get the pint I paid for on my next visit to one of their pubs! In addition, the pub normally operates a loyalty card system, where every 10th pint is free. With Covid-19, the cards could no longer be used and it was supposed to be honoured through the app. But our "waiter" did not know how to work the system. So, we missed out on a further 3 pints.

Overall, a good opening day's visit to the Express and I'm sure we'll be back soon.

On 29th November 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1374 recommendations about 1374 pubs]

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Express Tavern

Situated at a prominant position by Kew Bridge,this is an outstanding real ale venue and is also CAMRA Regionally Important Interior listed.The illuminated Bass signage is a local landmark at night.
The front entrance has two doors with inlaid etched glass,go right to the Chiswick Bar for the real ale.This is a small charming L shaped room with a narrow drinking shelf opposite the bar,then light leather fitted benches around the rest of the perimeter.There is an intruiging door frame with a clock above hinting at a private bar which has subsequently opened out creating a banquette affect .The paintwork is a mix of light and dark blue and there is a substantial ceiling rose.A drop down screen was showing the Test match on Sky muted.Light muzak was playing..Very homely and traditional.
The 10 handpumps have regulars Big Smoke Solaris Session,Harvey's Sussex Best and of course Bass while the 7 rotating guests were on my trip Thornbridge Jaipur IPA and Crackendale,Siren Yulu,Arbor Shangri La,Moor Revival, Big Smoke Underground Stout and Marble Lagonda IPA (NBSS 4).IMHO that one of the best ale lineups I've ever seen,clearly the team here know their ales and showcase outstanding brewers.
The left hand door is marked Saloon and Lounge and indeed there are two sections.The serving bar juts into the saloon and features 5 handpumped ciders.It's a comfortable square room with traditional furniture and has one wall decorated in Brentford's red and white stripes while the rear lounge has more dining style tables,some set for diners on my Friday lunchtime visit.However keep on walking and the tardis affect will soon hit you as there is a large conservatory and then an even larger rear beer garden with it's own serving shack with kegs and two handpumps for Harvey's Sussex Best and Big Smoke Solaris.To the left side of the building is a partially covered alley way,now full of large pic nic benches so although there maybe a concern about how the pub can cope when Brentford are playing at home,there is certainly a vast amount of seating in outside areas.
I chose a fish finger sandwich from the very reasonably priced food menu and it was superb,other options looked tempting.The service was friendly,and most professional.Everything is well done here.
This is an absolute must visit when in London,near the Thames Path and will feature on any subsequent visit I make to these parts.Why would I give it any less than full marks ?

On 4th September 2021 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2383 recommendations about 2383 pubs]

View more reviews of The Express Tavern (19)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Graham Coombs
Kew Bridge, 0.09 miles, 1 min walk (show)
Gunnersbury, 0.7 miles, 13 min walk (show)
Kew Gardens, 1.02 miles, 19 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Express Tavern, Brentford
24th Dec 2021, 10:39
Review submitted by Steve of N21 amended by Steve of N21
24th Dec 2021, 10:37
Review submitted by Steve of N21

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 15 March 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Car Park : No last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 15 March 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Darts : No last updated 15 March 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 15 March 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Jukebox : No last updated 15 March 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Live Music : No last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Live TV Sports : No - Possibly selective. - last updated 28 July 2021 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 21 June 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 15 March 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Pool Table : No last updated 15 March 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Quiz Night : Yes - Mondays 8.00 pm. - last updated 20 June 2016 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by ROB Camra
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 15 March 2015 by Pub SignMan
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