On my quest to try as many beers as I can whilst on holiday, I thought I would take full advantage of our trip to St Ives. As one of our favourite places to visit whilst in Cornwall, this was our second visit on what was a much brighter and nicer day. If walking round a picturesque, sun-soaked harbour doesn’t make you have a thirst for beer then I’m not entirely sure what will…
Located on Fore Street, the main parade of shops in St Ives, is JOHNS Wine & Spirit Specialists; an independent store established in 1894. The clue is in the title as to what they specialise in and the title ‘Specialist’ is very well deserved! With a veritable oasis of wines, spirits and ales on offer you can feel a bit like a kid in a sweet shop when you first arrive. Thankfully, having been before, I knew roughly where the stock I was interested in would be otherwise I may have done several circuits myself.
A well-stocked fridge to the right of the store may initially pique your interests, before moving onto the shelves of bottles before finally moving on to the can section. Opting for cans predominantly when selecting my beers, I headed straight for these to see what was in stock since our last visit. It was great to see a varied selection of both local and national beers with some from the continent as well, noticeable brewers included Magic Rock (Huddersfield), Firebrand Brewing Co. (Launceston), Beavertown (London) and Electric Bear Brewing Co. (Bath).
Having tried the cans that were in from Beavertown and Magic Rock, it was a choice between Electric Bear and Firebrand. A quick check on Untappd, along with previous tastings of Electric Bear beers, saw me opt for the former option going for their red ale ‘Drop’ and their session ale ‘NZ Pale’. The saying is don’t judge a book by its cover and it’s certainly true with beer; you can’t judge one by its label/can but I can’t help but be attracted by good artwork. You certainly get this with Electric Bear; their cans are well-designed and stand out with their bold colours and designs. Priced at either £2.99 or £3.99, I didn’t think their range was badly priced either given you can pay upwards of £5 for a can depending on the brand, strength or style.
It’s a real shame that we don’t have a store like Johns closer to home as both myself and my partner love coming here. With an extensive gin selection, she loves exploring the gin shelves whilst I drool over the beers and gaze longingly at them all. It’s just another reason, if we even needed one, to keep coming back to St Ives whilst we’re on holiday here.
If you want to check out Johns for yourself you can do so by going to their website or searching for them on Facebook under ‘JOHNS Wine & Spirit Specialists’ and Twitter @theliquorcellar.