Nottingham is now loud and proud as one of the UK’s leading cities on the craft beer scene.
Unabashed in its approach – I can name five bars off the top of my head which specialise in craft beer – there is even a week dedicated to craft beer (more on that later).
I remain keen to explore the craft beer industry, which is why I was excited to review Purecraft Bar & Kitchen on St. Peter’s Gate, in the heart of the city.
From the outside, the endless brownstone looks to be an imposing building. Think of Goliath on stilts, and you’re halfway there to imagining what the exterior feels like.
Sprinting up the steps, we were warmly greeted by Favour, our waitress (I know, cool name, right?).
It’s a cosy yet expansive space, with interesting artwork adorning the walls.
Both food and drink menus are compact yet diverse. There’s sharers, nibbles, good puds and a standalone Sunday menu. After a bout of shopping in Nottingham, we were hungry and ready to get stuck in.
I had fish ‘n’ chips (Lawless Lager batter, mushy peas, tartare sauce).
The recommended drink was either Purity Lawless or Veltins Pilsener, of which I had the latter.
It’s a generous sized portion and the fish, very good. Succulent flakes held together by crisp, beer laden batter made this rustic dish somehow very grown up. The underside of the fried batter was slightly fluffy and delicious, with the flavour of the Lawless Lager making an appearance mid-swallow.
Lawless Lager is made using only four ingredients and boasts a clean finish with a fragrant citrusy punch. Which is why this was an excellent partner to the fish and batter, which left the palate feeling refreshed.
My Veltins Pilsener was super smooth, with a pleasantly bitter finish. Did you know it’s brewed using natural spring water from its own mountain? It is now one of my favourite beers and drink of choice when out and about.
I loved the fries, would have liked to see more mushy peas, and for them to have a little more liquid in them. I couldn’t fault the flavours, which were top notch.
My dining partner had Oatmeal Stout BBQ glazed chicken (slaw, fries).
The recommended drink with this was Purity Longhorn or Saddle Black. The chicken was tasty and tender, being roasted on the bone. The glaze was good, and the slaw fresh and light on the palate (none of this mayo-heavy stuff here). It would have been good to have the slaw in a separate bowl, or placed adjacent to the chicken, instead of being placed on top of the fries. Don’t get me wrong, it looked great, and photographed well; the cold slaw however drastically cooled down the fries and I think it would have been better to have the option of picking slaw and fries at leisure, instead of trying to eat the dish whilst still hot.
One of the sides caught my eye, which is why I found myself ordering the homemade sausage roll.
This was one very handsome beast, that came with artful splodges of English mustard and ketchup.
Buttery pastry, gorgeously seasoned meat and mustard that packed a punch ensured this dish to be the hook why I return.
Dessert sounded like a good move (come on, it’s Sunday, you’re allowed). We decided to share the apple and blackberry crumble (IPA custard). The beer matching for this course was Bacchus Framboise.
I’ve been craving a good crumble since forever, which is why I was really looking forward to it. My sweet tooth compelled me to ask our kind waitress if the chef could possibly make the dish sweeter (Favour kindly acquiesced and said she’d ask the chef to do this).
The topping was delicious, with hints of butterscotch, and the textured filling good. I would have liked to see a more creamier custard, and more blackberries in the dessert, but otherwise, it made for a tasty dessert.
Purecraft Bar & Kitchen is a lovely space to hang out and enjoy good food. If the lovely Favour’s there on the day, rest assured you’ll be in good hands. Just make sure you leave room for their delectable sausage rolls.
Rating: (1: Hate: I’d rather eat my shoe – 10: Love: I’d sell my kidney for a meal here)
Value for money: 8
Restaurant/Bar name: Purecraft Bar & Kitchen, Nottingham
Founders: Martin Hilton, Andreas Antona, Purity Brewing Company
Nottingham branch open since: March 2016
Address: 13 St Peter’s Gate, Nottingham NG1 2JF
Closest tram stop: Lace Market
Opening times: Wednesday & Thursday 11am – 11pm. Friday & Saturday – 11am – Midnight. Sunday – 12pm – 7pm
How to make reservation: Telephone
Call: 0115 934 9040
Whilst in the area check out: George Thornton Art, a quaint art gallery in the Flying Horse Walk. Well worth a browse, and to pick up some beautiful pieces to adorn your home.