Oxford’s Grapes turned into beer (and pizza)
My carnivorous ways and tolerance (regarding food allergies) meant I could order the Aged Angus Brisket with chipotle sauce (that used Bath Ales’ Gem) and pickles; flavoursome, not lacking in meat, and a good accompaniment for my beer, it costs less than £10
Walking down George Street usually has exciting connotations for me, and all the more so at the moment, as I do it in the knowledge that soon I’ll be living in Oxford and will be able to wander this street more regularly, following a move from the sticks
What are these connotations? It may be that you’re being treated in the Opium Den or viewing the latest New Theatre offering.
Or you could be stepping into Beerd Oxford for craft beer and pizza. Recently, after doing our best to show everyone that the ticket machines in Worcester Street car park don’t actually confuse us, and giving the man who sits amongst them drawing a couple of quid, this is what OX did.
Beerd is what used to be The Grapes. It’s not the first place in Oxford to do the craft beer and pizza format, but they make no apologies for doing it, they have truly committed to the idea and it is clear what they are about on just looking at the place. Boards outside highlight what lurks within and windows at the front of the building allow you to look through the inside to the words ‘CRAFT BEER’ and ‘PIZZA’ stamped high on the back wall. As when you looked at The Grapes you knew you were seeing a pub, here you know you’re seeing a craft beer and pizza place.
We had a table situated in the corner, tucked away enough for us to talk to each other, but not so out of the picture it ostracised us from the buzz and the bar. I opted for Bath Ales’ Gem to drink favouring its temperature. It was also preferred by my colleague over the light ale she had gone for – not enough backbone to it she felt.
Beerd boasts a small and concise menu, unlike a lot of pizza serving venues, which meant we decided quickly. My colleague is vegetarian and can lay claim to an allergy or two. She chose the Tomato, Mozzarella Di Bufala, Basil pizza, saying that the measure of a good pizza place is how well they do the simplest thing. It seems Beerd succeeded. Their dough, made with 00 Molino Caputo Flour, enables the pizza bases to stretch more and made for a lightness that pleased my companion. And, whilst with a basic thing it is easy to go overboard with the herbs, in this case it was delicately seasoned…and all 11 inches at just £7.50.
My carnivorous ways and tolerance (regarding food allergies) meant I could order the Aged Angus Brisket with chipotle sauce (that used Bath Ales’ Gem) and pickles; flavoursome, not lacking in meat, and a good accompaniment for my beer, it costs less than £10. I was also provided with what was described as life changing garlic mayo, which probably hasn’t altered my life in the grand scheme of things but did add an extra layer of taste to my meal.
It would have been better if the pair of us weren’t driving; a beer sampling session might have made a pleasant meal and a pint into something slightly more debauch (and educational). However, once I’m located a lot nearer Beerd, this sort of experience will be easy to achieve…
- Sam Bennett
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