I don’t know how I get myself into these situations where people want to give me free drinks and beer but I’m seriously enjoying it! A few of us were given a lovely taster of Brewdog Sheffield’s new sandwich menu last night, each sandwich paired with a beer by their seasoned employee, Meg.
Each Brewdog has a different food menu, the focus in Sheffield is their range of meat, cheese and vegan platters, Pieminster pies, and now, toasted sandwiches. The sandwiches have been long in the making and after many discussions with local institution, Seven Hills Bakery, they’ve finally settled on ciabatta as the base. It’s common knowledge amongst Sheffielders that Seven Hills ciabatta are just made to be toasted! What is also lovely is that all sandwiches are made onsite and fresh with a side of Salty Dog crisps and some pickles from, other Sharrowvale favourite, Porter Brook Deli (PBD).
So we started with the Big Italian (£6):
“Salami, Mozzarella, Goats Cheese, Semi-Dried Tomatoes and our homemade Olive Paste.”
Not gonna lie, this was the one I would have definitely chosen if ordering. I’m a self-confessed carnivore and all round cheese lover so I was excited. The Milano salami comes from PBD with cheese hailing from the Cheese Cellar in Manchester.
This was paired with Brewdog’s Libertine Black IPA. I’ve really come around to this style but had never tried the Libertine. I thought, on its own, it really tasted like a lovely smoked Applewood Cheddar! It was chosen as a punchy beer to match the powerfulness of the sandwich. The combination was beautiful but I was so eager for the sandwich not much beer was drunk alongside it!
The sandwich was presented with the little gherkins from PBD and Steak Salty Dog crisps on a wooden board; I loved how all the pairings were well thought out, and the sandwich was just ace – make sure you have a few napkins to hand though! The olive paste is sent from Brewdog but new addition to the team, Jack, used to be a chef and they’re working on a green and black olive mixed tapenade for the future!
The Three Cheese & Hendos (£4.50):
“Cheddar, Mozzarella & Goats Cheese laced with Sheffield’s own Henderson’s Relish”
There are many options for beer pairings here, potentially offsetting the sharpness of the Cheddar from PBD with an IPA, but we were presented with the Weihenstephen Hefeweiss – which turned out to be a bit contrast to the sandwich and really palate cleansing. This is just a solid Weiss beer, beaaaauuttiful.
The sandwich, with a side of sweet chillis, got a little bit messy again with all the cheese but it’s just one of the best cheese sandwiches I’ve ever had. The Hendo’s, if you’re not from Sheffield, is a local Worcestershire Sauce. However, I’ve been reprimanded several times when referring to it as a Worcestershire sauce, because it’s “completely different” – it’s not, I’m just a Southerner! But anyway, it’s a classic combination and we came to the conclusion that a little dish of it would be great to dip the sandwich in!
Ham Cheese and Pickle (£5)
“Chunky layers of Trearly Farm Ham, Cheddar Cheese and Punk IPA chutney”
(By this point the mood lighting had got too dark for any pictures!)
Though it was advertised with Punk IPA chutney, Meg presented us with her choice of a chutney made with Brewdog’s 5am Saint – Brewdog’s Red Ale from their core range. All their chutneys are made by a chap from Nottingham who supplies many of the Brewdog bars, making chutney with their beers.
The ham is sourced by PBD, but comes from Trearly Farm, Monmouth – leaders in charcuterie. The ham is the star of the show in this sandwich and was some of the best ham I’ve ever had in my life. Again, just a classic sandwich and paired with the 5am Saint, which just emphasised the lovely sweet flavours in the chutney to cut through the sharpness of the Cheddar.
Garden State (£4.50)
“Grilled Aubergines, Courgettes, Semi-Dried Tomatoes and our homemade Olive paste”
Right, this sandwich is something that I would not choose. Aubergine, courgettes? Possibly my two least favourite vegetables ever but Meg assured us that this was her favourite sandwich – I was still skeptical. A little pot of wholegrain mustard accompanied the sandwich and I layered a bit inside, took a bite and was really genuinely surprised – I loved it! The mustard worked well and the olives brought everything together. You can also bulk up this sandwich with cheese (+75p), but we’d already eaten a massive amount that evening so opted out.
This was paired with my favourite Brewdog beer of the moment, the single hopped “IPA is Dead Citra”. As some of you will know, Citra is my favourite hop and this one is beautiful. Not as caramel-like as some of the other single hopped Citra beers I’ve tried, like Great Heck (which is possibly my favourite ever), but lovely and subtle with a great body.
So overall, the evening was a fantastic success. There was nothing I didn’t enjoy. The general consensus from the group was that it was all great and it was particularly special to see a national company sourcing from local producers. I’d seriously encourage you to try Garden State – it’s beautiful. Ham, Cheese and Pickle is worth getting just for the amazing ham. Three cheese and Hendos has got to be the best cheese toastie I’ve ever had, but for me it’s the Big Italian all the way! Super excited to see what Brewdog Sheffield has up it’s sleeve next!