BY BILL LACY
Located under the railway arches a few minutes from Brixton Market lies Dog’s Grandad Brewery.
I don’t know if one would simply stumble upon this place, but I didn’t. I get a lot of recommendations for places and often I say I will just get around to it.
The Red Lion in such-and-such? Sure, at some point. But Dog’s Grandad?
Yes, I’m going there right away. Of course it was the name that did it. I’m the sort of person who will travel miles to a shop just because it has my name in it.
But is there more to this brewery than the quirky name?
The answer is yes. Part of a new breed of brewery taproom experiences, Dog’s Grandad produces excellent beer, clearly brewed with passion.
The “taproom” is not like some others, vast industrial oases that are bars in their own right, but simply a couple of taps at the front of their brewing operation.
It makes for an intimate experience, one where you will instantly stumble into conversation with the owner.
I thought the man next to me sipping an amazingly hazy looking beer was a fellow customer but he answered the questions I directed at the barman.
Perhaps the owner. It turns out the operation is the realisation of every bored dad’s dream – a home brewer who actually took the plunge and opened a brewery.
Something of the homebrew vintage remains in the beers – that unique tasting unfiltered quality – but they are already stepping up and collaborating with others.
This is the kind of place to sample an experiment or two in real time – the true definition of “craft”, before that word became ubiquitous and claimed by everyone no matter how many beers they produced.
It is only a small place, a few seats at best, juxtaposed with the mighty Brixton Brewery next door, recently upgraded with massive investment.
A young couple were sampling a few pints, looking around quizzically as if they had become separated from their mates next door, but the others, like me, were clearly not here by accident.
The appeal of places like the Dog’s Grandad is the uniqueness.
Of course you want them to do well but it is slightly less thrilling when you can find their beers in many off licences.
It was a great little place, with perhaps a surprising range of well-crafted beer, but no sign of the dog or its grandad.
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