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So we took another outing this weekend. We decided that heading outside of Ipswich is all good and fun, however we really should visit all of the well reputable real ale pubs in Ipswich too! So this weekend we headed out to The Brewery Tap. It was around half 3 in the afternoon, and already getting dull, and was certainly a cold, cold day.
Jon, Dan and Myself set about finding The Brewery Tap, and realised once we got to town to the University campus it was pretty much a straight, and slightly lengthy walk down Cliff Road. We were certainly glad to get there when we did, and soon warmed up when we got inside.
Now The Brewery Tap is in a slight odd location, it’s right next to the Old Tolly Cobbold Brewery, which operated from around 1730 up until 2002. The Brewery Tap is linked with Cliff Quay Brewery, which until recently was located in part of the old Tolly Cobbold building, and brewed right next door to the pub. However they have very recently moved to Earl Soham to join the Earl Soham Brewery. There are plans, or should I say ideas, that the area around the old brewery and The Brewery Tap along the dock side is to be developed. But as it stands it is a bit further away than most pubs in town. For a quick read on the proposed development have a look here! There’s also more recent news that Asda had taken an interest in the development.
Its a lovely looking pub, very traditional feel to it, nice bar, traditional seating. There’s a number of off shooting rooms, which are inviting and cosy, with a number of tables and seats in. There were a number of tables layed out for food, with reserved signs on, but it was easy enough to find a place to sit. We choose the first room as you enter the pub, with bare brick walls, interesting wall decorations, and even a candle or two! It certainly did feel comfortable!
Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to check out the garden, or the birds (the chickens and ducks they keep!) so we will definitely have to head back in the daylight!
Along with having a good range of real ale, they also offer a rather tasty food menu. They do focus heavily on food, and seem to be proud to source ingredients locally. You can view their menu on line, and they have some very tasty sounding dishes, and are also open to requests for special occasions. Our personal opinion was that the food was priced slightly high, but then again we are pretty tight. However the location of the pub makes it much more attractive to drive to meaning the food brings in people as much as the beer, and the food did look and smell very good, so I imagine you pay for the quality, all the same be prepared to dish out £15 minimum for a main course and a drink!
Now they do also have a good range of real ales, a number of hand pumps and a couple of draught towers. Many of the beers are from the Cliff Quay brewery, and as mentioned brewed just next to the pub until recently. There are also a number of local real ales stocked, and being a free house they can pick and choose whatever they would like! They also have a couple of nice lagers, and we spotted a Calvors, Meantime, and a British Gold on tap.
So onto the beers we tried, and in no particular order, since we mixed and matched each others beers.
I started with the Cliff Quay Screaming Fifties IPA at 5.0%, which started off nice. It was very smooth, with a good body taste. Dan the pointed out that it had a rather odd after taste, which I the realised, and unfortunately once it was pointed out couldn’t ignore. The rest of the beer didnt go down too well, and took me a rather long time to drink, and I even couldn’t finish it! (However it may be down to the fact I was still a little rough around the edges from the night before, rather than a fault on the beers part).
We all tried the Cliff Quay Old Strong, a winter warmer at 4.7%, it was a good malty beer, full of complex flavour and very tasty. The malt and roasteyness certainly came through, but not overly warming! We came to the conclusion that it was literally too cold. It seemed colder than most real ale beers we try, all the beers at the pub did. It may be down to the fact it was freezing outside.
We then all had a Meantime London Stout at 4.5%, a lovely kegged stout on draught. Dan stated it tastes more like a porter to him, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do like a good Meantime, and it was nice to find it on tap. Its much more carbonated and not as smooth as most stouts, as its on draught rather than a hand pump.
Dan and Jon also had the Meantime Helles Bier at 4.4%, a nice light lager from Meantime. Slightly too carbonated for our palette, but a nice light refreshing beer, a very nice lager, without the bland boringness of mass commercial brands.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to The Brewery Tap, and will definitely be heading down again. We would also suggest the same to you! Head down for a meal, or just for a couple of pints and you wont be disappointed. Check their website for upcoming events, they regularly hold a pub quiz too. They also have an outstanding array of flavoured pickled eggs!
Again, we would love to hear your opinion of the places we visit, so do feel free to leave a comment below, or head to our suggestion page for, well, any suggestions!