Just a quick post as I have to go have beers at a work related industry dinner. No doubt they will be serving Crown Lager because as we all know that is one classy mother of a beer.
Last night I went across to the Royston Hotel in Richmond to have a crack at some beers made by Hendo, at his “Southern Bay Porter Three Ways” event. This gave me not only a good excuse to drink some good beer with some like-minded people (always a good idea) and try some one-off beers (also a good idea) but also I also finally got to drink at the Royston.
Now I’ve only ever heard good things about the Royston, as a great pub and craft beer venue however I’ve never made it there. I have planned to but I’ve either had to many over the road at Mountain Goat or ventured there on days when it was closed. Fixed all that last night.
The unremarkable pub from the outside is warm and beery on the inside. Last night it also had three versions of one beer on the go, Southern Bay Metal Head Porter. This was designed, overseen, engineered, given birth to by Hendo, a man who does not have hair but is very intense about his beer and started his brewing career using only bottled Evian water.
Enough on Hendo, on to the beer. I’ve had the porter before (at De Ja Vu I think?) and it was ok, not the best beer in the world but certainly a good porter for having a few off on a lazy winter afternoon. Nice beer, not overly complicated but a good beer to go for if you want something dark.
Stage 2 to this beer was the addition of cold steeped coffee to one batch and bourbon vanilla to another. Enter the challenging beers!
So the coffee beer was on tap in the regular fashion and initially was I thought less impressive of the two adulterated “metal heads”, but then it warmed and it grew. The coffee added a real roasty backbone to the beer, almost a dustyness. There was a fair dose of fruity acidity added by the coffee, but I got more of my morning coffee hit than fruit out of this beer. There was also an interesting conversation about how much caffeine actually makes it into the beer? the answer – we don’t know. Worth considering over a beer though.
Now to the Bourbon Vanilla beer – this one was on hand tap, so is a less carbonated drop. This gave it a real soft pallet, with the removal of a bunch of the CO2 taking away part of the carbonic bite that comes from kegged beer. Add this to the vanilla sweetness and you have a velvet smooth beer that screams desert. One the first taste this beer made me go wow. What a beer, just so different, think vanilla or bourbon whiskey.
So I tasted all 3 beers at the same time, switching back and forwards. Initially I was in love with the vanilla, then I ended up in love with the coffee. Then I did a 50/50 mix. That didn’t really add anything special, but the beer was still good.
So get on down to the Royston right now if you want to try these beers, they might be still there? no idea how long for but get there anyway as they have a bunch of great beers on tap.
Oh and go hassle Hendo on twitter if you want to know about more of his beer events, I think his twitter is SirHendo but I don’t know the twitter so that’s just an informed guess.