It’s like an un-written law in England (it may well even be written somewhere) that when the sun is out we have to convene at the nearest pub or bar. Being a fan of all things craft beer, this isn’t always an easy task when most locals only sell the mainstream stuff. But the opportunity presented itself perfectly today with hotspot the Lamp & Whistle close by and the sun out enticing me to see what they had to offer!
The Lamp & Whistle is nestled in the town centre of Penzance, albeit behind the main parade of shops and amongst some houses meaning it could be quite easily missed. Thankfully, it is signed on the main street and a quick search on Google Maps can assist in steering you to the front door. Established in 2011 and being only a stones throw from the bus and train stations, you can see why it is a popular little pub, albeit a little quiet when we called in.
The first thing that strikes you when you walk through the door isn’t the selection of beer, it’s the décor! Having a quick scan on Trip Advisor or Facebook also suggests that the landlord can be somewhat of a character, sadly he was not present during our visit so we could not confirm or deny this. The place is littered with acquired bric-a-brac such as old tap signs, bottle corks and paintings on the roof to name but a few items. It gives the pub a unique charm and adds to its character.
Once you’ve had chance to absorb the atmosphere, you can begin to browse their selection of beers they have both on tap and in bottles/cans in the fridges behind the bar. There’s a good selection of locally sourced beers and those from further afield including American brews and those from Europe too, with a regular tap rotation to boot. On tap at the time was West Coast IPA from Firebrand Brewing Co., they had just ran out of Harbour Brewing Company’s Ellensberg Session IPA and coming this week was Black Flag Brewery’s Fang.
The chap behind the bar was very helpful and knowledgeable, talking us through the beers they had and other places to try whilst we are on holiday. When all is said and done, what is good beer without good company or hosting? Playing it safe I had a Gamma Ray by Beavertown to start proceedings, before venturing further afield and trying a collaboration between Lervig (Norway) and Boneyard Beer Company (USA). Their West Coast Dank proved to be a lovely IPA offering plenty of fruity aromas and flavours, a lovely drink on what was a lovely afternoon.
It’s clear they are passionate about their craft and real ales and keep their supplies well stocked. It would be interesting to see how often they re-stock their fridge and what selections/variety they get in across the year. It’s a shame this isn’t my local pub back at home, although my wallet will probably be happy, as I don’t think I’d be at home much. Given that Cornwall is a yearly visit for us, it is with certainty that we will be paying another visit to the Lamp & Whistle in the not too distant future.