Midweek, mid-evening, mid-summer(ish): a delightful August day that somehow managed to escape the flash-flood conditions of the previous few weeks is an ideal moment to be reintroduced to pub life. And by pub life, I mean a launch event, but tomayto-tomahto.

Anyhow, courtesy of the good folk at Portobello Road Gin, we were sat upstairs at their flagship gin palace in the heart of West London sipping deep on a Dirty Tuxedo (a sort-of wet dirty Martini given depth by Fino sherry) and watching the world go by. I’ve spoken before about Portobello Road’s new savoury offering, and given I thought it was excellent, why wouldn’t I take up the offer to try it in its natural habitat?


So, Portobello were originally going to have a launch do/general shindig for their Savoury Gin on the 21st June. As the general reopening of everything was postponed, so too was the launch do, though they very kindly sent me a bottle to have a try of. For reasons that are faintly inscrutable to me, I felt that it seemed appropriate to hold off giving my thoughts until general public socialising was once more on the horizon. So, now that we know what’s happening on the 19th July and this gin can be shared amongst friends as intended, my thoughts forthwith:

As previously established, Portobello know their way around a good gin, so I was very happy to find a bottle of their newest release on my doorstep. The notion for this release comes from the Victorian penchant for giving gins interesting and obscure names and colloquialisms, one the more florid of which was “King Theodore of Corsica”. Apparently this was more to do with the hold Theodore’s descent into a debtor’s prison had on the popular imagination than a deep appreciation of the Mediterranean island, but Portobello have run with the idea to bring us this bottle.



[NB: This is a embarrassingly late write-up – the launch was in early September. Never let it be said that I have my finger on the pulse]

After a steady refurbishment of the original site, London Fields Brewery decided it was ready to show itself off to the wider world and held a big do in the done-upĀ taproom and brewery. I was rather curious about this relaunch, as the brewery was barely five hundred yards from my now-wife’s flat when we first started dating, and in those early days I dragged her there to see if I could persuade her of beer’s merits. So, with a mix of curiosity and nostalgia, off we trooped. (more…)

Apparently the fruits of a visit from Brooklyn Brewery‘s brewmaster Garrett Oliver taking a trip West, when he was in the UK a few months ago, this is a 5.2% dry-hopped sour brewed at Lost And Grounded. My experience of the main Brooklyn range tends more to technical solidity rather than jaw-dropping virtuosity, but Oliver is always interesting and their Bel-Air sour was an unexpected stand-out when I was in New York a year or two back. Lost and Grounded have a similar focus on process, unsurprising given the Little Creatures and Camden pedigree of co-founder Alex Troncoso, albeit aimed slightly more at German and Belgian styles. With the Bel-Air in mind, and both parties’ history of putting out dialled-in beers, I was very happy that a can fell into my lap.*