The Grain Barge is the brewery tap of the Bristol Beer Factory. First key fact: it’s a pub on a boat, bobbing about just across the harbour from the SS Great Britain. Second key fact: the beer is bloody marvellous.
The bitter is thirst-quenchingly good (brown, but certainly not boring) while the Red is a little sweeter and maltier. Sunrise is a wonderfully fresh golden ale. All three are dry but also full-bodied, and reminded us strongly of JW Lees beers. Do they both use sugar in the brewing process? Could it be that? We’re trying to get our heads round this issue more generally at the moment.
There were also two stouts on offer. The cask version (simply called ‘Stout’) is smoky and coffee like. The much lauded Milk Stout, only available in bottles, is quite different — sweet, smooth and chocolatey, with a beautiful pale brown head.
This is exactly the kind of place we wish we’d thought to open.