I’m a little hungover today as I write this, and that’s because yesterday was Sambrooks’ 4th birthday. The weather was good at the brewery in Battersea – a little chilly but lovely and sunny – and people were already milling around outside, sitting on hay bales and sipping on ale when we arrived. We handed in our tickets, received a pint glass and 6 tokens and headed into the brewery. Our first stop was into the main room of the brewery – the Brewery Bar – to have the first pint of the day, where the Pumphouse Pale Ale, Lavender Hill Pale Ale (a summer special) and Wandle were available. We all went for the Pumphouse Pale Ale, a deliciously drinkable, light, hoppy, clean beer with bags of fresh flavour.
We stood outside near the food, supplied by The Ginger Pig, which smelt very enticing – huge sausage rolls (standard, pork and stilton and lamb merguez), sausage buns from the BBQ (made with Sambrook’s Junction ale) and quiche. Whilst we enjoyed the sunshine and the Pale Ale, we discusses the merit of halves over pints – the half measures we saw around us were very generous! So, we went back to the Brewery Bar to try the Lavender Hill, which is made with honey for a slight sweetness but still has a clean, bitter finish. Once again, very tasty. We tried a couple of the sausage rolls while we drank, which were delicious and matched the beer wonderfully.
We decided to explore the other bars – there were three in total – and popped our head into the porter bar (not yet, we decided) before heading upstairs to the Boadicea Bar over looking the brewery, and with a great selection: Wandle, Junction, Lavender Hill, and Pumphouse (both cask and keg, interestingly). We all went for the keg Pumphouse which served to make the beer crisper and more aromatic. Great for a sunny day.
We ventured back outside just as the music was starting. Didn’t catch their name but they were really suited to the setting and the atmosphere – fiddle, double bass, acoustic guitar, banjo and snare drum, plus 5 harmonising vocals – and did some great country and bluegrass songs as well as some inventive covers.
I also tried the Junction (a nice, deep, rich ale) and the porter, which was very drinkable (I’m not usually a porter/stout fan, but this was very light and smooth), before going back to the 2 pale ales.
By the time last orders came, we were all well lubricated but used up our last tokens on a final pint as people started to disperse.
All in all, the vibe of the day was really good and a combination of great beer, good music, tasty food, excellent weather and friendly staff made for lots of happy drinkers. Congrats to Sambrooks!
Now, I’m off to start cooking a steak and ale stew in the hope it might make me feel better…