Friday, 2 March 2012

Living For The Weekend...

It's been a quiet start to 2012 on the beer front (and the blogging one), but a few weeks ago me and my good friend Moppo had a wee stroll down to tower bridge on a Friday night.As such here's his first foray into blogging....

First stop was the Dean Swift, which is located on Gainsford Street, near Tower Bridge. The pub describes itself as a ‘local beer house’, which is a fairly accurate description. Busy but not packed, the Swift is a small space with a mixed clientele: suits mixing with a smattering of trendy young people (and that was just me and Ford). The Dean Swift also boasts a very knowledgeable bar staff, each of whom was willing and able to offer recommendations among the array of pumps on the bar, and the multitude of bottled beers behind it.

First beer of the night for me was the Rooster’s Cream(4.7%), seasonal pale ale from North Yorkshire, brewed in Harrogate using hops from the States. As its name suggests, it is smooth and creamy on the tongue, with hints of vanilla, with a citrus finish. A really drinkable pint, I would have happily stayed on this all night.

From the Rooster’s, I moved on to Nibiru IPA (6.3%), brewed by Arbor Ales in Bristol. This is a really fruity beer: I’d almost say tropical, if that didn’t put me in mind of Um Bongo... Unlike that juice drink consumed in the congo, Nibiru is also bloody strong: a great supping beer.

At Tom’s suggestion, we then moved onto the bottled stuff. For me, this meant a bottle of Southern Cross India Pale Ale (7.3%), brewed in SE1 by The Kernel brewery, which had to be fetched from upstairs: too good to sell to the punters? At first taste it has a sharp, spicy quality, and it is dry, with a fruity bitterness at the back of the throat at the finish. A really great tasting beer, and a good note to finish on.

From the Dean Swift it was a short meander to The Draft House, itself only a very short trundle from Tower Bridge. You’ll forgive me for not describing the pub in huge detail, as by this point I was a fairly refreshed young man, but the main thing that struck me with regard to the d├ęcor was the Ghostbusters wallpaper on the way to the facilities. Pubs of Great Britain take note: you can do far worse than festoon your interiors with classic 80s film references, even if it is in the form of children’s wall decorations.

Choosing what beer to drink based purely on its name and how that name resonates with you at a certain stage of your Friday night probably isn’t a great plan, but it did lead me to try a bottle of Titan IPA. Brewed and bottled by the Great Divide Brewing Company in Colorado, it is a potent 7.1% ABV. In the glass, Titan has a deep amber colouration, with a small head (if you pour it properly). On the nose there’s a strong pine aroma, and on the tongue there’s a mixture of citrus hops, closing with a bitter finish which borders on sweet.  I just need to apologise to Tom for how much it cost…

Tom: No problem Moppo! Pleasure was all mine!