Off the main shopping street in Canterbury, down a small side-road and past The Cherry Tree is The Foundry, a new brewpub in the city. An old brick building with impressive high paned windows and a rusted and worn sign, it’s a smart two-storey place to eat and drink where the beers are brewed downstairs and the food prepared upstairs.
The Canterbury Brewers are Jon Mills and Tom Sharkey and they are using a new 4-barrel kit to make the beers to supply The Foundry and The City Arms, which is part of the same parent company owned by Jon (they also have The Beercart Arms). They currently make three beers: Foundry Man’s Gold, Torpedo and Canterbury Wheat.
Foundry Man’s Gold is a golden ale brewed with Magnum hops for bittering and Citra added post-boil (I know this because when I visited they were brewing so I knocked on the door to be nosy just as they were adding the Citra – “Stick your head in there,” Tom said, directing me to the hops). The Citra immediately jumps out with peach and apricot, plus a little floral fragrance, and it’s light and fresh and very tasty, with the sort of bitterness that doesn’t overpower but definitely gets noticed. At 4% you could happily pass a few hours drinking it.
Torpedo is an amber ale hopped with Bramling Cross and Cascade. The aroma is a subtle mix of British earthiness and American floral and citrus, with more fruitiness evolving through the glass. It’s very clean drinking with a simple background sweetness and a big, lingering British hop bitterness, the sort that gets in your gums and hangs at the back of your throat. It’s one of those modern, pale best bitters which is really drinkable a full of flavour.
Canterbury Wheat is an American-style wheat beer hopped with Target and Cascade. It’s light gold with a slight haze to it and the aroma is immediately interesting – hints of spice, bubble gum and vanilla and a little citrus pith. It’s light and gulpable and the yeast plays an unobtrusive role while still adding a lot of interesting flavour and a little body – it reminded me of an unfiltered lager. The bitterness levels are higher than usual, adding a peppery finish which works well. This beer is served on cask but also runs through a chiller so it’s served slightly colder than the other two cask beers.
The beers are great and all were served in perfect condition. You never know what to expect going to a new brewery, especially one which only started serving their beers two days before you visit, but I was impressed by all of them.
Alongside the Canterbury Brewers beers The Foundry serves a couple of local ales and cider ciders and four Meantime beers on keg. The food is also excellent with a wide choice of dishes on the menu from snacks to feasts. The beer-BBQ ribs, made with a wheat beer and honey marinade, were fantastic.
The Foundry only opened on the 10th June but inside it feels like it’s been established for a long time, with friendly and knowledgeable staff plus drinkers who already look attached to the furniture. It’s a super addition to Canterbury drinking and if you are in the city then it’s a must-visit place. It’s also one for the beer tourist to travel to, especially if you add in a visit to the Bottle Shop and La Trappiste and the many, many other pubs.