A month of tasty street food pop-ups at brewery
- Credit: Cluck and Waffle
It’s not just pubs and restaurants that were affected by lockdown rules. Breweries up and down the country were left in limbo – with gallons of beer heartbreakingly poured down the drain.
And this includes Nethergate Brewery Shop and Tap Room in Long Melford, where staff have just returned following a year of furlough (and uncertainty).
In celebration of being able to once again welcome customers to drink in the socially distanced outdoor areas, the team is working with some of Suffolk’s most popular street food vendors, offering a four-week programme of diverse and delicious cuisine.
Speaking at the re-opening, general manager Rob Crawford said it was “brilliant” to see the facilities being used, and he looks forward to seeing the response to the street food initiative.
“Mac Street Kitchen and Black Wagon Bagels were already regulars here, doing well, but we wanted to bring even more in these first few weeks to give more options while people are drinking.
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“Street food’s been wonderful for us. We make beer for a living and making food isn’t what we’re about so we thought, why not let other guys do that for us?”
The weekly list will be published on social media at Nethergate Brew, and will change up regularly so there’s always something different to try, from fresh seafood platters, to chicken and waffles.
“At the back of the shop and bar we’ve got a big garden,” says Rob, “with lots of benches. That’s south-facing, so we get the sun most of the day. And at the front we’ve changed the car park to seating, with a small marquee with six benches underneath and the sides open as per government guidance. We’ve also got the Track and Trace poster up and have table service, so you just turn up and order from your table, or flag down a member of staff.
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“It’s great to be open again. As a brewery, most of our customers have been closed for the last 13 months and although we’ve been doing a fair bit of trade at our onsite shop, without most of the staff it’s been like a ghost town. Having the buzz back is a good feeling and I’m sure the atmosphere we’ll get over the next few weeks will be lovely, with people meeting up with friends and family in a socially-distanced way.”
To drink, Rob says the brewery’s Stour Valley Gold is “fantastic”, but also reveals they’ve just launched Venture Point 5 – Nethergate’s first low alcohol beer, ideal for drivers. “That’s really exciting. So far, most people who’ve tried it have been very positive, saying it taste just like our regular Venture beer.”
The street food line-up so far
Thursday, April 15, 5pm to 8pm – Cluck and Waffle: Set up by friends Lewis Sell and Reese Prince, Cluck and Waffle make high quality, fresh waffles and buttermilk-marinated, spice-coated chicken from scratch (including the sauces). Ingredients are locally-sourced where possible, and the chicken is marinated for 24 hours before being fried until golden. At Nethergate they’ll be offering the Cluck Me Burger, the Naked Bird Burger (which is griddled not fried), and their signature fluffy buttermilk waffles with two pieces of fried chicken and any sauce you like. The duo offer a vegan waffle too, topped with crispy cauliflower wings.
Friday, April 16, 12noon to 4pm – Hannington’s Seafood: Everything from crabsticks to bacon and scallop rolls, and hot or cold seafood platters laden with lobster, crab, prawns, calamari and more.
Friday, April 16, 4pm to 8pm – Mac St Kitchen: Serving up gourmet, filling mac and cheese from a cute converted vintage Bedford ambulance. Options include the regular Return of the Mac, the Hot Piggy Mac with bacon and jalapeno, and the Sexy Mac, with truffle and mushroom.
Saturday, April 17, 12noon to 4pm – Burger Inn: The Pinkuah Arms in Pentlow started up its burger venture in lockdown – and the patties have become a regular fixture, with a menu of 30 rotating regular flavours served from The Burger Beast, alongside wings and Moving Mountains vegan burgers. Recent specials included The Pig Piggy Pig – a beef patty and sausage patty with pulled pork, bacon, four cheeses and a double dose of Louisiana barbecue sauce.
Saturday, April 17, 5pm to 8pm – The Cook’s Nest: Greek gyros – a choice of meats wrapped in fluffy Greek pita bread with vegetables, tzatziki and chips. There’s a halloumi version for veggies, and a meat and cheese free version too.
Sunday, April 18, 12noon onwards – Black Wagon Bagels: These guys bring the Brick Lane beigel experience to Suffolk. Authentic bakes from the famed London street, are packed with the best fillings. Try The Arabella (with ribeye steak, melted Swiss cheese, sliced pickles and homemade ‘dead hippy’ sauce, or the classic Brick Lane (thick cut salt beef with hot mustard and pickles).