The UK’s smallest bar (in Norwich) shares its top 10 beers for delivery
PUBLISHED: 20:00 14 May 2020
Do you know your radler from your ‘hard seltzer’? Toby from Sir Toby’s Beers explains the difference.
Last year Toby Westgarth and Dominic Burke revealed, at about 4msq, the UK’s smallest bar having successfully secured a licence with the city council to expand their unique beer business on Norwich Market.
This summer, just a few weeks shy of the bar’s first anniversary, things are a bit different for Sir Toby’s Beers. With drinks service shut due to social distancing restrictions, the craft beer loving duo had to set up a delivery and click and collect service - and the county’s beer aficiandos are loving it.
Myriad specialist beers, from gutsy stouts, via pale ales, to lip-puckering sours, are now available online to pick up from the market stall, have delivered in Norwich for £2.99, or to all NR postcodes via courier at £4.99.
With the weather warming up again, and barbecues in the back garden sure to become a more regular affair, Toby has selected what he considers to be some of the best brews in their collection. Have you tried them yet?
1. Table Beer - The Kernel Brewery - Table Beer 3%
This style of beer is the perfect for the head of the barbecue over the bank holiday. Deliberately brewed to be somewhere between 2.5-3%, it’s a competition to see how much flavour you can get into a low ABV beer. Using additions to the classic four ingredientsin beer such as oats, you can fill out the body of the end product so it comes across as light as opposed to thin. It’s the perfectway to drink a hoppy beer without feeling like an afternoon nap too early.
2. Flavoured/Pudding Stout - Sussex Small Batch - Topical Stout (Chocolate & Hazelnut 5.5%)
This style of beer has knocked seasonal drinking habits into next week in the craft beer world. Whether it’s because it disguises some of the bitterness that comes with dark beer or whether we all just love a bit of sweetness - flavoured stouts are one of the two most popular styles of brew in the shop. Watch out however, as some of the intense flavours might not let on that you are sipping a 10% beer!
3. Radler - Anarchy Brew Co - Teenie Weenie Tangeriney 1.9%
Don’t wince! A style of beer often advertised by two Australian men on television for a well-known lager brand, the radler actually originated in Deisenhofen just outside of Munich. Again, it’s all about flavour without knocking yourself out in the sun. A hint of sweetness runs through the beer as this style is traditional half beer, half lemonade as well as flavours such as grapefruit or orange. It’s a style of beer that is so fruity that you may need to dust off the cocktail
4. Hard Seltzer - DRTY Drinks - White Citrus HArd Seltzer 4%
Dominic’s favourite summer sipper from his hammock. It’s an American invention that is starting to stick in the UK and that’s certainly being brewed by numerous independent craft breweries. It’s effectively flavoured sparkling water at 4% and an incredibly refreshing way to enjoy a drink in the sun without feeling too bloated afterwards. However, make sure you acquire a ‘hard’ seltzer if you would like the boozy version.
5. Hoppy Pale - Track Brew Co - Sonoma Pale 3.8%
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Hops! With American hops such as Citra and Mosaic becoming available in allocations to nearly all UK breweries that ask for them, the flavour of pale ales brewed in the UK is changing. You can expect an intense citrus flavour (grapefruit being a classic example in Mosaic) and even tropical fruit notes such as mango if you’re lucky. However, once again it’s having the option to balance out flavour with a sensible strength, and pale ales tend to hit that middling range. Beer
and barbecues go perfectly together, however this style of beer is flavoursome enough to come to the party in it’s own right.
6. Juicy IPA - Polly’s Brew Co - Citra Simcoe IPA 6.1%
With a combination of intense hoppiness, creaminess and plenty of strength, this is the style of beer most popular at Sir Toby’s Beers. UK craft breweries don’t filter the beer (making it vegan
friendly) so you can often be mistaken for drinking a 7% grapefruit juice. Often referred to as a juicy IPA (and if you see a New England IPA, buy it), one of these will be the highlight of your weekend!
7. Pilsner - Duration Brewing (West Acre Norfolk) - Doses Pilsner 5.1%
Craft Lager has had a massive 18 months. Craft beer drinkers love hops, but we also love a refreshing pint of lager - just something with a bit more flavour than those produced on an industrial scale. UK brewers are recreating lager styles from Germany and the Czech Republic, often softening the harder British water in the process, to recreate Kolsch, Pilsner, Dunkels - you name it! Norfolk is no different with an array of independently brewed alternatives to the big
names, you just need to find them.
8. Sour Beer - Ampersand Brew Co (Earsham) - Raspberry Parfait 5.6%
Beer that deliberately tastes sour, you must be mad? It’s true that it’s a difficult concept to
explain to someone who hasn’t tried it, however you won’t find a more refreshing style. Sour beer has its roots in Belgium where lambics and geuzes are brewed using natural fermentation and wild yeasts, however we’ve focused on the fruitier side of things here. It’s the tartness from the fruit running through these beers that will make you squeak slightly at the first sip, but will leave you feeling great afterwards!
9. Real Ale - The Why Not Brewery - Wally’s Revenge 4%
We are in Norfolk. And Norfolk is famous for micro-brewed real ale. We love keeping a collection from as many local breweries as possible and one of the best bits about the job is getting to know the rather eccentric brewers! Showcasing the perfect balance between the four ingredients in beer - water, hops, grain (mostly malted barley) and yeast - a bottle conditioned real ale or two will go down a treat over the long weekend as well as support small, local
10. Non-Alcoholic - Nirvana Brew Co - Classic IPA 0.5%
The quality of non-alcoholic beer has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. It helps that there are now a number of breweries who exclusively brew no/low beer - making them experts in the field. Hoppy pale ales and even the odd stout and saison are cropping up and we get asked all the time if we keep any. Most non-alcoholic beers come in at 0.5% (which is the maximum ABV allowed in the UK), which allows a short but very important blast in the fermenter
to get the flavours working together. We love non-alcoholic beer and it’s here to stay.
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