After a summer break (which largely consisted of more drinking and less writing, aided by the start of the football season) Beer:Geek is back. Inspired by a great evening at BrewDog Camden celebrating a fine selection of some of London's newest craft breweries, the next taproom on my list is Peckham's Brick Brewery, whose offerings proved suitably tempting to encourage further exploration. Conveniently located in the arches under Peckham Rye station, they are mercifully also open on more than just Saturdays (football again...) allowing for a sneaky post-work outing.
The first beer is a bit of a mouthful all round. The Sir Thomas Gardyner is a session American pale ale, and a tasty one at that. A mere 3.8%, it certainly packs a lot of flavour for such a moderate ABV. Full of citrus on the nose, this is expanded upon with a slight sweetness and hints of pine on the palette. It is richer than most session ales, with a deep orange colour to match. Bitterness is kept low, but is definitely still lurking there in the corners of the mouth, building slowly the deeper into the pint you sink. Amongst the other beers currently on offer, their Kinsale is a good old fashioned English bitter, one with a good bite and plenty to taste that is squarely aimed at those making early forays from CAMRA heartlands.
I am not a particular fan of black IPAs so only had a taster of Blenheim Black, and found it to be pleasant enough; only a mild bitterness on show, but not as flavoursome as either comparable beers, or indeed many of Brick's other offerings. I also picked up a couple of bottles from the brewery to enjoy at home. The Archway Steam, a Californian common, is loaded with malty caramel flavours, benefitting from a light edge courtesy of the lager yeast but still with plenty of depth for the taste buds. Their American IPA Pioneer is indeed very American as huge waves of grapefruit play against a strong but not overwhelming bitterness.
Similar to Tooting's By The Horns, albeit approaching it from the other end, Brick are attempting to marry traditional real ale and the scene Stateside which this country is trying so hard to catch up with. Brewing predominantly American styles with a very English approach, they have certainly shown promise at becoming a London favourite. Unfortunately I seem to have chosen a slight lull in their brewing cycle as the likes of their new rye pale ale is gone, but the coming months look very promising given their "Coming Soon" board including the likes of a porter, a winter warmer and a black lager. Methinks I will be back once autumn is in full swing...