Monday, 17 October 2011

Photoblog: TapEast

Things in the beer scene in London move quickly. 3 months ago Tap East was a twinkle in Utobeer's eye, now it is a living, breathing brewpub in a swanky new Westfield Stratford Shopping centre. They have been open on and off since mid September.

Friday saw their official opening night.

Here are some comments about the new establishment. (Positive and Negative)

Positive: Glyn "rabidbarfly" Roberts has moved from the Rake to manage the new brewpub.

Positive: It has a shiny new 2.5 Barrel brewkit. The plan is to brew a light and hoppy, a stout and an IPA, all cask, for the exclusive use of the brewpub. Brewing starts this week.

Negative: Does not look like a brewpub when approached from the inside of the shopping centre, more a winebar or coffee shop perhaps?

Positive: Stylistically I like the interior, a comfortable environment to be in.

Positive: Friendly bar staff.

Positive and Negative: 10 gleaming fonts standing proud as a honeymooner's dick from the bar. However the fonts had two with Grolch, Kaiserdom, a Kolch and two Octoberfest beers. I count that as 6 lagers. I'm sure this was a scheduling anomaly and not a policy and the Hofbrauhaus Octoberfest was on fine form.

Positive: They don't have a kitchen but put together some nice looking platters of food, and there was no shortage of good food places in the shopping centre.

Negative: They ran out of Kipling before I got there! 

Their location will be fantastic for the Olympics and as other bloggers have said having a craft beer bar in a shopping centre is definitely a step further forward for the advocates of great beer in the UK. If you are out East give it a visit.

Beer Recipe: Beery Beans

This recipe was developed when playing around with slightly off cans of Punk and the off flavours don't come through in the final product. However I would suggest that for best results you only use beer that you would be happy to drink. I have made this recipe with both light and dark beers of many levels of bitterness, I feel it is best with a light hoppy bitter or an IPA.

Beery Beans
Makes lots (can be refrigerated and used later)

180g Smoked Bacon (lardons or chopped)
A pinch of Red Chilli Flakes
1 Green Chilli (finely chopped)
1 Small Red Onion (finely chopped)
100g Smoked German or Polish Sausage cut into small cubes
1 Clove of Garlic (finely chopped)
3 tins of assorted beans (I have used mixed and Cannellini)
2 tsp Sun-dried Tomato Paste
2 tsp Taste No 5 Umami Paste
1 Pint of beer (see above). I have used my homebrewed Very Pale Light ale.


Fry the bacon in a dry pan with the red chilli flakes until browned, this should release enough fat to cook the rest of the dish.
Add the green chilli, onion and smoked sausage and fry for another few mins.
Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Then add the beans and the two pastes. Stir to coat and then add the beer.
Bring to the boil then simmer gently for around 30 mins, checking and stirring every so often so as not to catch on the pan. The sauce should be slightly thicker than tinned baked beans.
Check seasoning and serve.

Tasting notes:
Texture soft in the mouth with a very savoury taste, a slight sweetness from the sun-dried tomato, a bit of a chilli kick and a slight bitterness from the beer.

Serving suggestions:
A great hangover food when accompanied by the rest of a fried breakfast. If cooked a little longer can also be used as refried bean replacement in Mexican dishes.