Last week in Brighton on our way to the hugely anticipated meal at The Coal Shed, JB and I decided to stop somewhere for a couple of decent ales and a snack before the main event. The Cask Pub & Kitchen seemed like the obvious choice.
There has been a fair bit of chatter surrounding the newly opened posh Sussex boozer but luckily nearly all of it has been good. Despite my nervousness as this once was one of my favourite pubs the Hop Poles and previous to that the Spotted Dog, I was keen to see what all the fuss was about.
First impressions walking in there, I wasn’t sure if I’d liked what they’d done with the place. It was cleaner, sparser, and the furniture looked more organised. These all sound like positives…maybe its just because I fear change.
Luckily things got better the longer we were there. Firstly the choice of beers was outstanding by any standards. Literally 100’s from all over the world from £3 to £30 a pint. The selection on draught for a smallish bar was honestly staggering, and that’s before you started looking at all the weird and wonderful bottles in different shapes and colours stocked in the fridges.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the guy serving us behind the bar was a talented cicerone, however modestly described himself as an ‘Imbiber’ who is simply one who drinks beer. He was happy to let us try whatever we wanted and recommend new tipples based on our usual preferences. His knowledge was exemplary and nothing pleases me more than to talk about beer like its a fine wine.
After several samples I tucked into a pint of Camden Ink which was a really thick heavy Stout from North London. JB went for something lighter; a nice Pale Ale although shamefully neither can remember what it was called! I think I only remember the Stout as I was completely sold on the label design which as a tattoo fan looked pretty funky.
Whilst not planning to eat, the menu looked too good not to accompany our beers with a tasty little bar snack. We went for a couple of homemade scotch eggs, one made with black pudding and the other with chorizo.
The only scotch eggs I’d experienced this good were at Pub Du Vin around the corner on Ship Street, and as much as it pains me to say these were even better. Wonderfully rich sausage meat infused with either black pudding or chorizo, hot out the oven with a crisp golden casing and a soft runny yolk. The piccalilli style condiment cut through the richness perfectly and would have been easily enough for a light lunch.
Overall a great (albeit brief) experience at Cask Pub & Kitchen, and I can categorically say I’ll be back for some of those beers and more of that lovely food. A great little pub for a pre dinner pint or indeed a casual lunch date. Would also recommend as a place to take any ‘out of towners’ who enjoy their beer. The Cask really does impress.
Great beer, great food, great service. Top marks
13 Middle St, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AL
Tel: 01273 710444