What’s your tip­ple?

A guide to craft beers and ar­ti­san gins

EADT Suffolk - - Inside - Ar­cade Tav­ern 1 Ar­cade St, Ip­swich IP1 1EX www.ar­cade­tav­ern.co.uk

IN 1751, Wil­liam Hog­a­rth, the painter, cre­ated the works Beer Street, and Gin Lane, which de­picted scenes of Lon­don streets. The pros­per­ous and happy would be drink­ing beer, while on the other side, were the folk seen as peas­ants, lazy and ill through too much gin. It was a ma­jor prob­lem for so­ci­ety, and led to the prints be­ing pub­lished in sup­port of the Gin Act in 1751, pro­hibit­ing gin dis­tillers sell­ing to un­li­censed mer­chants.

Things could not be more dif­fer­ent to­day than at the Ar­cade Street Tav­ern, which opened its doors in 2014 spe­cial­is­ing in craft beer and ar­ti­san gin from across the globe. With over 30 years com­bined ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try, Ross Keough and I teamed up to show­case a won­der­ful ever-chang­ing ar­ray of beers and gins, on the de­tailed menus within the four walls of a beau­ti­ful Ge­or­gian town house in the heart of Ip­swich. We en­cour­age peo­ple to drink re­spon­si­bly.

Each month in Beer Street and Gin Lane we show­case a brew­ery and dis­tiller. What bet­ter place to start than a brew­ery from Nor­way, which has been in­tro­duced to our shores by Ad­nams, and a new Suf­folk dis­tiller.

BEER STREET . . .

Ægir is a Nor­we­gian Brew­pub that pro­duces multi award win­ning beers. In­spired by Norse mythol­ogy and lo­cated on the in­ner reaches of the pic­turesque Flam Fjord, Ægir have grown into pos­si­bly Nor­way’s best brew­ery. Ægir’s head brewer and co-owner Evan Lewis orig­i­nates from New York, but qual­i­fied with his brew­ing di­ploma from the Scan­di­na­vian brew­ing school in Copen­hagen. Opened in 2007, the brew pub build­ing is one of Flam’s big­gest at­trac­tions. The Flam scenery has in­spired Evan to brew some in­ter­est­ing beer, fo­cus­ing on what’s big from back home in the way of hops, then look­ing fur­ther afield for in­spi­ra­tion with the in­clu­sion of Aus­tralian va­ri­eties. Evan took time out of sched­uled vis­its across the UK to call in and in­tro­duce him­self, and I asked what’s special about his beer. He replied that he has gained so much ex­pe­ri­ence from back home in the US as a home brewer, but study­ing the dif­fer­ent styles of beers from across Europe, to cre­ate his own recipes, us­ing hops and malts and the nat­u­ral moun­tain wa­ter on his doorstep, and a spe­cial­ist yeast strain, all play in har­mony. He sources fruits from the wood­land and other in­gre­di­ents from around the globe.

The brew­ery has in­stalled a new can­ning line this year, fully op­er­a­tional and reg­u­larly ex­port­ing to the UK. We cur­rently stock these which are avail­able in can on the cur­rent au­tumn beer menu:

WIT (wheat beer) 4.7% abv, notes of co­rian­der and orange peel.

Lit­tle­bro Ses­sion IPA 4.7% abv, dry crisp and fresh hop aro­mas of trop­i­cal fruit and orange bit­ter.

IPA 6.5% abv, big bold west coast IPA style, a deep copper colour and punchy cit­rus and pine.

We have also re­cently stocked spe­cial­ist keg beers and will con­tinue to bring in more, as they be­come avail­able.

GIN LANE

Fish­ers gin has been in pro­duc­tion since June 2016. Ex­pan­sion into in­ter­na­tional mar­kets is grow­ing, tak­ing a piece of the Suf­folk coast to bars and restau­rants around the world. It com­bines rare old English herbs and botan­i­cals with dis­tilled bar­ley, sourced en­tirely from East Anglian farm­ers. Cre­ated by mas­ter dis­tiller John McCarthy (Ad­nams) and Ox­ford Univer­sity botanist James Firth. Fish­ers Gin cap­tures the wild and for­got­ten flavours of the English coast­line, in­fus­ing these in­trigu­ing aro­mas with tra­di­tional botan­i­cals.

Fish­ers con­tains nine clas­sic and four ex­tra sig­na­ture botan­i­cals which sound as if they be­long in an episode of Harry Pot­ter.

Rock Sam­phire - only found in craggy out­crops. Tra­di­tion­ally used for its leaf, the flower and seed head are used here as they re­veal the strong­est fra­grances.

Bog Myr­tle - only be for­aged at very par­tic­u­lar times of the year, ex­tremely aro­matic. James says: “It smells like Christ­mas.”

Wood Aven - the most dif­fi­cult part to ob­tain since the roots are so fi­brous they of­ten break when pulled from the ground. A cel­ery note, al­though it only re­veals its scent to some noses.

Spignel - tastes dif­fer­ent to every­one. So rare, James and the team have cul­ti­vated their own source, the lo­ca­tion of which re­mains a closely guarded se­cret. Some claim a curry-like fra­grance, oth­ers find notes of cel­ery and fen­nel.

Each of the se­lected wild botan­i­cals has been eth­i­cally sourced, many for­aged daily by James. They are na­tive to the Suf­folk coast, on the marsh­land that di­vides the North Sea from the River Alde. Each botan­i­cal is care­fully con­sid­ered, picked and dried for the best im­pact on flavour and aroma. When James’s work is done, the 13 botan­i­cals are passed on to mas­ter dis­tiller John McCarthy at the Copper House Dis­tillery.

The care­fully pre­pared roots, leaves, seeds and berries are steeped in the spirit overnight. They mac­er­ate the botan­i­cals to draw the great­est aroma and flavour from them. They then re­ceive a fi­nal shot-dis­til­la­tion in a copper gin still, which in­cor­po­rates three plates and a con­denser, to con­trol re­flux and pro­duce the most flavour­ful, full bod­ied and aro­matic gin pos­si­ble.

The gin is on our new Ar­cade Tav­ern tast­ing menu and at our gin tast­ings this au­tumn, hosted by our very own in-house ex­pert Gin Lord. Best en­joyed with a slice of orange or lemon, and served over ice in a beau­ti­ful Span­ish stemmed glass with Mediter­ranean tonic wa­ter from Fever Tree.

Fish­ers gin

Agir Nor­we­gian craft beer

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