Beer is a wonderful thing. Pale and interesting. Dark and complex. I love beer in all its forms, so when Brewhouse & Kitchen opened in my home town of Sutton Coldfield, complete with microbrewery, I was over the moon!
I was invited to their official brewery opening last week as the Sutton Coldfield representative of Dine Birmingham and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
I must admit, I’d had a sneak peek of the place the weekend before, as my other half and I went for a Sunday roast and a cheeky pint or two, but I was looking forward to the launch nonetheless!
First impressions were great, as the bar is well stocked, the decor is industrial with lots of wood, the bright copper stills take pride of place in the centre between the bar area and restaurant area and there’s a rather appealing large table in the bar area with a roaring wood fire which caught both mine and my partner’s eye. There’s even a display of glasses which you can buy and take home!
After a quick look around, we were welcomed by the manager who offered us free drinks tokens, raffle tickets to win prizes on the night and a booklet with the story behind each of the in-house brewed beers. We made our way to the bar and started with a 004 Oaks for me and a Black Belt for Ste.
The first thing to say is, the beer is really good. It doesn’t have the hipster hoppiness of some craft beers, but punches way above many traditional ‘real ales’ in terms of flavour. The 004 Oaks (named after Bond actor Roger Moore, who lived in Sutton once) is a dry, fruity golden ale which is almost as smooth as it’s namesake. The Black Belt, which is named after famous martial artist Scott Adkins, is a traditional porter which has a delicious, chocolatey coffee flavour. Ste particularly enjoyed this one.
It wasn’t long before things got started with an introduction from the head brewer and a sample of the 004 Oaks. Although I’d already had one, I couldn’t help having another half because it’s so good! We also had some food samples with beer battered onion rings and cod goujons which were fresh, hot and crispy and went down nicely with the beer.
Raffle number one for a Beer Can Chicken sharer was fruitless for me, but we did get to sample both the Beer Can Chicken and Jerk Chicken on the next round of food. Paired with our next beer sample, Marksman IPA, the fruity and spicy flavour of the jerk chicken went really well with the strong, citrussy flavour of the IPA.
Our final round was a sample of Moody Mike, a seasonal brew only available in winter, named after Mike Pinder – the mellotron player of the Moody Blues – who actually worked at the factory that made the mellotron, in Sutton Coldfield. This smoked porter is a really smooth, delicious beer that’s more drinkable than it sounds. Paired with the rich dark chocolate brownie, it could easily do as an after dinner drink. This was one of my favourites of the night.
We were graced with the presence of hockey legend Jane Sixsmith, who also has a beer named after her, to crack the bottle and officially open the brewery, dubbed ‘A Brew To A Kill.’
Unfortunately we didn’t win either of the night’s other raffles for a beer masterclass or a mini keg, but we’ll definitely be coming back for both. I’ve already got my eye on a beer masterclass for my birthday where you bring your own homebrew for tasting, and the winner gets to brew a batch of the winning ale and take home their own mini keg!
After the rest of the bloggers and media types made their way off, we finished off the night with a couple more beers in front of the gorgeous fire before trotting home.
While drinking on a school night can’t usually be recommended, I had a great time, and am looking forward to my next trip to the Brewhouse & Kitchen.
Cheers to Sutton’s first microbrewery!
I was invited to the Brewhouse and Kitchen launch as a guest of the management. My food samples and sample size glasses of 004 Oaks, Marksman IPA and Moody Mike were complimentary. All other drinks I tried were paid for by myself. All opinions are, as always, my own.