It’s raining micropubs in Essex, though in Billericay this is as much the Tap and bottle shop as micro.
Billericay Brewing is in a prime spot behind the Waitrose, allowing a division of labour between buying Tzatziki and 7% IPAs if there’s two of you. The Tap Room is functional but pleasant, and you’ll struggle to escape cheery conversation with the staff. That’s both the pro and the con of micros I suppose.
The Rhythm Stick was pretty perfect (NBSS 4), but Mrs RM tells me the bottle of Raisins to be Cheerful I took her back was even better. The inspiration of Justin Mason , who I would like to have given my own beer-tasting notes (ahem) but Mrs RM’s “full bodied” and “mmmm” will have to do Jason.
It seems churlish to state that Ian Dury was born in Harrow.
It’s hard to capture beer quality in photos, so I’ll just say it’s worth a trip to Billericay Brewery for the banter. It’s even open longer hours than the Beer Guide suggests, which is a first. I have mixed feelings about micros in the Beer Guide, but I can’t argue with beer of this quality. The nice man offered me a tour of the brewery, which I declined. I know my limits.
More controversially, I’ll say that Billericay is better to walk round than neighbouring Brentwood, with much more Essex than London overspill feel. Both the Coach & Horses and Railway are the sort of traditional locals that Brentwood lacks, and the other pubs in the High Street look equally attractive.
The Spoons is more functional, and had some fairly potent strength cask on for the professional drinkers mid-week. Cornish beers (Wooden Hand here) seem to have completely taken over Essex. Dickie next to me was sticking to the Abbot.