Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Craft Beer Co

This is the Cask Pub & Kitchen’s second pub and as such I was expecting great things, on the whole it does deliver. Great beer, knowledgeable and friendly staff and it’s easy to get to on the central line. All the beers we tried in there were tip top condition. From our first visit on a heaving Friday night for Arrogant Bastard which proved to be a stunningly hoppy yet sweet beer and a rather superb Thornbridge pint.

This place can get very busy especially on Friday nights where it appears that every office worker from the surrounding Hatton Gardens and City have turned up for an after work drink or evening session. Despite the fact that the Craft Beer Co has a generously large upstairs area and a big well designed bar in the main bar it gets so crowded that people are found outside perching on the market stalls which are left out in Leather Lane for the next day and drinking their beer. Guess that gets around the smoking ban without the need for a pub garden…..

It was due to the busy conditions we decided to head back on a Sunday afternoon for another chance to try some more beers and relax in a sunny room chatting. The bottle selection at the Craft Beer Co is not as wide as the Casks; it has a few more unusual items though. The Black Magic stout we tried from the US was wonderful, it claimed to be inspired from Irish Dry Stouts... we wish that Guinness had even one quarter of this taste!

The mirrored ceiling in the main bar is fantastic, especially the rather fab clock face. It is nice to see such a wide range of beers on the bar of any place. I often thought we were spoilt at the Cask with their range of pumps and kegs but here I think most people are catered for on the bar even without looking at the fridges behind the bar.

The Craft Beer Co still has a couple of squeaks when it turns around too quickly but on the whole it is a great addition to the Cask’s new range of pubs. It is just a shame it doesn’t do food, with craft beer places a lot of the beer percentages hit over the 7% abv mark and this in mind you do want food and not to be awkward but one thing we heard a lot on the Friday was folks trying to figure out places to eat in this area when the chippy over the road shut early and you don’t really know the area. Only a small point to an otherwise charming place.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

2/3's of the Way There

Reading Pub Curmudgeon's blog post on schlooners got me thinking about what happened on the weekend. We were drinking on Saturday at the Brewdog Camden, they have boards written up with the various beers and prices per servings. Prices in this bar are not per the pint but per the serving size they indicate on the board so for example Punk IPA was price per pint but Dogma was priced for a 2/3 schlooner.

And you know what......

People didn't mind.

No customer minded the serving glass size, if they wanted a pint instead of a schloonerly two thirds then the staff did let them know the price would be y instead of x if the board price was for a different size to what was ordered. But other than that, most people just ordered via the 'Can I have that beer' and let the bar decide the serving size. This is good for us customers as some beers are very expensive as pints but 2/3 glass size that work out better and this also works well for 6% beers I found.

The brewdog schlooners are nicely designed and to be honest then my husband came back with one for me I did think for a moment he was handing me a pint until I realised the glass was thinner.

These glasses don't immediately mark you out as not drinking a pint, but this really only matters if you are bothered by peer pressure. Personally I have found as a female you can, in some dark aged quarters, get stick for drinking out of a pint glass but meh! It says more about them than you.

Monday, 12 March 2012

B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher

By Hoppin’ Frog Brewery
9.4% Abv
£40 table of Beer
Whilst in general I do dislike some names and pump clips they are mainly to very crude but when they tend towards amusing and fun then I do actually find myself reaching for them. BORIS was a suggestion from the barman at Brewdog Camden on Saturday; a nice touch the guy came and found our table to check what I thought of the beer.

He need not have worried, this is a fantastic stout.

The initials stand for “Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout and it will crush you like no other stout!” according to the blurb on the Hoppin’ Frog website. I wouldn’t go as far as crushing personally, as it is a very easy drinking stout with the smoothness that oatmeal imparts with a fair whack of roasted coffee beans with cocoa nibs.

I will correct this to the right way when I get home tonight!
 Looks wise, it pours with a cola type fizz which settles out quickly in the glass to a inky oily looking beer. The smell is incredible, just in pouring the beer you get whacked with the flavours but in a very pleasant way. By the time you take a sip your mouth with be watering, the taste is just like the smell.

My tastebuds remained uncrushed, for me; if a beer crushes them then you may as well tip it away and have a glass of water but BORIS performed brilliantly. At no point did it fail in delivering a smooth but intense hit each sip.

Actually it is way too easy a beer, at 9.4% it has that full mouth feel and intense flavour but it slips down very nicely. This was the last drink of the afternoon for me in the bar; I went home happy but slightly merry.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Fuller's Mighty Atom

2.8% Abv

I know this beer has been out since October last year but it wasn’t until Tescos started to stock the bottles I saw it to buy. The Fuller’s pubs I have been going to didn’t do it on cask (or bottle for that matter) which is a shame as a comparsion would be nice. Brewed to take advantage of the lower duty laws from the government this beer was designed to be 2.8% unlike the Mackiesons I tried last month which has been changed from it’s original strength.

It’s not an unattractive beer, light golden Carmel coloured with a white head which disappears while fast. Mighty Atom is brewed with five different hops according to the bottle and it has a lovely light grapefruit scent, not overpowering but inviting. It does have that Fuller’s marmalade trademark tone alongside a smooth malty dry bitter finish all tinged with fruity grapefruit tang. It is a refreshing light beer, the body is very thin in the mouth but then this is 2.8% so I'm not surprised by this. Mighty Atom would make a lovely pint for a hot summer's day I feel.

The only downside to this beer is the fizzyness of it, maybe on cask it would be better as the over gassiness of the beer is slightly problematic. Being able to burp the national anthem may be a source of patroitic pride to a young teenage boy, it is awkward for me to have that amount of gas from two bottles of beer. The cats were surprised by the level of burp at one stage!

All in all I enjoyed this low abv beer from Fullers, would like to try it on cask though for comparsion purposes and public drinking.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Stop the Beer Duty Escalator!

To be honest, I can't add anymore to Pete Brown's post on this issue.

All of us who enjoy their beer, need to read about the way in which beer duty will kill off our industry, maybe not this year or the next tax year, but sooner or later the camel's back will break.

I have signed the petition and urge you to do the same.