Duke, W4 5LF
At least 2 ales on handpump, and at least 1 on gravity dispense. Note: this is a cask breather system. Real cider on hand pump, keg Belgian and Dutch weissbiers, A selection of Belgian bottled beers.
Prices: Ales �2.30/pint, but this is Chiswick.
A good selection of hot food available for the carnivore: steaks, roasts, home made burgers. Probably some dishes available for Vegetarians / Vegans, but this is not their speciality.
Service and Ambience
You can end up waiting a long time for food if the kitchen is busy, but the staff were very helpful and apologetic when this happened to me. --IvorW
The bar is run by Kiwis, who are very friendly, but may not be that well up on the technicalities of real ale and cellar management.
There is a big screen in the back room for showing football, but this does not dominate the pub.
One bar in the front room of the pub serves the whole pub. There is also a large back room with a pool table and a projection screen. There is a garden out the back.
This pub was called the Duke of Sussex prior to December 2001, and was a courage house.
The Firkin concept was originally invented by Dave Bruce in the early 1980s, the idea being brew on premises pubs, in and around London.
Unfortunaltely, Bruce sold the chain in the 1990s to Allied Domecq, who took the rough and ready spit-and-sawdust image, and brought it to high streets everywhere, often downgrading the decor and character of existing pubs. However, although only a few of the pubs were brewing, these were preserved as brew pubs.
In 2000, the Firkin chain was sold again - to Punch Taverns. Despite giving promises to preserve the chain as it was, they instantly undertook to dismantle it, firstly by losing the real ale, then by re-themeing and renaming most of the pubs, relinquishing the ground to other chains such as Hogshead.
Given this history, I was extremely pleased to see a Firkin pub selling a good range of beers. --IvorW
Update 8/4/02: Apparently this pub is still part of Punch Taverns, and part of their attempt to revive the firkin idea. I notice that they are not advertising Real Ale, which if they were to do so would be technically incorrect, as they are using a cask breather system. Also, according to the manager, Punch are planning on re-introducing brew on the premises to a couple of pubs in London (but not this one).