Temple Brew House is just a short couple minutes walking from the Thames, with lots of local tube stations to pick from including my short 9-minute walk back to Chancery Lane for the central line (there is even a handy wall poster in the pub with all the last tube times). Take a turn onto Essex Street and you will see the front doors of The Temple Brew House, inviting you down to the basement bar. Lots of wooden tables and chairs surround the bar space all sitting under the dimmed low hanging lights, random items decorate the room including a bike on the ceiling, Mexican skulls and a beer wheel if you have any problems deciding which beer to have. 16 keg lines and 6 cask options gives the beer wheel a reason to be spun as the large beer selection has everyone covered, with beers such as Amstel and unfiltered Camden Helles to please lager drinkers to Hackney Brewery Boogie Van, Kernel and even a beer from Beavertowns Tempus Project to please the biggest beer geeks. The cask beers are all from the in-house microbrewery Essex Street Brewery (there is also some keg offerings too). Add the atmospheric surroundings, the drink selection and a very tasty looking menu (all with beer pairing suggestions) together and you can see why The Temple Brew House won The Great British Pub Awards Pub/Bar of the Year 2017.
Tucked away in the corner of The Temple Brew House is the 5BBL brew house and head brewer Vanesa de Blas Montoya, busily brewing away by herself. After growing up in the Rioja region of Spain and working within wine making industry Vanesa decided to put the grape down, move to the UK and pick the grain up, first managing pubs then training and educating herself in brewing. Vanesa now single handily runs Essex Street Brewery, brewing, cleaning and casking, from start of the process to the end.
The Temple Brew House is a place I have visited a couple times since starting my job with West Berkshire Brewery, including a quick visit on their excellent birthday party. As part of the upcoming Renegade tap takeover, the London team (Ruth, Dan and myself) were invited down to brew with Vanesa so to have a collaboration beer as part of the line-up for the event.
As with all the brew days at Essex Street Brewery it was open for others to come along to chat, watch and help brew, we had several people join throughout the day and even had two sets of helping hands for the entire day. Those that do come along to these brew days (booking through their Eventbrite page) can come along for a free pint on the release event. We decided to brew a Porter with half the brew going into key kegs and the other half then having cocoa nibs and vanilla added then to be put into casks. The beer was brewed using chocolate malt, roast barley, wheat malt and clear malt. It is a single hop beer using the little known (and new to me) Phoenix hop, devolved at Wye College at the same time as the Admiral hop, the hop brings aromas and flavours of chocolate and molasses which should work perfectly in a dark beer. Currently, the beer is unnamed so keep an eye on social media for an update.
Vanesa’s personality and enthusiasm to brew shines throughout the brewery and I had loads of fun. After a day of brewing the beer together I am looking forward to trying the beer on 1st February at our tap takeover/beer launch. Come join myself and the rest of the team for a few pints of the soon to be named porter!
The next brew day is with Toast Ale, a company dedicated to helping the bread wastage by brewing with bread and raising money for Feedback, taking place on 24th January keep an eye out on Temple Brew House website and twitter for more info.
*DISCLAIMER* I work for West Berkshire Brewery & Renegade and will be part of the event at The Temple Brew House. It goes without saying that all views are mine and mine only. I am not paid or asked by my employers to write this blog post, it was my decision to blog about it.