Most of our beer ends up in a keg. There are a number of reasons for this and one of the key benefits for us, as a relatively new brewery, is that it means that we monitor the beer – at least to some extent. It’s a luxury which larger brewers don’t necessarily have: we tend to know where each of our kegs go; we often know the bars and staff where they arrive and sometimes we even get to go and try the beers ourselves.

Southampton was one of those opportunities. As you might know, we’re based in Coventry so it wasn’t exactly the closest destination for us, but The Butcher’s Hook had bought not one but four of our beers. And who would not be tempted by this gorgeous poster.

We decided not to announce ourselves before we arrived and were in full mystery shopper mode. But after a quick third of each of Watchful tree, Slurple Haze, Californ’ya and Dancor we introduced ourselves to Anthony and his team.

The Butcher’s Hook has been running as a bar for 5 years now. They blazed a trail for craft beer in Southampton when they opened as the first micro pub in the city, occupying a restored Victorian butcher’s shop. Although small the place is wonderfully comfortable and you could imagine spending a pleasant couple of hours reading the paper on one of the seats by the huge window. Friday night was a different story as the packed atmosphere spilled out onto the shop front seating.

By the end of the night the Slurple Haze had all gone, making a little more room on the 6 keg lines (which sit alongside 8 or so casks). We headed off for a curry and the promise of a Hovercraft trip the following day, leaving the staff and very friendly local crowd to their evening. If you get a chance to join them we would recommend it thoroughly…