Friday, January 20, 2006


Beer at Zero Degrees

The temperature was creeping towards the freezing point as I walked over the open and windswept fields of Blackheath in eastern London. It was beyond dusk on that cold winter evening, and I had just managed to step the zero degree line at the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich before closing time at 4.30 pm.

A good 20-30 minutes walk later I stepped inside the Zerodegrees microbrewery at the warmer-sounding address of Montpellier Vale in Blackheath.

Blackheath is a nice little village, well-connected with trains to London Bridge. There are also regular bus service to Central London, so you do not have to combine it with Greenwich, though I would warmly recommend it.

Back to the microbrewery and restaurant. They seem to emphasize the latter with only a small drinking area. A bit annoying, really, as there were many available seats in the bigger restaurant section that night. The waiters politely, but clearly indicated that this was no-go area for drinkers only. Compensating for that were the helpful bartenders, offering tastings of the seasonal specials, a strawberry ale and a cinnamon ale.

The Zerodegrees is a rather slick affair with steel containers on proud display. The kitchen looks appetizing, it is a combination of Belgo-style and Italian, and features mussels and waffles as well as pasta and pizza. The beers are experimental, not award-winning, but decent. The four regular brews are a Pilsner, a Black Lager, a Wheat Ale and a Pale Ale.

Well worth a walk at zero degrees.

"experimental, not award-winning, but decent"? - when I brewed there, we were experimental, mostly decent (in a decadent way) & occasionally award-winning. Cheers,
MikeMcG, ex ZeroDegs Brewer.
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