In celebration of their new cask porter, “The Long Black”, local brewing aficionados Unbarred Brewery have teamed up with The Watchmaker’s Arms, bringing the beer back to it’s Hove roots in addition to giving everyone the opportunity to meet the team behind the fantastic array of beers. We at Sussex News were fortunate enough to be able to procure a table at the launch event to see what it was all about.
Now, for anyone with a keen memory, you may notice that this is not technically the first time The Long Black has graced Hove, previously having been brewed in the Watchmaker’s very own nano-brewery, as such there seems like no finer a place to hold the official cask launch of the beer than the much-loved micropub.
The pub itself was packed to capacity with its regulars coming out en masse on the Thursday evening to support the collaboration. The new ale was a roaring success, so much so that the initial cask had been drunk dry before the end of the night. The Unbarred crew mingled with patrons, happy to share their knowledge of the brewing craft.
The most important part of the event, obviously, was the beer itself. The Long Black showcased a Mexican blend of coffee from another local business, the Milk Shed Coffee Roasters, that had been cold steeped and added to the beer alongside English Bramling Cross hops with plenty of malt-driven sweetness to create a perfect balance. The beer itself is deeply aromatic with the luxurious mouthfeel that is synonymous with a quality dark beer, satisfying yet exceptionally drinkable. The two Unbarred keg beers that were on offer did not slouch, either. The aptly named 9% Belgian Dark Strong was perhaps the best English take on a Belgian beer that I have tried, offering the robust flavour and slight peppery note that is expected of the style. As for the Honeycomb Milkshake, according to my companion, it was impossible to put down. He’s going back.
Ultimately, this seems to be Unbarred proving that they are not a one-keg pony and it is a joy to see a traditional cask beer given the Unbarred flair. Local beer lovers should make haste, if you are lucky enough to find it near you, drink up.