Emily K Goodman visits King Street Brew House in Bristol
King Street Brew House is the newest addition to Bristol’s “Beer Alley”, King Street. The owners, the City Pub Company West, also operate The Cork and Bath Brew House in Bath, alongside sister group, City Pub Company East, which runs several sites across the south of England. Aiming to eschew the pub tie model, both companies look to the needs of the local communities they serve to individualise their sites.
CEO Alex Derrick and operations manager Jim Charlton developed the King Street Brew House with this in mind, drawing on their extensive experience. Alex was operations director at the Capital Pub Company for seven years and, before that, with Union Bar & Grill in London. Jim, who studied in Bristol, has run The Woods and The Elbow Room in the city.
Initial interior design ideas came from Alex working closely with Jim as well as Clive Wiltshire from Pembrook Design and contractor Cummins & Pope who have worked on all the CPC West projects. “There is a strong understanding and bond between all the parties concerned,” Jim says.
The design concept was inspired by Bristol’s industrial past. Much like the Steampunk look, there is a mixture of modern and 19th-century details, with reclaimed materials used wherever possible. A feeling of wacky inventiveness blends with homely nostalgia. “The concept uses a fusion of post-industrial whimsy and practicality to create a fun ambience with all the advantages that an on-site brewery and state-of-the-art catering operation can provide,” explains Clive at Pembrook Design.
The venue houses a micro-brewery, and its size allows for both cask ale and keg facilities. Mashing and läutering take place behind large, integral glass panels in the ground-floor bar room. Fermentation tanks sit in the basement, which can be seen from The Tank Room. This private room can be hired by groups for watching sport, with both BT and Sky Sports shown in the bar throughout the year.
They offer a core range of four beers including Socks and Sandals, a best bitter at 3.8% ABV, Pasty Git, an English pale ale at 4.2% ABV, Shaft porter at 6.1% ABV, and White Trash, a 5.8% ABV American IPA in kegs. There is also a range of house specials and seasonal beers wherever possible. “The naming and branding have been good fun and the public are loving it,” Jim adds.
You will also find guest brewers such as Northumberland’s Anarchy brewery and imported beers including Sierra Nevada’s seasonal ales. Food from local suppliers is prepared from scratch on site and served all day, with roasts on Sundays. Most dishes incorporate the house brews: White Trash IPA and a local cider are used in cooking the pork belly while the beef brisket features the Shaft porter.
King Street Brew House, Welsh Back, Bristol BS1 4RR
Tel: 0117 4058 948
Behind the scenes
Design: Pembrook Design
Main contractor: Cummins & Pope
Lighting: Essex Lighting
Furniture, artwork: Inngear
Kitchen: Pyramid Catering Equipment
Epos: Zonal Retail Data Systems
Originally published in the August 2016 print edition of Bar magazine.