Wednesday, 4 April 2012

By The Horns Brewery Open Day

When I saw that By The Horns were having another open day at the end of the month it reminded me that I had always intended to write a little review of their beers I tried at their open day in March. By The Horns is the newest brewery to open up in south west London and a visit to London by my parents coincided nicely with their first open day. And so on a lovely sunny Saturday in March we made the short trip over the river to the brewery.
The journey down to the brewery was very striking as it took us past the old Young's brewery. Having lived in this part of London it made my Dad rather reminiscent about all the good beers Young's used to make before the brewery was closed indefinitely in 2006. On arrival at By The Horns we were greeted by a small block in an industrial estate that seems so ubiquitous with microbreweries nowadays. I like this idea though, that 2 young guys with a passion for brewing can set up a microbrewery in what is essentially a big garage and make very good brews. Speaking to the 2 owners they seemed to be very passionate about what they were doing and had big ideas for the expansion of the area to which they sold their beer. It was also nice to see that the clientèle was not made up exclusively of middle aged men with beards and sandals. It always makes me happy to go to these kind of events and see young people getting as excited about beer.

So what were the beers like? The guys had their whole range available in a mixture of casks and bottles. The 3 highlights for me were 2 cask beers; the Doodle APA, a 5.9% pale beer made using bags of american hops, the Lambeth Walk, a silky 5.1% dark porter, and the bottled Bobby on the Wheat, a 4.7% pale wheat beer. I have to say my favourite was probably the Doodle APA. It was just the slightly bitter, citrus flavoured beer that is so perfect for quenching ones thirst on a hot day. While the beers weren't mind blowing they were very nice offerings from one of the newest breweries in London. I bought a few bottles of their beers to take away with me and I've since tried all 3 of them finding them to again be lovely beers. The Doodle in particular was excellent in the bottle with the subtle citrus hop flavours coming through nicely. I also managed to snaffle a pint of the Bobby on the Wheat at the White Horse a few days ago and found that the cask offering was a nice, refreshing and interesting, through the use of the wheat, beer.
Overall the day was good fun and it was nice for my parents to see how the brewing scene in London has changed from when they lived here. I hope the guys at By The Horns are successful in their endeavours as  any brewery which looks to crack Fullers dominance on west and south west London is alright by me! I'm also looking forward to their next open day at the end of April where the new Oat Pale Ale will be launched!

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