Unbarred Brewery Taproom (Brighton), Stoutzilla
As winter creeps in and November brings its chill, Unbarred Brewery, one of Brighton’s most successful houses of craft beer has once again invited the city to warm themselves within their taproom to celebrate the annual return of Stoutzilla.
Originally born in head brewer Jordan’s shed in the very early days of Unbarred, this titan stout weighs in at a “perfect ten” percent, according to the brewery and packs all the wallop of its Kaiju namesake. Indeed, the imagery used to promote the launch is that of the titular lizard gripping the much-maligned i360 and generally causing carnage. The beer itself is no slouch, either. Packed with dark malt flavours, vanilla and coffee this is perhaps an ambitious beer, but one that really rewards anyone with a penchant for the imperial style.
The event itself wasn’t all about the beer, though, with food available through a partnership with local Hellenic eatery Yefsis of Greece as standard in addition to a partnership with Boho Gelato who had apparently discovered whatever eldritch secrets are required to make a delicious frozen treat from such a monstrous beer. Additionally, as the night progressed there was the opportunity for event-goers to meet the staff and even win great prizes via a game of higher or lower. Sadly, luck was not on our side for this, but we were made aware that prizes included branded merchandise and even a hot sauce made from the beer itself.
Unsurprisingly, the titan stout was not something to be tackled without food and as such we were keen to order the equally monumental Athenian platter from Yefsis. The menu itself makes a clear warning that this is for sharing and it becomes very apparent as to why when it arrives. A generous assortment of meats that included various kinds of souvlaki, bifteki and Greek sausage is accompanied by a mountain of freshly cooked chips and enough salad to satisfy even the largest of appetites. At fourteen pounds per head, (use the discount UNBARRED15 from the menu) this was most reasonable and a great accompaniment to a highly enjoyable beer.
As for the ice cream? It did initially seem like quite the gamble as beer is seldom found as a flavour in even the most adventurous creameries let alone anything as polarizing a drink as this. As jet black as the beer itself (owed in part to activated charcoal), this was initially something of a daunting sight. Relief was had upon the first taste as the creaminess of the vanilla shone through the hop bitterness to create a unique but wholly enjoyable sensory experience for those lucky enough to try it.
Overall, this was a great event for supporters of local brewing and stout aficionados alike and the sheer creativity of Sussex producers was clearly showcased. For those of you who may not have made it to the launch itself, have no fear, Stoutzilla is still available in both the taproom and in pubs across the country.