The Rake at Borough Market can be hard work. We’ve found it’s more-or-less bearable between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, though, which is when we happened to go for a pint on a recent afternoon off.
We’ve written about the Rake lots of times before, but one thing we’ve always shrugged off is the price of the bottled beer. Our view has always been that imports should cost more and that it was worth paying the inflated prices to be able to drink hard-to-come-by beers somewhere other than our front room.
This time, though, even we were astounded to find ourselves paying £9.50 for just over one UK pint of Stone Cali-Belgique IPA.
Yes, this is something to do with the exchange rate; and, yes, the very nice bar manager did warn us before opening the bottle; and, yes, it was a very interesting beer. In short, we’re not really criticising the Rake for charging what they need to — they’re running (an apparently very successful) business, after all.
What it did make us question is our own priorities. Should we take such a prohibitive price as a sign that we ought to focus our energies on drinking local beers, at least until the dreaded Crispy CrunchTM is over? After all, it’s not as if we can’t get insane IPAs or stouts full of citrus hops in the UK these days.
The Stone Cali-Belgique IPA is their standard IPA made with Belgian yeast. It’s almost an educational tool, demonstrating what difference a brewer’s choice of yeast can make. It tastes spicy, floral and sugary, with reminders of Duvel and Hoegaarden. Probably not worth £9.50, though… Thom of the Black Cat brewery reviewed it here and didn’t like it much.