The “Brewhouse and Kitchen”:http://www.brewhouseandkitchen.com/southampton was within a walk of a friend, and fellow Silver Traveller’s home, and so was ideal for lunch during our day trip from London to Southampton. It’s a chain type place with 14 branches mainly in the south of England.
At 2.30pm on a Thursday afternoon, the car park and place was deserted and we had a choice of seats in a relatively huge bar area. However, some had either squashy sofas (too low for eating) or high stools and tables (too high for ladies of a certain age). As the weather was reasonable we chose the covered, no smoking patio. There’s also a huge garden with rustic garden furniture made from huge tree trunks and a huge barrel for an open fire which I suspect has been used extensively this summer.
The “menu”:http://my.propcom.co.uk/data/media/pdf/Main%20Menu%20SS%3A16%20-%20SOUTHAMPTON%20-%20PB3.pdf had all the usual pub favourites with starters, nibbles, sharing plates and mains (around £9 to £12). There was also an “express lunch menu”:http://my.propcom.co.uk/data/media/pdf/Express%20Lunch%20Menu%20SS%3A16%20-%20PB3-1.pdf as well as special “gluten free”:http://my.propcom.co.uk/data/media/pdf/Gluten%20Free%20Menu%20SS%3A16%20-%20PB3-1.pdf and allergen menus. A speciality is Beer Can Chicken, a whole roasted chicken infused with beer which serves 2 to 4 people.
We ordered at the bar with two of us choosing fish and chips and the third, opting for a healthier salmon on a bed of sweet potato mash and greens. My fish and chips was a good sized portion with crisp golden batter. The chips were chunky and piping hot and there were two small dishes of tartare sauce and mushy peas. The healthy option looked equally enticing.
The wine list starts at a reasonable £15.75 but we plumped for an excellent French Sauvignon Blanc at £17.
However, what makes this place stand out is the micro brewery on one side of the bar with its huge copper coloured vats of brewing beer. We chatted with, what seemed a particularly young, chap who let us smell the hops he was just about to add and told us about his passion for putting herbs with his beers. If you’re a beer drinker, this is definitely a place to try. They also offer Brewery Experience Days and Beer Masterclasses.