Dukes Brew and Que is the home of one of a number of breweries to have opened in London this year, Beavertown Brewery. It’s a bit of a mission of mine to explore every London brewery, so when the Craft Beer Social Club invited us along to their BBQ Beer Feast I jumped at the chance.
Founded by Byron Knight and Logan Plant (son of Robert Plant – yes, that Robert Plant), Beavertown supplies both the brewpub and a handful of other outlets with an interesting mix of mainly American-inspired craft beers. The brewery is squeezed into one corner of the kitchen as often seems to be the way with brewpubs, and while it’s great to be able to see the kit sat there in full view, I can’t help feeling sorry for the chef who has to work around it all!
The evening wasn’t just about their beers though; it was also a chance to try some of the food that Dukes Brew and Que offer. Each course was introduced by the chef, and was matched to a suitable beer by cellar master Hannah Vernon. Four of Beavertown’s own beers made an appearance through the evening.
The Omega (on the left) is a seriously big, hop heavy beer. Part of an experimental series of beers, it makes me wish I’d managed to catch the rest. Their 8 Ball Rye IPA (on the right) is maltier, with a hint of red fruit and a more controlled hop kick, but is still pretty tasty stuff.
Both paired with goats cheese starters, the strong hop characters cut through the cheeses nicely.
Neck Oil is their wonderfully named Best Bitter. It’s well executed and very drinkable, although slightly more bitter than session beers often are – I don’t mean that as any sort of criticism, it’s nice to see some decent character coming through.
Served with the miso cod (easily the best dish of the evening), this is one of the weaker matches. The flavours don’t clash, but they don’t particularly complement each other either.
The last of the house beers is Smog Rocket, a porter made with smoked malt. Smoked beer is always a tricky one to pull off – it’s easy to overdo it and make a beer that is ‘challenging’ to enjoy. As a porter it’s a tasty beer, sweet with a nice hoppy backbone but the smoke is almost imperceptible, which is a shame.
The sweet malty character matches the BBQ ribs nicely; it’s a shame the smoke isn’t more apparent as that would have made a delicious combination.
Kavey has a more in-depth review of the food side of things over on Kavey Eats.
Overall it was a fun evening, giving me an opportunity to explore another new brewery. The format works too; as it’s an open ticket event we ended up with a diverse collection of people looking for an interesting night out – it wasn’t all about the beer (or the food), but a social event that happened to be in a brewpub.
The Craft Beer Social Club runs beer and brewer events such as this around London, as well as a regular monthly beer tasting club. Pete Drinks was a guest of the CBSC for the evening.