Now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag, a bit more information can be disseminated for public consumption; the project is based on Kitchen Street in the Baltic Triangle and has been set up as a joint venture between the owners of 23 Club and Liverpool Craft Brewery along with some creative and design input from design company, Smiling Wolf.
The venue has been set up to serve craft beer, all keg dispensed so far with no firm plans to introduce any cask offerings, charcuterie boards and cheese but it also has some other interesting facets in the form of turntable sat in a lofted position to the rest of the establishment and a projector, planned to not only broadcast promotional graphics but also potential video conferencing for Meet the Brewer events. This is a superb idea when considering the logistics of bringing any foreign brewers to Liverpool for such an event.
The biggest talking point for the venue is the brewery kit, which once upon a time was Liverpool Craft Brewery's 2-barrel pilot kit. This will be used in a community brew project where people can come along and brew with the Black Lodge staff to produce a batch of unique brews to be sold on the premises.
Think something akin to an affogato, coffee ice cream float with vanilla, perhaps event a latte, but with a much more refreshing edge. All the beers were collaborative efforts, kicking off the project in its true spirit; a cinnamon and raisin stout, Pacific Northwestern IPA, Michaelmas (blackberry) IPA and a Russian Kvass rye ale complete the set of beers. As an aside, though the brews are meant to be one-off zeitgeist beers, I truly hope the coffee IPA is going to continue to be made, as this was a very worthy brew.
Judging by the enthusiasm all the staff and those involved with Black Lodge have for the venture, it seems that there is a lot of hope invested here - the collaborative element has already piqued the interest of a number of people, with plenty looking to be pencilled in along with many more admirers looking on enviously. Since the closure of the Mad Hatter MicroTap in the Baltic Triangle, there has been a sizeable gap left in the area for somewhere entirely dedicated to quality beers to compliment the other creative venues and bars in the triangle. This may just be the tonic.
At the moment (time of writing), the venue is open and running, but some plans are being mooted for improvements in the interior to expand and adapt to the visitors, but at the moment, the bar will spend some time finding its feet, garnering more admirers and continuing brewing before any other adventures are embarked upon.
Thankfully there are no backwards talking dwarves* present to freak anyone out. Yet.
*Another David Lynch, Twin Peaks reference.
this article was edited on 10-12-2015 to reflect Neighbourhood Coffee's contribution rather than neighbourhood cafe in Woolton.