The British Beer Company or, as it’s known by its clever abbreviation, BBC, is a chain of British themed pubs that are located throughout New England. I first heard of the BBC while driving past its -at the time- soon to be location, at the beginning of the month. I knew instantly that I wanted to check it out, so periodically I checked their website to see when they were opening.
Finding no definite information, on June 14th, I finally decided to send them an email asking when their opening date was. The response told me Tuesday, June 17th. Unfortunately I had other things going on that day, but the next day, after a particularly frustrating day at work, I decided to go.
This video is not about the Danvers location, BUT, I wanted to give you an idea of what they’re like.
I invited my parents to join me, but only my Dad was interested in checking it out. So, after getting showered and changed, we made our way to Route 114 in Danvers. I had been wanting to take my Dad out for a beer for a while now and I wanted to check out this pub, so going out allowed me to kill to pints with one gulp (terribly reworked pun, I know).
Looking at the pub from the outside, it felt more like a theme park attraction than a restaurant. There were theming objects everywhere to really reinforce the idea that this was a BRITISH PUB. The inside was just as “bad,” with wooden booths and Union Jacks in every possible location. However, as much as it may sound like I’m complaining, none of these things really bother(ed) me. I just wanted to make clear that this will not provide an authentic British pub feel, if that is what you are looking for.
My Dad and I grabbed a seat at the bar and sat right in front of four Fuller’s (beer) tap handles. Fuller’s is a legit British beer, and, one I’ve never tried before. The one nearest to me was the London Porter, and since I’ve been going for darker beers lately, that is what I tried. From the first sip it was exactly what I was looking for; full bodied taste with rich creamy chocolatey/coffee notes. My Dad went for the lighter, more middle of the road, but still respectable London Pride. I had a taste and for a “regular” style beer, it too was very good.
Then, because I hadn’t gotten a lunch that day, I decided to get some food. I kept it simple and ordered a burger. I must admit that I was a little underwhelmed. Despite ordering it cooked “medium,” the outside of the burger was burnt. Regardless, I could have dealt with that, but it had very little taste, just meat, nothing special. I was sort of expecting more. That being said, I didn’t let it tarnish my good time. My Dad and I engaged in some good “bar-talk” with one another, as well as with these two guys that were sitting adjacent to us.
The guys were making it their goal to try every beer they have on tap; all 32 (a pretty respectable number). However, they weren’t ordering pints. Instead they were doing it the “smart” way. BBC allows you to order a wooden paddle or “flight” of any four beers in sample sized glass for a set price of $8. This inspired me because after finishing my porter, I was perplexed as to what to get next. I had several choices in mind and the paddle offered the solution.
The four I order were Hobgoblin, Paulaner Hefeweizen, Founder KBS, and Arrogant Bastard. The only one I really liked was the hefeweizen as my pallet like light and fruity belgian stuff or really dark and heavy stuff. I hated the KBS because it is aged in bourbon barrels and you can definitely tell. I am not a fan of hard alcohol so naturally this one was a miss. I had about two sips before giving up. Our waitress was cool though and offered me a substitution beer, but, by that point I was full and ready to leave. I picked up the check and then we were on our way.
It ended up being a very satisfying night. Between the food, the beer, and the conversation, I was very full. I would definitely recommend the British Beer Company to any family for pretty much any ocasion. As long as the somewhat tacky decor wouldn’t be off-putting, I’d say that overall, the atmosphere was fun. However, if you’re too snooty for this sort of thing, I recommend you stay away.