I rarely drink at home, but know someone who does, so felt obliged to bring her back a bottle from Beers of Europe, the self-styled biggest beer shop in the UK. It’s a good job that it’s worth a visit, as there’s nothing else to see around it’s home of Setchey near King’s Lynn unless you like bleak skies. If they ever add a tasting area it could be quite a draw for anyone willing to take an adventurous 2 mile walk from Watlington station.
If your idea of fun is looking at brightly coloured bottles from tiny breweries, this is worth a trip. The 6 large aisles include a significant number of bottles from the new London breweries, as well as all of the usual suspects. Prices are fairly standard, at least until you get to the Scandinavian imports.
To be honest, I felt a bit overwhelmed by choice. The beers are displayed alphabetically within countries, except for the London and local sections, and it’s a hard slog working out style and strengths visually. I’d guess I’ve only seen 10% of the beers here on draft, and it can feel very hit and miss.
If you’re after specific a Brewdog, Anspach & Hobday or Anarchy, you’ll find it (apart from the one stuffed in a penguin), though no Buxton and Wiper & True that I noticed. The range of German beers is a bit short on craft brewers like Riedenburger whose Dolden Sud I keep looking for over here.
More interesting for me for me were the oddities; the four-handled ceramic drinking vessel, other oddly shaped glassware, and some scary looking Russian vodkas. Lovely display of miniatures too.
In the end, while I toyed with the idea of the To Ol “Mine is bigger than yours” for a bargain £1,995, I settled for the cutting edge and slightly out-of-date bottle of Stockport’s finest pictured below, at £1.25 a fine accompaniment for Mrs RM’s home-made curry.