Bunker Brew Co

Beer Reviews

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Brewhouse & Kitchen – Gloucester Quays

On the way down to Devon, we decided to stop off at the Brewhouse & Kitchen Pub/Restaurant at Gloucester Quays. This place looks pretty impressive, the bar and eating area is open plan, with beer bottle decor and pays homage to the Brewpub side of things pretty well.

Brewhouse and kitchen Bar area

Brewhouse and kitchen Bar area

This place is almost a craft beer heaven. The brewpub creations are available as hand pulled ales and the draught ales on the back wall include the likes of Beavertown, a couple of independent breweries and some macro beers offerings. There’s a good range of bottled Belgian ales and craft beer bottlings too. All the back wall draught beers come with custom shaped handles, something that i have not seen before in the U.K, however I’m guessing this will result in a reluctance to vary the offerings. All the glassware offerings are pretty good, sporting modern designs and minimal branding. You can also purchase said glassware for a reasonable price.

SSBanner American Pale Ale – 4.5%

The first beer I tried was SSBanner American Pale Ale at 4.5% ABV. It came in at around £4.20 a pint and was a pretty decent pour (for Hand pull) giving a nice amber colour, generating a decent head and low/average retention. The beer also has low carbonation, which is to be expected. There was a slight whiff of citrus aroma on the pour, however, this quickly disappears to nothingness and is replaced by sweet malt. The taste is moderately bitter with a hint of bittersweet at the end with some fruitiness coming through. Body is really quite watery and unpleasant. Overall, this beer could use more aroma hops for a APA and hold back on the bittering hops somewhat. I don’t think this beer was representative of the style at all and I found this disappointing.

Brewhouse and Kitchen-SSBanner American Pale Ale

Brewhouse and Kitchen-SSBanner American Pale Ale

SSBanner American Pale Ale Pint

SSBanner American Pale Ale Pint

#WallsLayoff Unfined Wheat Beer – 5.0%

The second brew was #WallsLayoff Unfined Wheat Beer at 5.0% and around £4.50 a pint. The pour was a bit thin, with a micro head generation. The aroma is all banana and yeasty. The appearance is non carbonated, slightly hazy and golden, and the taste is really quite watery and lacks body (again!) but I think this is partly due to a lack of any carbonation and potentially some mashing temp issues. The taste is also initially sweet, followed by an odd aftertaste on the way to sour. This is not a good wheat beer at all and I’m again disappointed. Firstly because wheat beer should not be hand pulled, this should really be served on draught.

Brewhouse and kitchen #WallsLayoff Unfined Wheat Beer Label

Brewhouse and kitchen #WallsLayoff Unfined Wheat Beer Label

#WallsLayoff Unfined Wheat Beer

#WallsLayoff Unfined Wheat Beer

Overall

I love the concept of this place. A dream envisioned by beer entrepreneurs, hitting the chain circuit. The decor is splendid, the brew kit in the corner, all shiney and clad in copper. The food looks pretty darn good, and the place has all the adopted mantra of what Dogfish Head started all those years ago, albeit with a slight detour: The beer. 

The general beer is quite watery, lacks sufficient hops for the style: in particular the American Pale Ale. Imagine expecting something like Beavertown Gamma Ray and getting something like Fullers ESB. Lovely. There was no house IPA on tap either. I must credit the place as having decent beers on tap including Weihenstephan on tap. Now that is something to marvel at. If this place got the beer right, with more hops, more body and possibly a bit more ABV (and style variation) I would have stayed all night. Instead, I experienced more chain pub than brewpub.

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Brouwerij Huyghe – Delirium Nocturnum – 8.5%

From Brouwerij Huyghe comes Delirium Nocturnum at 8.5%. De-capping gives a sweet caramel aroma, with a touch of chocolate and noble hoppiness. The pour is a reddy dark brown, generating an off white head that lingers fairly well. The carbonation is fairly high, which lends itself to a soft mouthfeel, but being simultaneously full bodied. There is a hint of bitterness hidden in the aftertaste, lent by either the roasty malts or the hops. This, combined with a subtle brown sugar maltiness and slightly dry finish at the end finishes the beer off nicely with just a hint of sourness. I really liked this one!

Brouwerij Huyghe Delirium Nocturnum

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Redwillow – Smokeless Smoked Chipotle Porter – 5.7%

From The Redwillow Brewery in Macclesfield, comes Smokeless Smoked Chipotle Porter at 5.7%. De-canning gives a pleasant sweet chocolate aroma with just a touch of smoke. The pour generated a massive head, dropping down to a thin skin of off white. The appearance is darkest black and very stout like supporting a carbonation which is pretty high for the style. The mouthfeel is thick with a good body, the aftertaste being sweet, with a hint of chocolate toffee. Refreshing, yet with a warming aftertaste from the chipotle chilli presence. Smokiness however, is now nowhere to be seen. Overall, pleasant and warming rather than refreshing. The chipotle flavour adds a bit more decadence and contributes to a mouthfeel which is thick and meal like. A good beer from a taste perspective, but a little difficult to enjoy as a session beer. A good experimental taste experience, however I’m not entirely sure the contrasting tastes are complimentary. More smoke next time please!

Redwillow Smokeless Smoked Chipotle Porter

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Kinn Bryggeri – Sjelefred Brown Ale – 4.7%

From Kinn Bryggeri comes Sjelefred Brown Ale at 4.7%. De-capping  gives a faint aroma of bitter coffee. The coffee smell dissipates quite quickly, which leaves the brew distinctly odourless. Carbonation is very low, with virtually no head generation. The appearance is almost complete black, with the taste being slightly herbal and malty, low sweetness and very low bitterness. One of the hardest beers i’ve found to pick out any distinct flavours. The body is medium, with the herbal aftertaste emerging more as the beer warms. A bit of an odd brown ale, sitting in the average category.

Kinn Bryggeri Sjelefred

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Brasserie Dupont – Avec les Bons Voeux – 9.5%

From the renowned Brasserie Dupont comes Avec les Bons Voeux at 9.5%. De-corking gives a musky wine like aroma mingled in with a Belgian noble hop aroma and the fruity incense of Saison yeasty esters. The pour is an absolute marvel of perfection, deep golden and inviting, generating a thick creamy head that lingers like a dream. The taste is sweet, with some headiness, instantly kicking in with a fast bitterness and a hint of warmness as the alcohol makes itself known. The carbonation is thick and almost Champagne like, with contributes to a wonderful mouth feel sensation. The distinct aroma continues to develop through ambient warmth, adding a subtle creamy sweet aroma, merging perfectly with the fruity esters. A Saison ‘triple’ hybrid beer of sublime epic proportions. Both astounding and amazing. Bitter sweet merge in perfect harmony. My best beer of 2017 so far!

Brasserie Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux