Grainstore Brewery Tour

June 10, 2014

Many of my pals could not organise a piss-up in a brewery. Fortunately Jamie is not one of them – and he did the honours by getting us all out to Rutland’s Grainstore Brewery, a handy 10 yard stagger from Oakham Station.

BeerThis was a perfect way to spend one of those awkward post-season, pre-World Cup Saturdays when you’re really not sure what to do, but you’re definitely not going to Highcross. Grainstore put on a range of tours – we went for the full monty which, for £20 involves a little film, a comprehensive tour of the building and introduction to the brewing process, a tutored tasting, an excellent ploughman’s lunch and, oh, yes, two hours free beer.

Grainstore is a kind of in-between business, bigger than the new breed of micro-breweries, but still tiny on a national scale. Located in a fine old Victorian building it still has the basic layout of an old tower brewery and an engaging feeling of an overgrown brewpub mixing modern equipment with bodge-ups.

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Our tour guide Iain was a lovely host, even if some of his jokes had a well-worn feel about them. He was funny, well-informed and exhaustive, and it was pitched well for the beer enthusiast. I came away with a greatly enhanced view of what goes into making a pint. What was particularly pleasing was to see how the “waste” products such as spent grains and excess yeast get put back into the food chain with other leading local food producers such as Northfield Farm, Hambleton Farms and Hambleton Bakery.

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Grainstore has around 10 ales, around six of which were available for us on the day. I liked them all but found a relatively narrow flavour palette – there was strong family resemblance from the dark Rutland Panther through the hefty 1050 bitter, the session ale Cooking, and the lighter Gold. They went down very well with a ploughman’s featuring local stilton and red Leicester, bread from Melton Mowbray, pickles from the allotmments over the rail line, and of course, pork pie.

So if that sounds like your thing  – highly recommended.

 

 

 

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The Lord Nelson

July 24, 2012

Lunch  - The Lord Nelson

I was working in Rutland this morning (of which more soon), which meant I had time to quickly checkout the Lord Nelson in Oakham.  It’s run by the people who opened the hugely successful Tobie Norris pub in Stamford, and is very much in the same mould – picturesque ancient building just off the main drag of a propserous market town, unpretentious but self-confident marketing, nice selection of real ales, simple but appealing food menu featuring the likes of stone-baked pizzas.  I settled for a big of cheese and pickle and the delightful Nottingham beer Harvest Pale.  The weather had finally decided to show us what we’ve been missing all this time, so sitting out in their sun-trap yard with this for lunch sent my welllbeingometer soaring. 

It’s in the building in the corner of the market place that used to house Nick’s restaurant, where Dameon Clarke among others used to ply his trade. Good to see the building put to good use and  definitely worth a visit if in Oakham.

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