Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Beerd, Bristol - the new face of pubs?
If you were going to open a new business would you send up your potential customers? Calling a beer bar Beerd and - cheekier still - getting your waitresses to wear T shirts with 'beerdy weirdy' on the back seems a high risk strategy akin to calling a new nail salon Chavs. Especially if some of your punters are not noted for their sense of humour.
So, Bath Ales' new opening in Bristol - a craft beer and pizza bar along the lines of the new places that have been opening in London (Brewdog, Craft Bar & Co and Draft House) - is a brave move and one I hope will succeed.
Its audience is obviously going to be very different from the CAMRA crowd. The airy rooms are dotted with brightly coloured tables, the bar sports bright neon hand pumps, lots of bottles and - shock, horror - keg beer. It's a student area - near the university and next to the hospital. Will they be interested in bottles of Scheider Aventinus at £7.95 a pop and small tapa style bowls of padron peppers at £4? I'm not sure.
They should go for the pizzas though our youngest, just out of uni and a pizza aficionado pronounced them underseasoned. I thought they were pretty good myself with a fantastic crust but I think I just chose a more interesting topping (prosciutto, artichoke, olive and mushroom). They were hard to cut on the somewhat slithery plates though and took a fair while to come which I'm guessing could mean a long wait on a busy evening.
Still it was only the first full day's trading and the friendly staff were eager for feedback. Apparently they'll be changing the beers regularly and they obviously know how to serve them, as you'd expect from a brewery-run operation. My half of Thornbrige Jaipur was in very good nick. And it's great to find them available in thirds for tasting as well as halves, two thirds and pints.
An interesting development. Cool beer places serving 'craft beer' rather than 'real ale' are going to be one of the hot trends for 2012, I reckon. Let's see if I'm right.