We were invited along to the pre-launch of Scotts Tap & Keller in Southsea to sample some of their small-batch beers from across the globe.
Scotts Tap & Keller is situated on King Street next to King Street Tavern, which is convenient because they have the same owners. We knew that as soon as we walked through the door and recognised the barman.
The building is rich in history, once being Elm Brewery which was a far larger complex back in the day. It was then converted into Scotts Bar, followed by a restaurant called Kitsch N D’or which we reviewed back in 2012 and you may well remember.
Sean, one of the owners, showed us around the place and told us all about the history of the building and how they’ve tried to keep it alive through the interior design.
Upstairs are some high tables and chairs perfect for socialising, whilst downstairs things are kept low with sofas, armchairs plus your usual table and chairs. Both had completely different vibes, with downstairs being much cooler and quieter and upstairs where all the action seemed to be happening.
We took a seat upstairs and each ordered a Belgium beer (Kellerbier & Brugse Zot ) which I thoroughly enjoyed, despite not usually liking Belgium beer. Next, I ordered my usual go-to, a session IPA (OCATA ). This one was from Catalunya which was surprising because Spain isn’t known for its craft beer. It was very nice indeed.
I did prefer Carlo’s choice though, which was Delirium Tremens from Belgium – a showstopper! Firstly, it came in the most beautiful misshapen glass and secondly it was bursting with flavour. Carlos told me that it’s quite famous in Belgium and he hasn’t seen it in many places in England. At 7.4%, it’s true to its name and can be said to make you delirious if you drink too much, which is the feeling the misshapen glass is trying to relay.
On this occasion, we didn’t try the food at Scotts Tap & Keller (but we’d love to at some point!). The menu is simple with 4 different types of German Wurst, including one for the vegans (hurrah!). The perfect dish to soak up all the beer! If you’re after something more substantial then you’ll head next door.
It’s great to see King Street Tavern expanding and bringing an old Southsea bar back to life. Sean and the team have done a sterling job at turning this derelict building into something great. Well worth a visit, especially if you love interesting beer!
Living live, loving craft beer,
Photos by the talented Southsea Snapper