Cheers to vegan beer

Cheers to vegan beer!

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With the rise in popularity of cask ales and craft beers, I’ve noticed over the last year or so a number of establishments have started serving unfined vegan beer and lager. Breweries that saw the potential for this un-tapped (sorry!) market include Magpie, Angel Microbrewery, Brewdog and Castle Rock. Many of them also serve tasty vegan food too

crafty crow outside

angel

Angel

 

Magpie, a Nottingham based brewery is sold in two local pubs; Crafty Crow opposite Nottingham castle and Doctor’s orders on Mansfield Road, Carrington. I visited the crafty crow on two occasions, the first time they didn’t have any vegan beers on tap. The second time was more successful and I had the choice of one draft beer and a couple of craft beers and a few lager’s.

crafty crow label

I opted for the draft cherry raven, a rather tasty dark cherry stout. It looked so appetising and didn’t disappoint; not too sweet or fruity. The pub also has a food menu, but with only one choice of starter and main, I’d probably go elsewhere to eat.

crafty crowe

One of my volunteers (Paul Clarke) visited their other hostelry; Doctor’s orders, an incredibly small intimate place but they were able to offer a Magpie ale. Unfortunately the pumps were not clearly labelled and the staff didn’t know that another beer from the Framework brewery was also vegan. Being so small they don’t serve any vegan food options other than snacks.

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You can also read my review in today’s Nottingham Post and online

Nottingham Post

In the name of research I continued to drink my way around Nottingham and happened upon the Barley Twist on Canal Street, a Castle Rock establishment. The staff were very well informed and the beers clearly labelled

barley twist board

I opted for a light beer called ‘fallen odyssey’ and my drinking companion ordered another vegan beer the session IPA.

barley twist beer

Both were delicious and easy to drink. Another good Castle Rock pub that deserves a special mention is the Horse and Plough at Bingham, they always have at least one vegan beer on draft and unlike most of the other pubs serves great vegan food, it even has a separate vegan menu and again the staff are knowledgeable and helpful

 

Good food brings me on to The Angel on Stoney Street in Hockley. Not only are all its beers vegan and brewed on the premises, but their vegan food is also well worth a visit. I’ve tried their amazing jackfruit pulled burger and ‘steak’ and squash pie, with the best chips ever. Their beers are pretty good too ranging from a light easy to drink session beer to dark stouts and everything inbetween.

 

The last place on my mini vegan beer tour was Brewdog on Broad Street. It specialises in craft beers that tend to be a bit stronger, but their Punk IPA (on draft) at 5.6% ABV wasn’t too bad as long as I stuck to just a half. They also do a fair amount of vegan food to soak up the alcohol

 

I’ll just squeeze in three more Castle Rock pubs (visited by another volunteer, Kate) that deserve a mention; the Yarn bar, in the Theatre Royal, the Fox and Grapes in Sneinton market and the Beer Headz, in the old ticket office at the station. Staff at both pubs were very well informed and enthusiastic about their beers, but unfortunately the beers were not labelled as vegan

 

Fox and Grapes

Fox and Grapes

Beer Headz

Beer Headz

I am really excited by the prospect of more pubs embracing vegan beers, my waistline on the other hand might not be as excited!

Top vegan restaurants in Notts

Top vegan restaurants in Notts

I know its only been three months since I last did a top 5 vegan restaurants list, but In Nottingham (and I’m sure it’s the same further afield) there’s been an explosion in vegetarian and vegan eateries as well as regular places providing vegan only menus

Here are 6 more places I have recently visited that have really proved themselves to be truly catering for vegans.  But if your favourite isn’t on the list then please let me know and I may pay them a visit

In no particularly order

Horse and Plough, Bingham

This rural pub is part of the ever expanding Castle Rock Brewery chain and they are all, to varying degrees vegan friendly.  However, the Horse and Plough is leading the way.  It has a dedicated vegan menu that is mouth wateringly tempting. But don’t just take my word for it take a trip out to Bingham and try their Starburger followed by the delicious chocolate brownie, all washed down with some very quaffable vegan beer

Alchemilla, Nottingham

Recently opened by Alex Bond, this unassuming restaurant serves contemporary British cuisine. There is no hiding from the fact that this is the most expensive restaurant on my list but boy does it deliver!  They serve 5,7 and 10 course tasting menus ranging from £35  to £60.  You can also have a wine pairing menu and they start from £25.  The vegan options, as with the other meat/fish dishes deliver a unique eating experience.  I bet you’ve never had cauliflower, roasted yeast and almonds, or a heritage tomato with lovage puree that looks as pretty as a picture and tastes even better.  As for puddings (yes you get two!); the raspberry, coffee and black garlic dessert will amaze you

Crocus cafe, Lenton

Situated in the heart of Lenton is the Crocus Cafe, a dedicated vegan and vegetarian restaurant with a social conscience.  It is Nottingham’s longest-running community café that is volunteer-led and  not-for-profit. And on top of that it serves food that people love.  The atmosphere is relaxed and inclusive and if you have enjoyed your meal you can enable someone less fortunate to experience it too as the cafe has a ‘suspended’ meal programme meaning you can pay in advance for someone’s else to eat for free

 

Baresca, Nottingham

You’ll find this vibrant restaurant tucked away on Byard Lane.  It is a modern Spanish tapas eatery and part of the Perkins family group.  I was really pleased to see it had a separate vegan menu that offered a full range of animal free delights.  I felt just like every other diner as I couldn’t make my mind up so I over ordered!! Don’t be surprised if like mine your eyes are bigger than your belly!!

Marigold restaurant, West Bridgford

Generally indian restaurants have always catered well for vegans, but the Marigold is exceptional.  For a start the price of the vegetable curries are much less than the meat or fish versions (often a personal bugbear of mine). The portions are generous without making you feel stuffed and the dishes themselves are not oily but more flavoursome relying on delicate spicing (although if you ask for they can also be deliciously hot).  And as if that wasn’t enough they offer a discounted loyalty card making your visit even better value

Angel Microbrewery, Stoney Street

The pub has been around for years and has undergone a recent transformation into a microbrewery.  So not only can you get a decent vegan pint (or half in my case) but it can be accompanied by a rather tasty pulled jackfruit burger.  Or you may be tempted by the pie, ‘fish’ and chips or ‘steak’.  Whichever one you choose save room for pudding!