London – Southwark (Borough of) – Brew by Numbers Taproom

After a busy morning in central London, I thought that I’d return to the Bermondsey Beer Mile for a little reward at lunchtime. In the background of the photo above is the Shard, although it perhaps doesn’t show how bloody hot the weather was today. These units under the railway arches aren’t the largest, but there were several bench style seats inside, and a few external tables carefully partitioned off from the road.

Incidentally, this is what these units looked like just a few years ago. The area has been transformed, although I’m not sure what the owners of the residential properties opposite think. Personally, I’d be pleased, although I suspect that some might not be quite as excited at the change.

The table I was offered was outside, although I’d have been happy in a cold corner inside (I may have mentioned that I’m not one for hot weather), but I was at least more at the centre of the action where I was seated. It got busier quickly so that soon all of the outside tables were taken. The service was attentive and friendly, but I’d be disappointed if any craft beer business around here wasn’t. My server apologised in advance (a good tactic, I pre-warn people I might make mistakes in advance) that he was new that day, although I know there are some hospitality staff who say that even when it’s not actually their first day. Either way, he was a perfectly good server, so all was well.

The beer list and the completist in me loves this whole numbering process and their web-site explains this:

“Though experimentation, they progressed quickly by splitting batches and performing different tests on them. The winner of these batches would be brewed again, and the process repeated to find original flavour combinations. The numbering system attributed to these early gave rise to their name – Brew By Numbers. In April 2012, they took their ‘Hoppy Saison’ to the staff at Craft Beer Co. Clerkenwell for their critique. This beer would later become 01|01 and would be critical in shaping BBNo’s place in the market – an unusual style no other UK breweries where offering regularly at that time.”

As an aside, Craft Beer Co in Clerkenwell is bloody good.

On the right is 19|Gose – Mango, Guava and Passion Fruit and that colour is quite beautiful, it reminded me of a mango lassi that I’ve had in India. A rich mouthfeel, pleasant tropical taste although the aftertaste wasn’t quite as rich as I had expected, but this is still a rather beautiful beer. There’s meant to be notes of sea salt in it for balance, although I couldn’t detect them. On the left is the 10|Coffee Porter – Sumava which was beautifully rich with a depth of flavour and a heavy aftertaste of coffee. I liked this a lot, and although it was 9.5%, that wasn’t noticeable as the drink was quite smooth.

All in all, this is another taproom style set-up that I like, from a brewery that I’ve had a few beers from this year already. I suspect they will become more prominent and they offer some experimental and innovative beers. I think I might come here again in the future to see what they’re brewing….