Coventry might not be your idea of travelling, but hey, I had to catch a bus and a train and then walk just over a mile to get to Twisted Barrel Brewery and Tap House, so I’m counting this as a travel piece. It was raining too, so the walk seemed longer.
Whilst Coventry is only about twenty miles from Birmingham and not much further from my house in Walsall, it’s not a place I’ve been to many times. However, the beer scene in Cov has quietly been growing over the last couple of years – in January 2017, popular bottle shop Beer Gonzo opened their Taproom and Lambic Bar and in October, Twisted Barrel Ale moved to their new unit, increasing their brewing capacity and gaining much more tap room floor space.
After chatting with brewer Carl Marshall at the Tilt Christmas Sessions in December, gushing about the awesome ‘Wrapped in’ series of New England IPAs they had just started rolling out, Dave and I made it our mission to make it over to Twisted Barrel in the New Year. With January jam packed full of Tryanuary events in Brum, we set our sights on the first weekend in February for our short trip east.
Stepping out of Coventry train station, we were greeted by good old English rain and grey skies. After a quick glance at Google maps, we started our walk, talking through the week’s escapades. Dave happened to have some extra juicy gossip on this particular day, leading us to temporarily lose our sense of direction and add another ten minutes to our journey through the glorious drizzle. Eventually we made it to Fargo Village, the creative corner of Coventry that has been home to Twisted Barrel Ale since 2015.
The new brewery and tap room is modern and spacious. Entering the unit, we were greeted by rows of communal benches, with the brewing kit to our right. After scanning our surroundings, we made our way to the bar at the far end of the unit and ordered two pints of the newly released ‘Wrapped in Mosaic’ NEIPA. Good times for us, but bad times for the poor bloke that had to pour it – there was a slight pressure problem with that line, so it took a good few minutes to fill a couple of pint glasses. Luckily, good things come to those who wait – 568ml of hoppy juice.
Over the next few hours, we boshed down bitters, sours, pales and stouts, shared packets of crisps and talked plenty of nonsense. As Joe Walsh’s ‘Life’s Been Good’ drifted out across the room, life was very good in that moment.
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