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Thursday 26 February 2015

Craft Beer Rising 2015 - Sutton & Sons - The Dolls House

Thursday 19th February -  c.12 hours in the life of Matt The List:

Short version (click on times below to whizz down to photos):

2pm-5pm : Couple of beers at Craft Beer Rising on Brick Lane
5pm-7pm : Fishcakes and #NationalChipWeek at the new Sutton & Sons in Box Park
7pm-2am : Negronis and Jazz at The Dolls House new site in Islington


Long version:

1pm - Leave flat in Battersea. Pop in to my local rotisserie and deli Park Road Kitchen for all the salt beef, spinach & ricotta tarts, and a kale, chickpea & sumac salad. Sorted. I eat here pretty much every day. So should you.

1.30pm - Smugly eat food on the train - definitely better than everyone else's. Beat high score on 2 Cars. Day is shaping up nicely.
2pm - Arrive at trade session of Craft Beer Rising in the Old Truman Brewery.  Start working way round room full of 80+ breweries and 500+ beers under the pretence of choosing beers for The Good Egg with founder Joel Braham.

2.15pm - Discover New Zealand.  Fantastic beers across the board from Tuatara, Renaissance, 8 Wired, Three Boys, and Yeastie Boys.  Looking forward to seeing them around.

2.30pm - Still at New Zealand stand. In the words of Jeff Goldblum - must go faster.

2.45pm - Say hello to Mondo Brewing, a brand new brewery coming soon to Battersea (hooray!). Beers are promising and it sounds like they will have a great setup. Pop over to the Ilkley stand for some more top beers including Siberia Rhubarb Saison and Hickory Redcap Pecan Porter. Apparently a collaboration with Yeastie Boys is on the way.

3pm - One hour down, time for bed....lam.  Bedlam Brewery - a new brewery from the folk behind The Bull in Ditchling.  Joel is whipping out his business cards.  They're massive.

3.15pm - Time for some familiar faces at London-based Fourpure and Beavertown stalls.  Enjoy the Transatlantic Overdrive IPA collab between Fourpure & Bear Republic, and 2.8% Londonerweisse collab from Beavertown and Dogfish Head.  I think the bloke from Mondo Brewing is following us.

3.30pm - Yep, he's definitely following us.  Nice guy though, so it's OK.  Why are we in a queue? Ah yes, Wild Beer Co.. Great beers on offer including Beyond Modus, a more complicated version of the superb Modus Hoperandi.  Must buy some - or be bought some.  Anyone reading? Birthday soon. Friendly Harbour Brewing at the same stall - too early for an 8.7% Imperial Chocolate and Vanilla Stout? Nah.

Here There Be Flagons

3.45pm - Flying visits to Thornbridge from Peak District, Bad Seed Brewery from North Yorkshire, and Franciscan Well from Ireland. Joel seems to know a lot about Cork - bit out of my depth.

4pm - Meet Alex from Yelp for a "business meeting". On the home straight - well, except for the entire other room we haven't made it into. Pop over to Redwell for India Pale Lager.

4.30pm - Last orders called - thought there was half an hour left? Blessing in (thinly veiled) disguise. Settle next to Beer Cat (short for Catalunya) to finish.  Impressive beer brewed by a Dubliner, a South Londoner and a Mancunian. In Spain.

5pm - Park Road Kitchen is beginning to wear off - definitely time for dinner. We part ways with Mr.Yelp and head to new Sutton & Sons site in Box Park.  Danny Sutton established the Sutton & Sons fishmongers on Stoke Newington High Street back in 1998 before opening their fish and chip shop there in 2010, don't cha know?

5.15pm - Joel and I are welcomed by Matt, the friendly ex-navy front of house who is coping well with the concept of shipping containers being used for restaurants.  It's National Chip Week, so we're feeling pretty on trend.  We tuck in to a Hackney Brewery American Pale Ale whilst Matt gets Mikey in the kitchen to rustle us up some food.

5.30pm - A mixed plate of Whitebait, Calamari and Fishcakes hits the spot.  The fishcakes are absolutely sublime.  Best in London? Any thoughts?

6pm - Box Park attempts to set the mood with some dreadful live music.  We drown it out with delicious Cod Goujons, a Cod Burger, and some #NationalChipWeek chips.  All the food is rather excellent.  Must return for some Catch of the Day specials - Lobster Subs, Sea Bass, Tuna Burgers, Moules Mariniere; that kind of thing.

6.15pm - Joel's turn to attempt a "business meeting", possibly legitimate.  Appears to be going well - I decide to leave them to it and head off to The Dolls House.  Firm handshake with Matt - top bloke, solid name.

Business Meeting

7pm - Slow progress on the 43 along City Road.  Did I really get that score on 2 Cars earlier? Can't be right. Quick look at photos so far.  That one of the fishcake is alright.

7.15pm - Meet Islington local Cath outside The Dolls House on Upper Street, the latest hand-drawn hangout from Adam Towner and Katy Gray Rosewarne, set over three floors that used to belong to House of Wolf.  We head through the ground floor Parlour, up to the first floor Library and Drawing Room for Negronis, Old Fashioneds and Espresso Martinis.  Antica Formula is greatly appreciated.

8pm - The house starts to fill up with familiar faces.  We check out the top floor Ballroom which starts the evening as a dining room before becoming a private members bar.  Membership seems achievable - just need to bring them some premium booze from their wishlist.  I've got some Tesco's own brand gin knocking around somewhere - that should do it.  Otherwise it's £5 after 10pm for me. A nice fellow comes round with an inadequate number of steak canapés - he's disappointed with himself.

10pm - Ground floor Parlour is looking a bit busy.  Chap behind the bar has definitely served me in three different Dead Dolls Club establishments already.  I imagine I shall be seeing him in Peckham - opening on 1st April apparently.  We retreat to The Library, our preferred candlelit cosy.  Ceiling is leaking - quite endearing. Stripy red & black shirt bartender needs to pass on secret of stirring drinks quietly to stripy black & white shirt bartender.  This is a Library! Steak canapé guy has seriously upped his game by the way.

11pm - Kansas Smittys are In The (Dolls) House! Swing music ensues, occasionally in key with a fire alarm.  Giacomo asks the fire alarm to stop playing over their solos.  Steak canapé guy has switched over to miniature rhubarb crumbles - less interested.

2am - IT'S 2AM! What?! Oh dear. Officially Mum The List's birthday. Call her now? Probably not, it can wait. Could get Kansas Smittys to play "Happy Birthday" though? No. N19 bus is here; goes all the way home - ideal.  Time for a last go at 2 Cars and some decisive photo editing.  Should be a nice photo of a Negroni in there somewhere, I took enough of them.  OK, I seem to have taken a video of a Negroni too.  The wall is moving isn't it?

3am - Nap The List. Big day tomorrow.

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