Craft Beer Guide: 24 Hours in Bristol
It’s the end of the summer, and as our send-off to the sunny season fast approaches, we asked our friend Kelly Sidgwick of Good Chemistry Brewing for her favourite places in our favourite city in the South West.
Kelly Sidgwick set up Good Chemistry Brewing with her partner Bob Cary to create good chemistry in its broadest sense – not just in the quality of the beer they produce, but using that to allow them to celebrate community and relationships across science, the arts, music, food, and social experiences, as well as beer and brewing. They have been up and running in their St Philips brewery since 2015, and in addition to serving Bristol drinkers are increasingly reaching further afield.
“Our neighbours on the East Bristol Brewery Trail – Left Handed Giant. Their brewery and taproom is tucked away at the bottom of an industrial estate under lovely mature trees and with a big yard. Their open and approachable way of doing things means you can get up close and personal with their brewkit and canning line while enjoying a tasty beer, as the bar is right in the brewery. We’re very excited for the Finzels Reach development coming to fruition next year. Our other favourite is on the way home from GCHQ*, which is sometimes dangerous! Wiper & True have been incredibly supportive of us since we started (Bob brewed there before we set up), and their taproom was a long-anticipated addition to Bristol’s beer scene.”
* Editor’s note: Good Chemistry Headquarters, not Government Communications Headquarters!
“The best craft beer bar in Bristol is Small Bar, on King Street. Unpretentious, laid-back and with a pretty extensive, ever-changing beer list; it’s somewhere I feel comfortable hanging out on my own as much as with a big group of friends. The Hillgrove above Stokes Croft, which has fourteen rotating handpulls, is one of our favourite pubs, perfect for holing up in for the night.”
A Bite To Eat:
“The new development at Wapping Wharf, behind the M Shed museum right on Bristol’s floating harbour, has some great places to eat and drink, and one of our absolute faves is Gopal’s Curry Shack at Cargo. Bright, fresh, beautifully presented and utterly delicious vegetarian and vegan Indian street food, their onion bhaji scotch eggs are legendary in these parts.
Long-running St Nicholas Market is another favourite for lunch. Their food court boasts Bristol stalwarts like Pie Minister and Matina, and is a great place to grab lunch on the go or take a seat and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.”
“I don’t actually drink coffee but the two places that have done the best job of converting me are West Street Kitchen and Little Victories. West Street Kitchen is just around the corner from the brewery, and as well as killer coffee, you’ve got to sample Millie’s incredible baking. The rest of their food is great too, with monthly supper clubs and other special events. It’s dark and cosy at WSK, and tempting to while away an afternoon…
Little Victories is also part of Wapping Wharf. It’s light, bright and airy, with views of the floating harbour, including Bristol Craft Beer Festival’s new location. As well as more killer coffee, there’s good beer and my favourite, the cold brew Negroni. It’s a great place to watch the world wander by, day or night, summer or winter.”
“Gloucester Road is the country’s longest independent high street, starting in edgy Stokes Croft where you can check out some street art, moving up a couple of miles to a great bottle shop Bottles & Books and the first micropub in Bristol, The Drapers Arms, via a whole load of great places to shop and eat and drink. Chance & Counters, at the bottom of Christmas Steps, will satisfy all your board game café needs (even those you didn’t know you had). Bristol Old Vic is this country’s oldest continually working theatre, and re-opening later in 2018 after a huge and exciting multi-million pound refurbishment. If you fancy a break from the beer, head to Red Light or the Milk Thistle. They’re hidden in plain sight, but this mystery makes it all the more worth-while when you do find them. Finally, if you head up to Brunel’s Suspension Bridge, make sure to check out the camera obscura in the Observatory on the hill overlooking the bridge. I’ve been visiting since I was a kid and it still fascinates me – pick a sunny day and let the moving pictures transport you!”