Words & Photos - Matthew Curtis
Email email@example.com to get involved!
Last year at The Duke’s Head, Highgate, GM Tom Harrison and Total Ales’ own Matt Curtis started a little monthly get together called Bottle Club. The premise was simple: we sold ten tickets for ten pounds each and then we spent all of the money at a different bottle shop each month on beer to share amongst those lucky enough to attend.
Our first ever bottle club was a riotous success. We ended up staying at the pub until 3am drinking hop infused gin and no-one remembers how we got home. It set the standard for meetings that followed. Over the months we’ve invited some of our favourite brewers along for the ride such as Fourpure, Five Points, Hammerton, Anspach & Hobday, Weird Beard and Brew By Numbers - these were meet the brewers were you actually got to meet the brewer. We’ve appreciated everything from lager to gose and geuze to barrel aged imperial stouts from some of the world’s very best brewers.
This year we’ve gone and teamed up with Kentish Town bottle shop Caps & Taps. Partly because we love their little store and the great beers they stock. Partly because it’s ten minutes on the bus from the pub and partly (most importantly) because owners Phill & Steph have been bottle club regulars from pretty much day one. To us getting them more involved made perfect sense.
In addition to this anyone on the Bottle Club mailing list will be able to get 10% off the beers we select that month if they want to pick them up from Caps & Taps afterwards. Don’t say we never give anything back.
With this in mind we’re handing the first bottle club of 2016 over to them. Phill & Steph will be taking over curation duties from Matt & Tom. They’ll also lead a tutored tasting which Matt will inevitably hijack before Tom eventually forces the latest hip distillate on everyone to try.
The ‘organised’ part of Bottle Club runs from 7.30pm until around 10pm, depending on the balance between Matt’s talking and drinking. Guests are encouraged to bring their own beers, especially if they have Pliny the Elder, which they are welcome to share once we’ve battled our way through the initial beer haul. The kitchen at The Duke’s Head is open ‘til 10pm, so there’s plenty of opportunity to order something from the pubs rotating monthly food residency.
Over the past twelve months we’ve built a cool little community of beer appreciators and we hope that this year you’ll take the time to join us. Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org now to join the mailing list. Tickets are released a couple of weeks before each meeting, which takes place on the first Wednesday of the month. Occasionally we run bigger events at Duke’s and rest Bottle Club when this happens, but you can be safe in the knowledge that Bottle Club mailing list members get access to tickets before anyone else.
Please note, if you don’t manage to snag a ticket then we don’t have space for walk-ins. However, keep an eye on @dukeshighgate and @totalcurtis as the odd cancellation will get announced here in the event a ticket does become available.
Tom, Matt, Phill & Steph look forward to you joining us at The Duke’s Head soon, just make sure you’re wearing your best pair of drinking shoes when you do.