Mondays are crap aren’t they? All work and so far away from play. That is, until someone decides to launch a new beer at 6pm. On Monday, in the Dean Swift (SE1).
Yes they really did wait until 6pm, hence the soda and Blackcurrant hastily bought (because I can’t sit in a pub without some kind of drink). So to the beer. Well this is where my knowledge let me down immensely. I’d always assumed that Mild meant by ABV, so I was expecting a nice gentle 3%er, which I could follow with the Darkstar M&M Porter. It was only after I’d got my beer (two halves admittedly, it is Monday rememeber!) that I went in to check out the label. At 6.1% it really wasn’t mild in ABV. However and kind gent at the bar went on to explain that actually mild only means mildly hopped – this makes a lot of sense, hops are a preservative so I guess is you went far enough back in time anything mildly hopped would need to be bloody strong to keep without going off.
So what of the beer? On the nose there isn’t really much at all. The very faintest hint of chocolate which as you taste develops and becomes more bitter by the after taste. It’s slightly warming and spicy, a really nice winter beer. Very enjoyable, I hope there are bottles!
Onto the second – the Darkstar M&M special porter. This is, as you might expect, rather different. The smoked notes are very obvious on the nose and taste – to me it actually smells a little like a smoky whisky! (As I’ll readily admit, I still have some way to go on this verbalising lark). As the beer warmed it started to go a little more sour towards a really hard cheese. The condition seemed fine so I guess this was towards what it should taste like. Other tasting notes suggest meaty, like chorizo so I guess I can’t be far off.
To round off – a little about the pub. This was my first visit to the Dean Swift and I was quite impressed. It’s comfortable, the beer was in good nick, the surroundings modern without feeling too much like a gastropub and it has some atmosphere without being wedged. It did feel like it was a long way down a really dark side street, I walked from Bermondsey tube but once inside it felt safe and light. Beer around £3.30 per pint wasn’t too bad either. The website is still TBC but I’d recommend popping in if you are in the area. You could probably even make a nice little crawl taking in the Draft House, Bridge House and the Anchor Tap all within a few seconds stumbling.
This corner of SE1 certainly seems to be on the up.