My beer-loving friend Jerred and I have been talking about a day trip to Beavertown Brewery’s Saturday Tap Room in Tottenham Hale for months. Finally, the day had arrived. And of course, we turn up way too early. Before opening time. Mobile phones out. Cameras ready. Like virgins at Disneyland.
The tap room is open once a week; Saturdays, 2:00pm to 8:00pm. And it’s pretty much tables and benches outside – and even inside – the brewery itself. There’s also a van covered in Beavertown’s classic ’50s alien movie Gamma Ray spaceman design. And of course, there’s the tap room, pop up food by Capish Food and a less-frequented can station.
The smell of the brewery is intoxicating. At first, you’re not quite sure what to make of it. But eventually, the heady aroma becomes pleasant and delicious. The machinery’s impressive too – straight out of Breaking Bad. Everything looks like it’s scoured clean on the hour (or like it was all bought earlier that morning). But the main attraction, of course, is the tap room – and the candy store selection of rare Beavertown treats it holds within.
First up we go for one of three Invasion of the Lupuloids IPA Series options; the Delta Unda, a hoppy 5.7% IPA that goes down smooth and sweet but weighs in with some serious flavour and bitterness later on. A bit like Oakham Ale’s Citra beer, only thicker and even more delicious, with an unmistakable Beavertown twist. A refreshing start to the afternoon.
The half pints the tap room serves are perfect. Allowing us to sample more flavours than we would normally, at £2.50 a pop – and the last sip’s always as fresh as the first. Up next we decide to try something a bit more outlandish. The intriguing-sounding Peacher Man Peach Cobbler Wit, a collaboration with California’s Heretic Brewing.
The sweet smell of peach is unmistakable as I go in for a sip. And the taste is rich and aromatic. The spicy 6.2% nectar is a combination of peach, toasted oats, muscovado sugar, lemon zest and bourbon vanilla pods, all added to a “delicate strain” of Belgian Wit ale. It’s then dry hopped with famous New Zealand hop variety Nelson Sauvin, which adds to the liquid’s texture and fruitiness. It could just be my new favourite Beavertown creation.
By now the place is filling up. I recognise a bearded, beanie-wearing dude from Tottenham Hale tube station. Should have guessed he’d end up here – didn’t look like your average IKEA type.
Up next we go for the seasonal Bloody ‘Ell Blood Orange IPA. A beer I can find in the shops, but obviously in a can. Bloody ‘Ell on tap is still quite a novelty.
The lip-smackingly citrusy taste is as pleasant as always – and I still can’t believe that such a smooth, flavoursome beer is 7.2% – but all I can think about is the Peacher Man. And that’s what we get next! In comparison, the Bloody ‘Ell doesn’t seem quite as special today.
By the time we’re ready for round five, the queue in the tap room is massive, snaking around like a post office at lunchtime, only more beards, beanies, New Balance and Vans sneakers, and the odd Sister Ray bag. Waiting in line I notice a shelf of files with titles like “Gamma Ray,” “Neck Oil” and “Black Betty” on the spines. It’s only the bloody recipe books!
In closing, we dip back into the Invasion of the Lupuloids series, this time taking in the Uy Scuti; A well balanced, soft and fruity IPA that leaves a subtle bitter taste in my mouth. A perfect end to our day in the (metaphorical) sun. We grab a few stickers, look through the rest of the merch and head out.