Thursday, 7 February 2013

Booze: Hanging out at London Fields Brewery!



A few months ago, Norwich Taphouse opened and started selling London Fields beers. Through their wonderful single hop IPA series and beers from their core range such as the wonderful Hackney Hopster pale ale and Black Frost Stout, I quickly fell in love with them and announced that they’re my favourite brewery of 2012.

With this in mind, I’m sure you can imagine how thrilled I was when they invited me to go and hang out with them in their brewery!

So on Superbowl Sunday, I headed to London Fields Brewery along with Grace to meet Brewmaster Ben, Jimmy, the brewery musician and my buddy Luke.

As with a lot of new wave British breweries, London Fields is located under a railway. This is now becoming quite standard practice which is pretty cool.

As soon as we arrived and had made introductions, we were given a glass of their new Simcore IBA (Indian Black Ale – a much better descriptor than Black IPA). Fucking hell, it was good… the wonderful pineyness of the Simcoe hops on a bed of darkness, some coffee and roastiness. Has this beaten Black Hops as my favourite IBA? I think I need to sample some more to be sure!

Ben then walked us round the brewery and explained the brewing process to us, of which I previously knew very little about. The whole brewery setup is great. It’s actually really planned out well.

 I just think I should state here that Ben has the coolest accent I have ever heard. One minute he’ll sound like a total Yorkshireman then the next minute then he’ll sound incredibly German! It’s great!

We then walked round to the warehouse area where we passed some ready tapped casks and saw mountains of casks, kegs and bottles all on humongous shelves. I was in paradise. As you know, I love London Fields so I would love to just take some kegs home but I don’t think Greater Anglia has the space!

We were then poured a bottle of a new stout they have called Black Forest. They were hosting a food event but didn’t have a dessert beer so here it comes... a stout brewed with cherry juice and cocoa nibs. IT ACTUALLY FUCKING TASTED LIKE A BLACK FOREST GATEAUX. I’m not even joking. It was simply delicious and I could drink it all day. I believe Jimmy said it was 9% but you try being semi drunk in a room full of beer trying to concentrate.

We were then showed the cold store where the lager is conditioned and told that they plan on expanding it massively so they can brew more at a time. Definitely a good idea because not enough British breweries are brewing decent lagers.

We then decided to go and sit in their awesome looking taproom with a bit more Simcore and several bottles of Shoreditch Triangle IPA, one of my favourites and probably what I’ve drank most of lately. Just y’know, chatting. It was really fucking cool.

Then Jimmy cracked open a couple of Saisons, not of London Fields origin. The first one was BFM √225 Saison from Switzerland, something which I had never seen before. This is possibly the most amazing saison I’ve had. It was full of apricot, mango and pineapple with a MASSIVE funk. Simply incredible. Then out comes To Ol Snowball Saison. I’m a big fan of To Ol. Had quite a few of their beers and have enjoyed them all. Snowball was good but after the Square Root saison, I’m not sure I got that much from it.

I then decided to have a bottle of unfiltered lager. The one beer in their core range that I hadn’t had. I asked nicely, of course. It was great – grassy and floral hoppiness, that haze, the nice citrus notes that make you want to drink it on a hot summers day on the beach. Simply superb.

It was then that my time there sadly came to an end. I could happily have stayed there all night, chatting and drinking beer but I guess I’ll just have to return on Saturday 23rd February when the taproom will start opening on weekends.

Many thanks to Ben and Jimmy for inviting me over. I had a fucking amazing time and I will definitely be visiting on a regular basis!

You can find London Fields Brewery open on weekends from Saturday 23rd of February at 365-366 Warburton Street, E8 3RR in Hackney, London. You should definitely go there to drink tip-top beer and hang out with tip-top people!

You can also buy their beer from their online shop over at: http://www.londonfieldsbrewery.co.uk/

And converse with them on social media:


Nate

2 comments:

  1. Really Nate, we're going to have to do a joint London trip some time! It's all changed remarkably since I was living in Stokey - the good pubs are still good pubs, but the micros have really multiplied. In my day there was only Pitfield Street, I think (they ran a lovely beer shop, too, where I got a lot of my beers for home consumption).

    Lucky guy to have two such lovely saisons. I think this is a beer style we're going to be seeing a lot more of in future - it's the next step for drinkers brought up on golden ales, adds strength, flavour and funkiness to the mix. Though for a name, I think Silly Saison has to be the best!

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    1. We most definitely do! It's a wonderful city with such fine establishments. We also still need to do Norwich Taphouse once you're back from India and France!

      I completely agree on the Saison front. Last year was all about Black IPAs, this year is about the funk. Farmhouse styles/Saisons/Lambics.

      Sour power, go!

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