Following my visit to The Bunch of Grapes my zest for sampling great Welsh beers in their own territory has only increased, so I next took a trip to the awesome new Cardiff haunt from Tiny Rebel Brewing Co., Urban Tap House. Having opened only a few months ago, Urban Tap House’s already high ranking on Trip Advisor is testament to the awesome burgers that chef Paul serves up alongside the broad beer selection. With manager Chris at the helm, Tiny Rebel’s first foray into pubs has earned a great reputation as the perfect setting for a killer burger and beer combo.
I visited with the intention of selecting a burger that could match up to Tiny Rebel’s smoked oat stout, Dirty Stop Out, but upon seeing that the burger special that day was the chilli nacho burger, I couldn’t resist it, and thought it best to choose a different beer; I’m not sure Dirty Stop Out would been the best match to this fiery patty. Instead I opted for Cwtch (4.6%), a satisfying red ale appropriately named with everyone’s favourite Welsh word.
The burger was a triumph, spicy and packed with sour cream, guacamole, nachos and jalapeños. The Cwtch was smooth going down, pleasant working against the fiery, crunchy burger, while the noticeable hop profile also worked with it, filling the mouth with flavour. I must say I’m glad to have found the chilli nacho burger on special that day so as to have discovered this great combination of beer and burger, but I will absolutely return to fulfil that original goal of pairing Dirty Stop Out with something equally as explosive.
My spicy lunch had left me hankering for something sweet, so on the way home for dessert I stopped by The Bottle Shop to browse the stouts and porters with which to make another match – I was well in the mood by this point! Being a fan of Brooklyn Brewery’s lager, I was intrigued to see their Black Chocolate Stout (10%) on sale. Hey, I was looking for something sweet, and chocolate was right there in the name; that baby was coming home with me.
I remembered reading in Melissa Cole’s Let Me Tell You About Beer that dark chocolate and cherries are ‘best friends’ of stouts, and as the chocolate formed part of the brew, I decided on a cherry dessert. Now, while I am a keen baker, I am also not above the occasional shop-bought treat, and my attention was caught by a Gü Cherry Bakewell Pud – perfect! Independently of eachother, the pudding and beer were worlds apart; while the pudding was predictably mouthwatering and delicious, the Black Chocolate Stout was perhaps too rich and powerful, unsurprising at 10% abv. However, I soon realised exactly what ‘best friends’ meant, because putting the stout and creamy cherry pudding together was perhaps the most shockingly pleasurable match I’d experienced yet in my beer and food journey. Just incredible. And while I probably won’t be revisiting the beer on its own, I’m very keen to bake with it soon.