The Guide – Istanbul
It’s a Tuesday night when we decide to sidle into Istanbul’s second microbrewery which we’d been hearing rumors about for months. Just opened less than a week before, the Bosphorus Brewing Company did not disappoint with anything from its beers, to its menu, or its decor. Plus, we quickly discovered as we chilled by the bar and tried the beer tasting menu (a shot worth of every beer the pub currently has on tap accompanied by wee glasses of water for easy hydration), it’s already become an expat favorite.
The expat owners, Philip and Jean Hall, started thinking about opening up a brewery pub two years ago after Philip started missing the “proper beer” of England. At first he dabbled with brewing kits, but found that every kit produced the same flavored beer, which was when the former chemical engineer turned to brewing from scratch. The result is the Bosphorus Brewing Company.
Every hop and malt used in the process has been imported from England, as are the malts used even in Efes, we were surprized to learn, since the enzymes can’t be found in Turkey. At the moment, the pub offers five beers on tap -İçmedik, a light ale; Istanbul Pale Ale, their on-target IPA; Brew 81, a light lager; Haliç Gold, a Belgian-styled ale comparable to Blue Moon; and Karbon Imperial Stout, a stout which was so popular with some customers that the brewery had run out by our visit. Each beer is served at its optimum temperature, from 11.5 ° C to 12 ° C, with 1.5 units of carbonation per unit of beer, lending light bubbles.
The pub also has an excellent menu created by Jean with British pub classics and Turkish favorites which Turkish chef Çiğdem Alagök cooks up. We highly recommend sharing the Ploughman’s Platter, with homemade apple chutney, chicken pate, real cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, pickles, and toast, as well as picking up a side of spicy cocktail sausages to accompany a night out. The menu also features lamb curry, bangers and mash (made with beef sausages), clove köfte, and fried mussels. For dessert, the bread and butter pudding has just the right mix of egginess, sugar, and buttery goodness that we wouldn’t have minded having another, calories be damned.
The Bosphorus Brewing Company is definitely comfortable spot for families and expats despite its non-Istiklal location. The outpost has dark wood interiors, cozy bar stools, and muted beige lighting that made us feel that perhaps we weren’t in Istanbul at all, but perhaps in a UK village pub where everyone knew each other and had come to catch up over a pint before heading home. Then again we thought, as Tristan Hall, the son of the owners, told us about the Sunday roast the pub had started offering as well as the possibility to have the pub create special brews for customers’ special events or for the menu, perhaps we had been granted access to one of Istanbul’s very small villages and the spot would become a mainstay for the beer-loving expat. It’s certainly about Istanbul had some beer to brag about. Emekli Subay Evleri, Yıldız Posta Caddesi 1/1A, Gayreteppe; (0212) 288 64 99