Forget your Dry January, Tryanuary is where it’s at right now, getting out there and discovering independent breweries, bars and bottle shops and trying something new.
So what better place to get your sample on than Muree Squires’ bottle shop heaven on Clarendon Park Road.
It is a wonderful Aladdin’s cave of treasure. Hundreds of bottle-conditioned beers stand to attention on the shelves. The brightly coloured labels speak of the phenomenal wealth of great microbreweries that we have in this country, and indeed around the world.
Local breweries, one-man operations, stand shoulder to shoulder with the giants of the industry – your Brewdogs and your Sam Adams. Ales, porters, lagers, stouts even a wide range of ciders and perries are available.
Muree carefully selects all of the stock himself. If there’s something you want and you can’t see it on the densely packed shelves, have a word and he’ll see what he can do.
As well as the beers, speciality spirits are available and there is an awesome selection of wines – a lot of French, but others from around the world, all tried and tested for quality.
I spotted some fine vintages from St Emilion, a juicy looking Zinfandel for California and even a bottle of the delicious Sparkling Orion from our friends at Rothley Wines.
In fact there were hundreds of wines I fancied trying! I think there could have been more cava – it would be great to find a stockist of some of my Sant Sadurni favourites, but no doubt it is just a sign of these Prosecco-obsessed times!
So do your palate a favour and pop down The Offie to grab yourself something nice. It’s not about drinking more, it’s about drinking better, or so I’m told. We picked ourselves up two beers to try – but since they are bottle conditioned it’ll be a little while before we drink them as we are leaving them to settle nicely. More on those later.
If you’re watching the pennies in the post-festive season, fear not, you can purchase from The Offie’s own range of house drinks – at just over £6 for the house wine, for example, is very competitively priced.
Let me know in the comments below what your pick is for this #Tryanuary. What independent breweries and beers should we not be living without?