Charlie has always enjoyed chilling out with me or Anya, as I'm sure anyone who is reading this understands with their own dogs. Since getting our third Dachshund, Cinnamon, though, with her relentless energy and teething fits, Charlie hasn't had too much time to himself. I'd been promising Chewy for ages that I'd go for a quiet beer, that I'd take him with me and we'd just chill for a bit. I never seemed able to find the time though, until Anya suggested starting this blog, and well, drinking craft beer, chilling with my main man and then writing about independent business, there's three of my favourite things right there that I rarely get chance to do, so as you can see, I jumped on the opportunity to use Hounds as an excuse. Hang on, Anya is this going to go through under expenses cus I'm skint...
And so our journey begins, One Man And His Dog will be setting off in search of amazing dog friendly, independent places to eat and drink across Staffordshire. Frist stop... BottleCraft. Around 20 months old now, Stoke-on-Trent's first craft bar recently announced plans to extend into a second premises on Hanley's Piccadilly, with their modest and trendy first bar remaining on Marsh Street. Set up by a local trio of craft enthusiats, BottleCraft has been a pioneer business not only for craft drinkers of the city but also for the surge of independent business in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle Under Lyme in recent times, and with its inpecibly welcoming customer service (you'll literally leave with everyone in there being on your facebook friends list after just one visit) along with their unbelievable knowledge on every single beer, ale and cider they've stocked since opening in May 2015. Chewy sits happily near the corner, popping his head up from time to time to check on his chances of getting some treats from me. Guess what, lad, you're in luck. Lily's Kitchen 'Eat Your Greens' are a quality shout for a Sunday afternoon beer with the pooch. They come as a snack bar, but are easily breakable into treat sized pieces. Needless to say, Chewdog was happy.
Lawless – the beer with a hopload of attitude, Lawless weighs in at 4.5% ABV, and it proper hits the spot. A blend perfected by Warickshire based Purity Brewing Co. Lawless ironically follows the 500 year old Bavarian law, whilst added blends of Pilgrim, El Dorado and Styrian Goldings hops along with Pilsner Malt, Wheat Malt and Caragold, makes for a mid-range, bitter-sweet taste of spice which succeeds a subtle and gentle peach aroma. Purity Brewing Co. have certain perfected their craft since founding in 2005. The 'brewed by' signature on the can lends a finishing touch, too.
I picked out a bit of a risky one for Anya, knowing that she's not fully into her beer but she does really enjoy certain style crafts. After hitting the jackpot with Mongozo Mango earlier in the week, and then again with a lucky go on the incredulous and sour Delerium Red which, weighing in at a hefty 8.5% left me rather dubious abouth whether or not Anya would enjoy it, but as it turns out the tangy sour cherries proved to be a winner, and I sensed a fruity pattern a-brewing, leading me to the Passion Fruit Pinner Throwback IPA. This Oskar Blues Brewery beer “takes the flavours of passion fruit and citrus juice of the original Pinner Throwback IPA and turns them up to 11. The clean malts, with hints of toasted biscuit pair with zesty hops to spice up the taste and aromas from pureed passion fruit and a small spike of pureed blood orange.” (oskarblues.com) Anya's verdict? “ooooh it was nice. It was a good easy drink, but it did hit me more than I was expecting for a 4.9%.”
I love this place more every time I go, and since finding out it was dog friendly, I was quick to get Chewdog in on the action, too. BottleCraft is highly recommended to any dog lover, possibly not on a Friday or Saturday evening when it can get extra busy, but a Sunday afternoon, though still busy during its open hours of 12-4, carries the perfect, chillaxed Sunday atmosphere.
Follow Bottle craft on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/bottlecraftsot/
Blog post by Lee Barber