Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Rugby @ London Beer Factory

After winning a competition on twitter for 2 tickets to one of the 6 nations games with burger and beer we decided to take the puncture free (see bunsmith blog) fixed bikes off on an adventure and adventure it was! 3/4 of the way into the journey we both rode over a broken bottle and unfortunately Sarah's bike couldn't take it and boom another punctured tyre to add to the list! However she only noticed the flat as we arrived at The London Beer Factory which meant we could sample more of their beers than had we of been cycling back!
We were greeted by Ed at the door and he guided us straight to the bar where there were 3 beers on offer at £3 a pint - absolute bargain!

Sarah chose the Paxton Pale Ale (5.0%) and Soph the Chelsea Blonde (4.3%) and from the first sip we knew we were going to enjoy our afternoon immensely! The brewery was on a smaller scale to Camden but they are still producing really good tasting beer which we truly believe will be a big hit on a bigger scale. Ed and his brother Sim started the company with their wine and brewing backgrounds last year and decided to brew 3 very different beers to cater to all tastes and they also brew for Franco Manca. The set up of the Brewery was fantastic and makes a great venue for sporting events or actually any event due to the large screen and wooden benches. They also have table football, a darts board and apparently a few beer pong tables which excites us immensely. We settled in for the first half of the Wales V Scotland game and our glasses were soon empty so onto our second pint. 

This time Sarah tried the London Session and Soph stuck to the Blonde as she liked it so much. The Londoner has a lower ABV (3.8%) than the other two beers but is still packed full of flavour - a little too much for Sarah though having had the pale ale as her starting beer but none the less the pint was finished and enjoyed just not as much as the Pale Ale. The brewery also has a really nice little outside space where Josh was making burgers and we got to demloish these just before half time. We both had bacon and cheese with all the salad and really enjoyed them...although being burger snobs they were a little bit overdone for us but the char of the bun and the crispy bacon added a crunch to the burger.

During half time Ed took me on a tour of the brewery where I got to see the UK grown malt which was really insightful and a priveledge to learn more about the company and brand. Being quite a new company they are just starting to get bottles out of their beer and I got to see the newly designed labels which are really cool and eye catching - I look forward to seeing them on the shelves! We ended our afternoon with another pint of Blonde and a happy Soph as Wales won but due to the prospect of a walk not ride with one punctured bike we decided to head off for West Norwood Station back to Peckham. 

The London Beer Factory is situated between Gipsy Hill, West Norwood and Crystal Palace and easily accessed by train, car or unpunctured bikes. We really recommend watching the rest of the 6 nations here as the screen is huge and your beer is being brewed right infront of your eyes for 3 quid a pint - bargain for London prices! Check out their website as they have a deal on at the moment for burger, beer and the games for £10 which really cannot be faulted! We really hope the boys decide to do more events at their brewery and will be looking forward to heading back ourselves in the near future.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Camden Town Brewery Tour

The day we truly became hell raisers was the first day we tried Camden Hells lager.  These days were different for both of us.  I remember my first bottle of hells like it was yesterday...sat in a small boozer in Camden during Camden crawl feeling a little bit delicate.  From my first sip I was hooked, it almost instantly perked me up (until my next wave of nausea anyway).  It has been my beer of choice ever since (wherever I could find it).  So when I opened a little very light parcel on my birthday it was like something out of Charlie and the chocolate factory, Sarah had only manage to bag us tickets on the Camden Town Brewery tour.

We rocked up early as always so decided to have a cheeky pint before the tour started.  My choice was hells whilst Sarah chose a pint of the pale ale.  The bar area in the brewery is really nice and, in winter especially as it has a bit of an apres ski feel about it.

Our tour commenced at 6:30pm and due to a computer error there were a lot more than 10 people (the max they norm do) on the tour with us however this did not dampen any of the tour. We had a brief history lesson of the company while outside stood by the outside mounted tanks and were in ore of how far and quick the brewery has grown since 2006 when Jasper was brewing in the basement of his pub. We were each given a can of hells (our fav at the beginning of the tour) to accompany us on the first part of the tour, so we donned our safety glasses and headed into willy wonkas inventing room!
It was here we learnt how beer is made, got to try some malt (tasty) and  hops (not advisable) and got to look into the tanks where they were currently brewing beer for Byron burgers - something that we did not know they did and will now defs try Byrons beer when we next go!

After a can of pale ale we hit the room which houses a lot more tanks and got to try some beer straight out of the tank - it was delicious and we also go to see more of the master brewers at work. Whilst here we also got a can of IHL which is 6.1% and quickly became our favourite Camden beer! The last stop on our wonderful tour was to the bottling room where we got to see the end product and by god were they churning it out!

We had an absolute blast on the tour; learnt a lot, ate rank hops, drunk wonderful beer and got to meet and interact with the lovely staff at the brewery! Shout out also to our guide who was fantastic despite being a Patriots fan!

After our pre pint and tour cans we stopped at the bar for a few more where Soph stuck to hells and Sarah tried the stout to round off the evening! We couldn't ignore our rumbling bellies so made sure we got some of Butchies chicken before it ran out and WOW it was delicious and went really nicely with our beers! The chicken was moist with a really crispy punchy casing and the dips were perfect to accompany the chicken.

Sunday, 15 February 2015


What do you do when you both get punctures on your way home from work??
Go for food and beer of course.  Luckily we were both relatively near Southwark/London bridge when our punctures happened, this meant only one thing.. Bunsmiths soft launch!!
For 3 days Bunsmiths were having their soft launch at The Millers Pub (near Guy's hospital).  After negotiating / arguing about whether to remove the said punctured wheels we strolled into the pub, detached wheel in hand (yes just the one wheel, my bike stayed intact).  We wondered round the fairly packed pub looking for a table and finally spotted a couple leaving.  Sarah was straight in with her ninja like movement.  We ordered the buttermilk chicken bun, BBQ bun and a side of chilli fries.  Our drinks were Brick Brewery American IPA and a Belleville Thames Surfer.  Both of these are some of our favourites.
The food came within about 10 / 15 mins of ordering it, we were delighted about this as we were pretty ravenous.  The chicken had a really good flavour and consistency.  It was crispy yet moist and seasoned really well.  The BBQ bun was also a very enjoyable experience; juicy and packed with flavour.  There was one minor gripe from Sarah and this was a lack of crunchy burnt ends.  The fries were actually some of the best we have ever tasted,  and topped with slow cooked pork and beef this only made them better.  To be honest I wish we had tried the whole menu, although this gives us another chance to go back and carry on ticking the beers off too.
Massively sorry about the sideways pictures...for some reason I cannot rotate them.