Drink Review: The Jam Tree

December 1, 2016

 Jam Tree Indian Pale Ale & American Pale Ale

When you go to a bar and they have their very own brewed beer, it’s such a bonus. It’s like finding a weed dealer with his own range of home-grown strains.

The Jam Tree is a 2-branch-chain restaurant in London, dishing up a variety of BBQ, pub and breakfast food. Their roasts are notorious for being huge shareable masses of meat that can feed a party of 200 (only available by pre-order). That in mind, I decide to head to the Clapham Jam Tree to sample a roast paired with their very own home brew.

The drinks menu contained a wealth of wines and spirits but seemed to lack in craft beer-only stocking their own. It’s possibly a great way to drive sales of their own brew but risky business if you’re after something more unusual than a pale ale. The pale ales in question are a brewing collaboration with The Park Brewery; one IPA (India Pale Ale) and one APA (American Pale Ale). Both wrapped in identical Jam Tree branding, the bottles look they belong in bottle shop.

The IPA is 5.7% abv and packs a hoppy punch. Although pleasant, I feel as though it may be overshadowed by its American brother (5%abv). The American Pale Ale is creamy with a lot of extra wheat to balance out the vanilla. It goes down a lot smoother which is essential when paired with a gutsy roast. I prefer this one and would opt for more of it in the future.

This was all perfectly accompanied with one of their speciality sharing roasts. The bar seems that it mainly functions for bigger parties and the big tables aren’t good for my small party of two. Whilst the big groups beside us chortle and laugh at their own jokes, we tuck into a huge offering of lamb to share (£20pp). The meat is cooked to perfection and falls obligingly from the bone. This is accompanied with a side of vegetables and cauliflower cheese. Everything meshed well together-including the beer.

As I sit washing down my roast with a bottle of American Pale Ale, I think about the ways in which my experience could be improved. I can’t fault the roast or the drink which are both a match made in heaven. But, the place doesn’t seem to capture my idea of a Sunday-dimmed lights and ambiance. The Jam Tree can be championed on a good big-group party roast, with excellent beer buckets. The whole scenario reminds me of the NOFX song Franco Un-American- always a good song to drink to.


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