I was very excited a couple of weeks ago to discover that the Brewery Tap in Norwich (who I’ve written about before, so won’t repeat myself as it probably wasn’t that interesting in the first place….) had a tap takeover by Brew York. Sadly, I don’t have any friends who were equally excited about that (sniff, need to get more beer friiiieeennnddss I guess, if people will excuse the Inbetweeners reference), so I just had to assemble a random group of friends who would be vaguely interested.
Above are the cask and keg menus from the evening, with some really quite exciting options available. Anyway, the five friends I dragged along were really for the gossip rather than for me to share beer notes with, but that just had to suffice. And I suppose they were good company, although they need training up a bit in the beer front.
There were other beer options available for those who didn’t want to sample products from Brew York. That transpired to be most of our group, it was just Steve drinking these with me.
We can ignore the other four here, as only Steve and I decided to go with the Brew York options, ordering thirds to allow for the sampling of as many beers as realistically possible. Above are the four cask options of Haze of Thunder (a modern pale ale), Big Eagle (an American West Coast IPA), Honey I Shrunk the Impys (a honey and oatmeal stout) and Tonkoko (a tonka bean, coconut, vanilla and cacao milk stout). Thanks to the careful nature of the bar staff, they’re in that order in the photo as well.
My favourites here were the dark beers, which is perhaps not surprising. The Honey I Shrunk the Impys had a decent flavour, but there wasn’t quite the honey flavour that I’d anticipated, but still all rather pleasant. I forgot that I’d had the Tonkoko before (at Chilli Devils in Hull) and this was the star of the casks show. Rich with the taste of coconut and vanilla noticeable, although it didn’t quite have as much taste of Bounty Bar (which the brewer mentioned) as the Arcade City from Overworks that I’d had a couple of weeks ago at Brewdog Ealing. But no bad beers out of the four, but it was time to move onto the kegs, which is a bit more of my thing.
The bar staff had carefully chalked on the names of the beers, which made things much easier for me. In the top row of the photo are Ripple Twister (a raspberry and vanilla ice cream IPA), the Mangolorian (a juicy mango and lime milkshake IPA) and Kirsch Russell (a cherry pie pastry sour). In the bottom row are A New Beginning (a coffee, blueberry, cacao, walnut and vanilla imperial stout), a decadent pack of Mini Cheddars (cheese and nectar of the Gods) and the Dream Child (an ice cream pastry imperial stout).
Frankly, these were all excellent and a delight to be behold (I need to get out more being this easily pleased….). But, with a focus on just one, the Dream Child, which was one of my favourite beers of the year so far. There were some really powerful tastes in this, rich and it didn’t feel like its 14% ABV. It really was like the Rocky Road dessert that it set out to replicate, with marshmallow and chocolate flavours running through it. An absolute delight, worth going just to have that as far as I was concerned.
I’m certainly very excited to be going to York in a few weeks to experience some more beers from Brew York, with none of the nine that I had on Friday evening disappointing me. I’m not sure that Steve was quite as impressed, but I wasn’t bothered about that, I was enjoying my beer tasting.
Bev, who was on fine form as ever during the evening, left the table for a few minutes and left Gordon (above) alone with her bag. I’m not one for gossip, so I won’t say what Gordon was doing here. But Bev has suggested that there needs to be more gossip content again on this blog, so perhaps that’s something that I can manage to deliver on 🙂
Anyway, a very lovely evening, and a delight to have five people to bore with my explanation of why some of these beers were exceptional. And Gordon was full of gossip, he rarely fails to surprise and delight in that regard.