Friday, 14 July 2017

Hand Brew: Brewing Resumes at the Hand in Hand, Brighton

A visit to the Hand in Hand, St. James’s Street, Kemp Town, Brighton on 17th June found three of their Hand Brew beers on the bar. The tiny corner pub was crowded (good to see) with a music act appearing as part of a charity event but I managed to squeeze a seat at the bar and have a half of all three beers. Writing tasting notes was difficult with precious space on the counter and little room to manoeuvre but I managed to jot the following in my little black book:

DAP: Session Pale (3.8%), mango and tropical fruit flavours, delicate, well-balanced with a dry finish, not overly hoppy.

Tickler: Irish Red (4.2%), soft caramel-toffee nose, bold dark fruit flavours against a biscuit malt backbone – hint of chocolate in the finish.

Session IPA: Citra Ahtanum (4.5%), toffee-apple and apricot nose, pear and apple fruits at first followed by lemon-zest and citrus aftertaste, not overly assertive.

The Tickler was my personal favourite. Pump clips on the wall showed other Hand Brew beers to be Quicker than the Eye: Red IPA (5.0%) and Shaka: Pale Ale (4.0%).

The brewer is Jack Tavaré who also brews under the Beercraft brand at the Watchmakers Arms, Hove.

Brewing at the Hand in Hand began in 1989 when Bev Robbins installed a tower brewery and adopted the name Kemptown Brewery and the old dolphin brand image of the pub’s once former owners. The Kemptown name continued until 2012 when Brighton Bier Co was launched at the pub as a gypsy brewery with Gary Sillence as brewer. Brewing at the pub lapsed after Brighton Bier obtained premises at the Bell Tower Industrial Estate in October 2014, so the new venture, which first brewed on 4th August 2016, is an especially welcome development. 

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