We get behind the scenes with Anthony Gunson, of The King & Co, a South London pub hosting a rotating lineup of beers and street food residencies, keeping it lively for guests. We find out about beer pairing and home brewing tips in part one of our interview, as The King & Co turn two this weekend

There’s a rotating beer lineup each month at The King & Co. With so many to choose from, how are the breweries selected? 

I’d love to say that we had a long list of breweries that we slowly cross off and work through but unfortunately it’s not that scientific. We do have a list of brewers we keep an eye on and get in when we get a chance, and we are also triggered by those breweries and wholesalers who get in touch with us. It can take quite a while to make sure that we get the balance right as well.

The King & Co_board

Check out the Beer Board for The King & Co’s rotating beers.

Which London breweries should we keep an eye out for at The King & Co?

Big Smoke are a great new brewery from down in Surbiton. They launched at about the same time as we did and their beers are outstanding. We had a brilliant Tap Takeover with them back in May. We also recently collaborated with London Beer Lab for our Route 37 Beer Festival – they are producing some great beers but haven’t always received the recognition they deserve. Their Tip Top Citra American Pale Ale is one of our favourite beers – it’s a beer that you want to drink because it’s just a great drink, as opposed to being just an awesome beer. There are so many great breweries in London now that there are just too many to list!

How do you balance the selection of beers for guests to try each month? 

It’s hard (and we appreciate that sometimes we may get it wrong) but we aim to have a good variety of brews for people to try. We only have 6 rotating keg lines which means that we are limited – in an ideal world we would increase the number of lines and this is something I am exploring so hopefully we may be able to showcase even more beers in the future. The choice is obviously highly dominated by the seasons: Autumn and Winter tends to see darker, more warming beers; whereas in Spring and Summer they are fresher and more quaffable. It’s always vital that we have a few top-notch Pale Ales and IPAs on whatever the weather, as that’s where many peoples’ palettes are focused at the moment. 

Beer Pairing tips for brunch. Picture: Allthingsmeaty

Beer Pairing tips for brunch. Picture: Allthingsmeaty

Beer pairing tips: 

The first thing to say is that ultimately there are no real rules. If you want to drink a porter with brunch because that’s what you like then do so! 

Brunch: I would suggest an easy-drinking Pilsner or table beer. Nothing too heavy for your first beer of the day.

A meaty feast: depends on what kind of meat but something smokey might go well here – an Altbier or Rauchbier – or something packed with flavour like a Double IPA

Spicy dishes: you would want something refreshing here so a light Pale Ale possibly or again an easy-drinking Pilsner.

A rich and chocolate-y dessert: you could go one of two ways. Either a chocolatey and roasted porter/coffee porter; or a sour fruit beer such as a Kriek (cherry).

The King & Co_beers

Don’t miss monthly Tap Takeovers at The King & Co

Tell us about the monthly Tap Takeover events. What can beer lovers and beginners learn? 

We hold a Tap Takeover & Meet the Brewer on the first Thursday of every month to celebrate the launch of that month’s Brewery of the Month. This is your chance to try a large selection of beers from that brewery and chat to the team behind the brews. Brewers and breweries are always happy to talk beer no matter how much you know, they are passionate people who love to spread the word so they are always happy to answer questions no matter how advanced or otherwise.

Anthony recommends home-brewing courses

Anthony recommends heading to open-source breweries for courses to take your beer interest further

Any tips for home brewers out there… 

Just give it a go! It can seem quite daunting at first but it’s basic science that anyone can try – buy a book or head to one of London’s open-source breweries to do a course. We also run a home brewer competition every season in conjunction with London Beer Lab, where the winner is able to brew a keg of their beer to sell in the pub – this is a great chance for people to give this a go for the first time (watch this space for more news on our next competition this Summer). At the end of the day it’s just yeast, hops and water!

Click here to read Part Two of our behind the scenes exploring the kitchen takeovers. 

The King & Co | 100 Clapham Park Road, London SW4 7BZ 

Don’t miss: The King & Co turns two this month, and will celebrate its second birthday with a boozy weekend from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th September. For more info, click HERE

To book a table or reserve an area email: hello@thekingandco.uk

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