Brewhouse & Kitchen beer matching dinner: Review

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This guest review comes from Sarah Harding, who blogs over at Bedsit Bonne Vivante

 

They say moving is one of the most stressful things in life, it is even more stressful when you have a terrible landlord! After hearing about my moving struggles, Miss Bristol Bites offered me a chance to try one of the new beer matching dinners being held at the recently opened Brewhouse & Kitchen Bristol to take my mind off carpet cleaners and packing boxes. This event was showcasing the beers from craft brewing veterans Innis & Gunn.

 

Brewhouse & Kitchen - Innis Gunn Beers

 

I was greeted by the wonderfully friendly Pete, the manager of Brewhouse & Kitchen in what was once The Hill. I had done a shift in The Hill a few years ago (a lot of people got some very bad cocktails) and I was pleased to see that the place had been refurbished to a warm and welcoming standard. There was a good mix of the young and cool crowd and families all tucking into food that had been produced in the semi open kitchen to the left of the bar. They brew beer on site and you can even follow their brewer Mark Wainwright on Twitter at @brewhousebrewer to see what the latest beers are. I ordered a pint of their Hornigold blonde ale (very nice!) and we were shown to our table.

It was a small group of six with the Sales Rep Rachel talking us through each beer, the history of the company and showing us the range of bottled and canned beers they offer. It was nice to have a intimate dinner with an industry expert (apparently the same event held in Poole had generated 12 tables of diners!) and we were to look forward to four mystery courses that had been matched with a small selection of the Innis and Gunn range. Rachel discussed the history of the original recipe beer which was created by accident when a whisky distillery approached the brewery to help season their oak casks. The beer was due to be thrown away but some “curious” (read thirsty) brewery workers tried the beer and were blown away by what had been created.

The first course was toasted bread with a tomato sauce and pesto and was matched with their lager. The lager was very light and I could see it going down well at barbecues in the summer. The starter was very simple but nice enough.

 

Brewhouse & Kitchen - Innis Gunn Lager

Brewhouse & Kitchen - Starter

 

After a bit of a wait (service was very busy) the second course arrived, white fish (I assume it was cod but we had no menu) with a chilli tomato sauce, aubergine, pepper, carrot and potatoes wrapped and cooked in tinfoil. The fish was lovely and moist, the sauce had a lovely warming spice and the portions were incredibly generous. The beer pairing was a toasted oak IPA made using an “Oakarator” (imagine a big kettle full of woodchips). With a lot of IPAs being brewed to be ultra hoppy, Innis have gone the other way and concentrated on other flavours, which for me, were slightly sour with a hint of citrus. Thoroughly enjoyed it and it didn’t overpower the fish.

 

Brewhouse & Kitchen - Main Course

 

The third course was a personal favourite of mine, a skyscraper-sized slab of sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce. This was served with the original recipe beer and the match was fantastic. There is a lovely, subtle treacle element to the original beer that, for me, was better than a dessert wine. Sweet enough to taste special but not so much you feel you are being bombarded with sugar plus light so you don’t feel bloated and sluggish. The sponge was moist, springy and everything a sticky toffee pudding should be.

 

Brewhouse & Kitchen - Dessert

 

Finally a fantastic cheese board finished us off which included cheddar, brie, blue cheese, biscuits, a fantastic “Chillilili” that was apparently made in house (lovely fire!), cranberry jam and Pete popped over with some other chutneys, a beer based one and a red onion chutney, apparently all available to buy from the bar at £2 a jar. This was matched with the Rum Finish beer which was apparently so popular as a limited edition they bought it back as a permanent fixture. Thick and fruity, it really went well with the cheese board and would be a great accompaniment with a punchy meal or dessert.

In all for £35, four courses, four bottles of beer and a gift at the end of the wonderfully packaged Treacle Porter (cannot wait to crack it open!) and being able to learn all about the brewery from an in-house expert was worth it. The food on the whole was good, fresh, simple and obviously “homecooked”. I now have another favourite brewery who, after being open and running for over ten years have firmly earned their place as one of the craft beer revolution originals. I look forward to Brewhouse doing similar evenings in the future (but can we have menus please?!) and I will certainly be back to this eatery for more beer and burgers.

 

Please note: this meal was received free of charge, but in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.

 

 

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