Suddenly Winter has arrived, and it feels bitterly cold here in London. Not to be deterred by this abrupt change of temperature however I ventured to North London at the weekend to try a couple of Tap Rooms.
I blogged last week about tap rooms in South London and I have previously blogged about Hackney, so in the interest of balance I feel it’s only right that I do a quick blog about my trip up North.
Now this trip was actually a birthday present from my wonderful siblings. I’m a woman of simple tastes and I don’t need much so when it comes to Christmas or Birthday presents I’d rather have a nice day out. My Brother and Sister decided to take me for lunch then to the taprooms at Beavertown and Pressure Drop breweries in Tottenham – they know me well!
Now if there’s one thing we have all learnt its that prep is important; when going drinking its vital to line your stomach first. So, we went to El Botellon, a Tapas and South American Restaurant on Seven Sisters High Road which proved to be a great choice. It was packed and lively for a Saturday lunchtime. After a few Tapas I had King Prawns in a coconut sauce which came with both Fries and Rice – a king-size portion of carbs to absorb a beer or two, job done.
With fully tummies we braved the cold – blimey was it cold, and walked to the unassuming looking Lockwood Industrial Park around the corner from Tottenham Hale tube. We headed first for Beavertown’s tap room.
In amongst the brewing equipment were tables of people enjoying a Saturday afternoon beer. I made the point in my last blog that I like the family friendly aspect of Brewery Taprooms and Beavertown’s dog and child friendly atmosphere is no exception.
As well as the tables inside the brewery, there are tables outside and in a large heated gazebo. It was very busy, and the atmosphere was buzzing ; Young, old, scruffy, smart or lycra cycling gear, no-one cares as it’s just a lovely relaxed place to spend some time.
The bar is in a side room and has a queuing system which is really efficient. There is also a great take away selection which I took advantage of. We perused the list of beers hanging outside the bar and I particularly liked that Beavertown mentioned Pressure Drop’s tap room on the bar menu.
I started with Hop Harvest 2018, 5.2%, a fresh hopped Saison with a bite of carbonation followed by mild tart notes as you’d expect from a Saison. I thought the fresh hop notes added an interesting twist.
Next, I tried the Black Betty Black IPA, 7.4% . I always love a Black IPA and this one is particularly good with notes of smoke and blackcurrant. I liked this so much I bought a couple of cans to take home.
I also tried a slurp of my brother’s Beavo Lager, 3.9%, absolutely crystal clear Beavo is beautifully fresh. Finally, I nicked a mouthful of my sister’s Farewell to Arms Sherry Sour with Cherries, 7%, which is a good well balanced Sour.
A selection of Street food including Vegan options was available and smelt tasty, but we were still full from our lunch and decided to move on to Pressure Drop’s tap room.
Around the corner, past a fleet of funky looking Beavertown vans bearing the brewery’s distinctive graphics Pressure Drop’s lovely brewery tap room was welcoming in the cold weather. Inside were a mixed clientele including toddlers, twenty something’s dressed up for Halloween and pensioners; bright fairy lights and again plenty of seating on bench tables amongst the FVs; I love it !
First, I tried the fabulously pink Orla, a Blackberry, Damson and Bay Berliner Weisse which at 3.8% was a good beer to start with before hitting the Alive and Well Session IPA, 3.6% with Motueka and Columbus hops.
A cloudy blond beer with a hoppy nose, Alive and Well is bursting with resinous hops and has a finish of orange peel.
By now it was early evening and getting chilli so something dark and warming was called for. I had a bottle of Pressure Drop’s Street Porter, 6.5%. This is gorgeous with notes of treacle and smoke.
Both breweries take deposits for their glasses. The Beavertown glasses are straight sided tumblers like the ones used for cider in Spain. I kept mine along with the cans I had bought as a little souvenir. Pressure Drop also offer you money back on your glass or rather cleverly I thought a bottle of beer in exchange. Unsurprisingly I took a beer.
The Taprooms closed at 8pm which is probably just as well as we had got very cosy amongst the FV’s and mash tuns. But off we went into the night, heading south of the river with our beer and glasses clinking in our bags.
Don’t let the cold weather put you off venturing to these tap rooms. The staff are friendly and the crowds happy, so the atmosphere and great beers are enough to keep you warm!