It is about a year since I visited the new Organ Grinder pub in Loughborough and you can read my review of the pub here. My closing words of this post were 'it will certainly educate the local students as to what a real pub is all about'. One year later and my sister decided to hold her 50th birthday party at the pub and this gave me a perfect opportunity to see how the pub is doing and, more importantly, to sample a range of the Blue Monkey beers, an opportunity not possible in the past due to driving.
Let's start with the pub itself though. I was certainly correct about it educating the local students. The place was buzzing with a young crowd and the youthful and eager staff were probably students working for some extra cash too. There had been no noticeable changes to it. I did not notice a guest beer this time but with up to eight Blue Monkey beers available this was not a problem at all. The party was in the function room upstairs. This room was a good size extending the full length of the pub with sofas mixed in among the various wooden tables and chairs. It had its own bar with a single beer on tap so for me I still used the bar downstairs. Quite rightly the pub is in the 2014 Good Beer Guide and the future of this pub now seems assured.
The first beer of the evening I chose was the BG Sips (4.0% ABV). This light golden ale is a perfect session beer with plenty of fruity hops in both the aroma and the taste. This hoppy bitterness lasted throughout and it gave off a crisp bitter finish. My eye had already found the word Citra on the Infinity pump clip so that was the second pint of the evening taken care of. This was superb. Everything I wish for in a pale beer packed with Citra hops. Bursting with zingy citrus aromas and flavour and a good strength too (4.6% ABV). If that wasn't enough though I had also spied an Infinity Plus One (5.6% ABV) for my next pint. The girl pouring it said it was coming to an end so she asked me to try it first. I was in luck. It was still in lovely condition and it had a much fuller and rounded flavour than the Infinity Plus One Minus One (or plain old Infinity if you must). There was still the noticeable Citra hoppy aroma but it had more fruit in the taste with passion fruit and mango coming through. It was more golden in colour too and this beer received my top marks. I absolutely loved it. I rounded off the evening with a pint of their 'revolutionary stout' Guerilla (4.9% ABV). This was a lovely change from the hops I had been quaffing earlier with a lovely biscuity and roasted malt base with subtle hints of raisin and liquorice before giving off a restrained coffee bitterness at the end. It was so incredibly smooth and totally divine.
Blue Monkey beers are quite rightly making a name for themselves and added to the quality of their pubs they have a very bright future. If you ever see them available give them a try. You won't be disappointed.