It was all very impromptu, so you can imagine my surprise when confronted with what seemed like the entire range of beers from London's excellent Brodie's brewery. I asked the barman if they were having a meet the brewer event or something of that sort, but he didn't have a clue what I was on about.
I'm still not entirely sure what the deal is between Brodie's and The Old Coffee House, is it a Brodie's tied pub? Do they just really like selling Brodie's beers? All I know is every time I've been in they have five Brodie's beers on cask and five different Brodie's beers on keg, more than enough to be going at.
Recently with an hour or so to kill I got chance to have a proper sit down with the range on offer that day - and here's what I thought...
Brodies pineapple sour - Keg 5%
Light aroma. Slightly lactic sour with a tiny citrus sour edge.
The flavour is fully sour with a fruity, buttery flavour like lemon curd (in a good way). Light in the body, as is par for the course when it comes to sours. The flavour is a lot like a Moscow mule, with a clash of lime and ginger but no pineapple that I can detect.
Tart and refreshing, this is a beer that would act as a great sorbet-like palate cleanser between courses. But you couldnt drink a lot of on its own.
Shoreditch Sunshine - Cask 3.9%
This has a really great fresh hop aroma with loads of pine resin and spicy, bitter hops. Really herbal with only a whiff of citrus.
The flavour is a chemical peel of hops for your tongue. That light body and low abv provides no malt sweetness to quell the heat of those hops, but it somehow remains drinkable and not puckeringly dry. Im guessing loads of late and dry hopping, but a light hand for the bittering hops has come into play here, but I'm guessing.
Whatever the method the results are great. It's a pretty perfect summer beer and I'm reluctant to move on.
Brodies and Three Flloyds ESB Keg 5.4%
Well first things first. This doesn't look like any ESB I've ever seen, sitting more in the light pale ale spectrum.
The taste pretty much ties in with how it looks - It tastes like a hoppy American pale ale. Not an ESB.
That said, it's a lovely beer. With a good juicy fruit aroma and a nice mango flavour with just a bit of fruity bitterness in the finish. Very fruity, very um bongo. But not anywhere near what you'd consider an ESB.
I like it a lot. But why not call it a pale ale? I get the impression they set out to make one thing, came up with the name, then didn't have the heart to change the branding post brewing.
But I'm splitting hairs. The taste, is great.
London fields pale ale Cask 4%
The aroma is invitingly citrusy but the flavour has that slightly dusty flavour that hoppy English pale ales can sometimes get (harvest pale often ale has it). It's not a negative thing as such, but it does distract somewhat.
If I'd have started on this I would have probably liked it a lot more. But after the hop hit of the shoreditch sunshine and the juicy mango fruitiness of the 'ESB' this feels a bit of a damp squib.
A workmanlike pale ale that is probably one of their biggest sellers, but doesn't get my engine revving.
Cranberry IPA Keg 7%
Very hazy, I'm assuming from heavy hopping. The aroma is very unusual. It does have a berry fruit aroma but alongside it are herbal hops and a spicy bitterness. A touch of the tropical but that berry fruit is dominant.
The flavour is bizarre, but when I think about it wholy expected. It lives up to the moniker of cranberry IPA.
I think I expected a red IPA but this is golden and clear with a flavour that has a lot in common with a big bold British IPA such as meantimes, or perhaps ilkley lotus IPA, but then that berry fruitiness just creeps in.
It's all very odd and shouldn't work but I like it. I almost wish I didn't know about the cranberry as really, this is just a great IPA with a berry fruit edge. I'd be saying how much I liked the bramling cross in this if I didn't know the back story.
Old street pale ale - Cask 5%
Hmm it's got that dusty flavour, a little ashy-ness too, that I got in the London fields. Help guys, is this a certain hop or brewing method? It sticks out like a sore thumb to me.
A touch of grapefruit, a hint of lemon and orange. Nice and light, drinkable. But a touch burnt. Is it me?
Brodie's and Mikkeller Big mofo Imperial Stout keg 10.5%
Only £2.50 a half. A bargain at this strength and quality (I loved the bottle of this I drank previously).
You get a BIG roasted coffee aroma and sweet fruity dark chocolate.
The aroma is essentially Jamaican coffee (rum and espresso) with a huge, berry fruit, chocolate coated blackcurrant flavour.
This is an amazing beer. I love the fruity, almost funky berry flavours you get in some imperial stouts and this has that in droves. loads of fruity Ethiopian coffee (which has a classically red wine flavour).
It's better than the bottle. I'm not sure how long this has been on tap thanks to that strength but it has obviously got better and better, tasting very much like an imperial export stout (fruity n funky).
Fruity coffee, rich Like an old ale, but smokey and bitter at th same time.
Just stunning. A great end to a mixed but on the whole enjoyable bunch of beers.