Highgate, Siberia

On Wednesday (4 April 2012) I visited London. A musician friend had a special gig at the South Bank’s Purcell Room and had gifted me a couple of complimentary tickets. I only work four days a week and the day in question had fortuitously been scheduled as a non-working day so a relaxing day of beer and food beckoned… but where to go?

A week or so beforehand, Melissa Cole announced that she would be doing a one day mini-tour to promote her new beer, Siberia [a 5.9% Rhubarb Saison], which she’d brewed in conjunction with The Ilkley Brewing Co.  As luck would have it, the tour was on the same date as the Solus3 gig and with the first stop being 5.30pm at The Bull in Highgate it meant there would be enough time to sample some beer and get down by the river for the 7.45 start time.

The Bull is a beautiful pub with an excellent food and beer menu. Naturally, the first beer I ordered had to be one of their own so I opted for the deliciously named Nervous Energy – a very tasty and refreshing American style pale ale. Our food order consisted of  “Blue Moon battered haddock, hand cut chips, pea puree, tartare sauce” for my girlfriend and “Caramelised pork belly, cavalo nero, ragout of Merguez sausage, Goose Island IPA & cannellini beans” – both were perfectly cooked and truly delicious.

Bang on 5.30pm, Melissa Cole floated through the door and lots of hugs and kisses and handshakes ensued… I just lurked on the fringes. Pints of Siberia were poured and mouthfuls were swallowed and everybody smiled and look very pleased with the sensation that greeted their taste buds. I swallowed the dregs of my Little Creatures Pale Ale and went to the bar to purchase a pint of Siberia.

To quote the artist:

Made with Yorkshire forced rhubarb, vanilla, grains of paradise and orange peel – yep, another mental one from me! Siberia is fab, I’m really pleased, it was spicy peach on the nose, a tiny bit sour, pleasingly spicy and orangey on the palate and absolutely bone dry, it’s lush!

After I’d glugged down half a pint or so I sent this tweet:

Wooo! @MelissaCole’s Siberia is loverly… über-dry with a lovely vibrant citrus tang & a finish reminiscent of strawberries & black pepper

Apart from the fact I used loverly and lovely in such close proximity I fully stand behind that assessment and look forward to drinking Siberia whenever I see it sitting on a bar – it truly is a fantastic tasting beer.

I managed to have a few words with Melissa Cole and I’m pleased to report that her real-life persona is every bit as effervescent and embracing as her online one – she even slipped out a couple of cuss words, which is good as I’m always a bit suspicious of people who don’t swear. And she bought me a pint.

Then it was time to leave… I won’t regale you with tales of what happened at the South Bank centre but suffice to say I wasn’t drunk enough to spend £4.30 on a pint of Theakston’s Bitter but I was drunk enough to (accidentally) take a number two in the ladies. Rock n Roll.

If you’re up Highgate (perhaps visiting left-wing heroes Marx and Foot) – visit The Bull.

If you see Siberia – drink it.

… follow @MelissaCole on Twitter …

… follow @Bull_Highgate on Twitter …


~ by landells on April 6, 2012.

11 Responses to “Highgate, Siberia”

  1. Nice write up!

  2. Nice pub, the Bull.

    • It was an excellent pub. I’d never been there before but I’d wandered past it once when trying to find me way to the tube from Highgate Cemetery – I’ll certainly go back.

  3. I’d love to get my hands on that Rhubarb number. Excellent idea!

  4. Hello sir. @therealc_bas, @kash_chester & masked marauder here. Top post. Glad you meet lady Cole, I’ve not had the pleasure. I’m counting the days till we drink in person, set the world straight and sink several battleships worth of booze. Until 30th June.


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