Pub selling beer for £80.15 a pint, but how does it taste?

The London pub sells what is believed to be Britain’s most expensive beer – at £80.15 a pint a year. The Craft Beer Co chain is offering the imported American craft beer for sale at its boozer in Brixton, south London, at £105 a 750ml (1.3 pint) bottle.

Reforged 20th Anniversary Ale is made by the AleSmith Brewing Company, a “craft” microbrewery in San Diego, California. If beer lovers want to take a bottle of super strong beer to enjoy at home, they get a 1/3 discount.

The 11 percent ABV beer is dark brown in color and has a thick, syrupy consistency. It is aged in bourbon barrels for 18 months. The dark sour ale contains roasted malts and hops, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and barley wine.

It is a merger of three other beers brewed by the same company – Speedway Stout, sold on tap for £22.50 at the same pub chain in 2018, Wee Heavy and Old Numbskull. But the beer has so far proved less popular with the pub’s hipster clientele.

So far only one bottle of the ultra-expensive beer has been sold – to a group of six lads who “really loved it”, according to pub staff.

Pub goers tasted the beer, but most said it wasn’t good enough to be worth the price it cost. Beer lover Ben O’Neill, 22, who runs The Needle and Pin pub in Loughborough, said even he wouldn’t pay that much for a single bottle of beer.

Ben, whose favorite beer is Speedway Stout, wasn’t too impressed with the £105-a-bottle brew.

He said: ‘Compared to most other imperial stouts, it’s a bit on the thin side. I wouldn’t pay £70 for a pint of this.

”There is a tiny bit of smoke and oak on the back of the palette. I drink just about anything, but my favorite is Speedway Stout.

”Without the price, I’d give it an 8.2 out of 10. With the price factored in, it’s more like a four out of ten. I would definitely expect more from something that is so expensive.

”The maximum I would pay is £45 for a pint.”

Her pal Chris Anagnostopoulos, 27, a software engineer from Bath, said of the £105 a bottle booze: ‘It’s surprisingly light, it tastes like leather with a hint of chocolate. It’s a good beer, but I wouldn’t pay that much.

“It grows on you, but I wouldn’t pay that much for it, even to have it once.”

Dan Jones drinks a glass of Alesmith’s Reforged

Dan Jones, 25, an assistant radio producer from Clapham, south London, said: ‘It tastes like coffee and you can really taste the alcohol in it. “It tastes like a mixture of licorice, coffee and alcohol.

“You can taste every bit of this 11 percent alcohol. A pint of this would stay in your stomach for a really long time.

”I didn’t think it was a beer when I first watched it. ‘I don’t like the taste, it’s really intense and rich, but there’s no way I’m paying that much for it.

“I would pay maybe £8 for it and that’s the alcohol percentage.”

A bottle of Reforged by Alesmith
A bottle of Reforged by Alesmith

Hospitality worker Agata Chudziak, 27, from Bristol, who was visiting the capital for a gig at the O2 Academy Brixton, said: ‘It’s delicious, but I wouldn’t pay more than £8 for it, not £70 , you just can’t .

“I like wheat beer and blades. I would pay up to £12 for half an eight percent beer.

“You would never pay as much as they ask.”

Jacob Evans, 29, a carpenter also from Bristol, said: “What I would pay depends on what it is. A lot of these beers are like wine, they’re aged in stupid expensive barrels and people are going to pay stupid money for them.

“People pay dearly for these beers, but I would never pay that much for it. It tastes like a strong stout.”

A bartender pours a bottle of Reforged by Alesmith
A bartender pours a bottle of Reforged by Alesmith

Pub general manager Andrew Barton said: ‘We’ve only sold one before to a group of six lads who absolutely loved it. They absolutely loved the acidity they got out of it, combined with the sweetness of the bourbon.

The next most expensive drink in the Brixton pub is another American beer called ‘Brewery Out of the Lunch Box’, which is cheap in comparison at £45 for a 750ml bottle.

Andrew added: “We understand that the cost of living is currently very expensive. With the beers we have on tap we try to make craft beer very accessible and we try to be cheaper than other pubs nearby – we sell an IPA for £6.50 when they sell it for more from £7.

“It’s not just about charging people these crazy prices. We charge what we charge because the cost of a keg is very high.”

Brixton Bar’s most expensive draft beer is £11.

About Patrick K. Moon

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