Beavertown and The Great Escape

by Steve

Beavertown Brewery banner

The finest pint is the earned pint. After a proper day’s work there are few things better than that first sip of beer. Now, as something of a desk jockey by trade I don’t really have many days that genuinely deserve a drink of that nature as I’m not exactly physically exerting myself as I write reports/complete spreadsheets/answer dumb questions from colleagues/stare at a screen.

However, Sunday I’d worked pretty hard, by my standards anyway. Project New Home is in full flow at the moment, and I was working on demolishing and pulling out a floor-to-ceiling built-in cupboard/cabinet-type thing. I have discovered that I am a little bit more practical than I thought, at least when it comes to hitting strange wooden contraptions with a hammer until they fall apart.

So, by the evening I was ready for a restorative drink. Luckily, I’d picked up a couple of beers from Beavertown Brewery – a fairly new addition to the London craft beer ‘scene’ (whatever that is) and a brewery that I’ve only just discovered.

I’m not ashamed to admit that what first drew me to them was their label designs. Most beer labelling is horrible, but these guys have got themselves a really strong identity – like the Illuminati had taken to drawing underground comics. There’s a lot to be said for a good beer aesthetic – nothing wrong with a handsome bottle.

I know that no matter how pretty the label looks what’s inside has to match up to it, and the beers I tried came pretty close. I went for the 8-Ball Rye IPA, followed by the Smog Rocket smoked porter. Now, it is really hard to not sound like I’m damning the beers with understatement here, but these were really solid, competent beers. They did everything I expected, the IPA having a satisfying dryness and crispness, the porter having just the right balance of malt and smoke.

Good beers done well. And I really like them for that. While there is place for wild experimentation in brewing, it is also good to have really drinkable, likable, approachable beers on offer. Beavertown seem to have a very smart brewing model in having a ‘core’ line-up but also a series of more experimental beers, so they are covering their bases pretty well. I’ll definitely be checking out more of their regulars as well as the more esoteric offerings, should I be able to get hold of them.

We’ve got this long weekend coming up earmarked for some serious DIY, so I’m already working on vague plans for getting my overalls on, doing something vaguely practical, and then settling down with a Beavertown or two. I might just need a soundtrack for this, and I could do a lot worse than the new free EP from favourites-of-your-correspondent Turf War.

The Great Escape sees Turf War continue to grow into one of the great unheralded proper unreconstructed rock bands of our age. Not that I’m one for hyperbole, of course. But they are a great band to drink to. The songwriting is still there and the production is sharper without being too clean and the EP is FREE so you can’t really go wrong and you might as well spend what you saved from downloading a free EP on a few good beers with which to toast Turf War’s marvellous internet generosity. Or something along those lines, anyway.

Or if the whole d/l stuff on Bandcamp is a pain, you could play the EP on the nifty little player below.