Gorgeous Growing Greatly!

Visiting the Gorgeous Brewery I’m tempted to say ‘what a difference a year makes’. This five barrel brewery can be found at the Grade II-listed Bull in Highgate, which is, according to the Sunday Times, one of the best places to live (Highgate, that is, not necessarily the pub!). Originally it was a one barrel plant, which was included when brother and sister Rob and Samantha Loub acquired the pub from the London Brewing Company who moved to the Bohemia in North Finchley. The set-up that they inherited however involved brewing in the kitchen and having the fermenters in the cellar, so was not the most ergonomic of arrangements. Rob and Samantha however had a vision. Major investment in 2018 brought about a new brewery building, secluded at the back of the pub alongside a pristine wooden decked outside area and this has totally transformed the situation.

Walking into the brewery you are greeted by sparkling stainless steel tanks. The head brewer, Reuben, and Joe, his assistant were hard at work hand bottling beer when we visited.

We brew around twice a week,” explained Reuben, “with 40% cask and the rest bottle and keg. Over two thirds of the beer is sold outside the pub to predominantly local outlets.” Gorgeous’s Lager, Guzzla, is the biggest seller in the pub but two golden ales, Gyrocopter (4.1% ABV) and Goofyhoof (4.6% ABV) are also popular. These are regularly complemented by a bitter (Glowfly) and a stout (Gravedigger), plus others. Eagle eyed readers will notice that all the beers begin with a ‘G’. Like most brewers, Reuben likes to experiment. He explained, “I’ll talk to customers to help me refine and tweak recipes.” One of the latest ‘G’s is Gatsby, a bottled Brut IPA, which is a collaboration brew with Crate Brewery. This is a very dry, sparking beer (5.8% ABV) with a final gravity of 1000 (see below), brewed with an enzyme called amyloglucosidase 300. Who knows what the next ‘G’ will be? To find out, the pub’s address is 13 North Hill, N6 4AB and it is open midday to 11.30 (midnight Friday and Saturday).

Note: you will often come across beers quoting an original gravity (OG) such as 1038 or 1050. This relates to the fermentable sugars in the beer and has a direct relationship to the alcohol content. 1000 is the OG of water but that doesn’t mean the beer has zero alcohol. It means that, in this particular beer, all of the sugars have been fermented out and it actually has an alcohol content of 5.8% ABV. Drink carefully!

Christine Cryne