Having received a recommendation to attend the 4-course beer dinner with Innis and Gun from Mr Foozie himself, I knew I had to go! I mean, is there anything better than a hearty 4-course meal to go along a beer flight? It most definetly sounded like it would be right up my street. And, of course, Thom was absolutely right… Beer flight? genius!
I’d heard a bit about the Brewhouse & Kitchen. It’s the reincarnation of what was the Hill Pub, and prior to that the Cotham Hill Pub on said hill. The venue now has an added microbrewery which sounded like a great idea having been to the pub numerous times before. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to get to know the reopened Clifton Boozer.
We asked the friendly barman where we needed to go and were guided to our table. To our surprise we were seated at a table with the only 4 other guests for the event. We had expected the event to take over the pub! We later found out that Innis & Gunn had toured the small chain of Brewhouse & Kitchen’s around the country and the previous night the same event in Poole had filled the whole pub!
The night was hosted by Rachel, an expert in all things ale representing Innis & Gunn (I&G) Craft Beer. What I hadn’t appreciated when we booked the event was that it was solely to sample Innis & Gunn bottled beer and not actually to focus on the in-house brewed ale’s on offer at the pub. I’d never heard of I&G before, but I certainly know a thing or 2 about their beer now!
Rachel talked us through the 10 year history of the brewery. The original brew came about by accident after whisky barrels were used to distil the beer. The beer was going to be chucked before one delighted consumer thought the subtle whisky tones were rather tasty, and the rest is history; Innis & Gunn was created.
While we waited for our first course, we sampled their Original and best seller. You can see why it’s so popular. If you have never tried it, think of a bottle of Desperados, but replace the lager and tequila with a medium dark ale and Scotch whisky!
The first course was a generously sized bruschetta accompanied with I&G’s lager, a light thirst quencher that is a refreshing change from your standard continental lad beer. I would definitely recommend a can (or 10) to accompany you at the summer festivals! Next up was the main course: cod on a bed of carrots, peppers, aubergines and cheese. Slightly spiced and all wrapped in foil for you to open, it was delicious. The beer on offer this time was the Toasted Oak IPA which Rachel explained was made using the Oakarator; an I&G patented contraption that infuses the beer with smoked woodchips.
The dessert was a simple sticky toffee pudding with ice-cream. Whilst this was the least impressive of the courses, it was well portioned and I had to practically climb over it so I could see Alice the other side of the table! The pud was accompanied by the original recipe beer and the indulgent rich pair complemented each other perfectly.
The main event for me however was dish 4 – the cheese board. The mountain of cheese was immense and if there’s one thing a beer goes well with, its cheese! This round the liquid refreshment was a rum infused porter, which was delicious. Pete also gave us a bit of an overview of the pub, and to my surprise, the renovation, including the installation of the microbrewery, had only started a month ago and they had been open for business for 2 weeks.
All in all, Alice and I had a great time at the Brewhouse. Whilst there were only 6 guests, it made for an intimate setting and we got friendly with the I&G rep Rachel and our fellow guests. Rachel was a great host and the night was really informative (I’m now armed with answers to many beer trivia questions!). The food was good, but I have to admit that the pub’s own menu looked more exciting. It did feel a little ironic that we were beer tasting in a microbrewery with bottled ale, rather than the beer brewed on site. Having said that I am now certainly a fan of Innis & Gunn!