To use an avian metaphor, rising like a pair of Phoenix first Truman’s in 2010 and two weeks ago the Eagle Pub in Ladbroke Grove reopened it’s doors.
I am a fan of Truman’s beers as mentioned in a previous blog so I was delighted to be invited to the launch of their first Tank Lager RAW.
The launch was in the Eagle pub, a few minutes from Ladbroke Grove tube last night.The Eagle which had previously been a Truman’s pub back in the days of the original brewery is bright and welcoming. Impressive shining Truman’s tanks are perched like nests above the central bar. The decor is warm and slightly quirky with a mix of furniture and fittings including some Truman lanterns and iconic eagle statues on the bar. As we were led upstairs I noticed some rather fine wallpaper and fabrics from the company I have my day job with….
You would have absolutely no idea the Eagle has been open just two weeks. Hippo Inns who own the Eagle have done a fantastic job at establishing this pub totally in keeping with the area which is one of their policies. The staff were extremely friendly and efficient, each beer I had was expertly served often in traditional jugs. Apparently one of the first training exercises they were taken on was a day trip to Truman’s Brewery to see exactly how it all works – nice work if you can get it!
A range of Truman’s beers were on offer in addition to RAW. Pacing myself I stuck to halves – a long journey home and work in the morning sadly curtails midweek drinking somewhat but this didn’t stop me from trying three beers.
The Zephyr Australian Pale is one of Truman’s core beers and a favourite of mine. Packed with Australian hops and so called after the gentle trade winds from Australia that used to accompany exporters on their journeys.
Truman’s like their beers to be sold as fresh as possible and distribute mostly within the M25. They brew a succession of seasonal beers which they aim to get into pubs in 7-10 days. The current seasonal offering is Gypsy Queen, a wonderful Oatmeal Pale Ale.
In keeping with Truman’s tradition of giving a nod to their East London heritage Gypsy Queen is named after an Iron Steam Boat built close to the present day site of the brewery during the nineteenth Century.
Gypsy Queen is dry hopped so gives an instant hop hit followed by a backbone of malt. The addition of oatmeal gives Gipsy Queen a smooth fuller mouthfeel – wonderful so grab it while you can!
To accompany Truman’s beers we were lucky enough to try a selection of the Pub’s Bavarian inspired menu which includes dishes such as Chicken Schnitzel served with fried duck egg and a huge Crispy Knuckle of Pork served with Fried Potato dumplings.
The menu is the creation Head chef Stan Perry (ex Soho House).
Stan told us beer and food pairing is something they are looking into and that he’s a great believer in using beer in cooking.
We started with sharing plates from the starters selection of Pickled Herring, Salmon Tartare, a lovely earthy Venison Carpaccio and a simply heavenly twice baked Gruyere Soufflé.
As RAW is a Lager I opted for Ale Battered Cod, Chips, Tatar and Mushy peas for my main. To say the portion was generous doesn’t do it justice! After the wonderful starters I felt as though I could barely scratch the surface but the chunky cod wrapped in crispy light beer batter was perfection. The RAW sliced through the richness and was just the right depth of flavour so as not to overpower the dish.
I should also give a mention to the amazing puddings served last; Bitter Chocolate Fondant with cherry, Rhubarb Panna Cotta with Shortbread, amazing Banoffee pancakes and Mulled Pear and Apple Crumble, needless to say I could manage just a mouthful of each but they were all delicious.
RAW is Truman’s first tank beer and is Truman’s say and I quote ‘completely untouched by light, added gas or any other processes – it is unpasteurised and unfiltered which means it tastes as if the beer were poured ‘raw’ straight from the tanks in the brewery’ .
My verdict…RAW is a wonderful refreshing Lager with plenty of body. Sadly a much maligned beer style, a good lager whether it’s a crisp Pilsner or a smooth rounded Helles is a joy which too many people risk missing out on.
With Lager there’s nowhere to hide Jasper from Truman’s said, and RAW is as clean and pure as it gets! Well done Truman’s, I look forward to your next tank beer!