When it comes to Fire & Brew, what you see (in their name) is what you get: handmade woodfired pizzas, and a drinks menu starring all the very best local beer and cider. I’ve got a lot of respect for a place that sticks to doing one thing well – and Fire & Brew have got their offering nailed. A few weeks ago, they invited me up to check out their newly revamped pizza menu, and on a rainy Saturday evening (the perfect time to tuck yourself away somewhere cosy and dig into an enormous pizza) we did just that.
Fire & Brew is a chilled-out, friendly little place, with cosy shabby-chic décor – mismatched furniture, dangling filament bulbs, reclaimed wood – and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. It’s not just a vibe either, everyone is genuinely welcome – this place has a great children’s menu, is dog-friendly, caters for vegans and will make you a gluten-free pizza base too. There are booths big enough to pack the family into (on a Saturday night it was buzzing with families of all ages) and tables small enough for date night, as well as stools along the well-stocked bar for anyone who just fancies a beer. And the air is filled with fabulous, mouth-watering smells from the tiny open kitchen, where the pizza magic happens.
|A pint of Werrrd! at the bar|
Stomachs already rumbling, we started by perusing the drinks menu, which is a serious proposition: featuring all the very best local brewers, with cans, bottles and draft, and constantly changing to make the most of seasonal specials and new releases. My dining companion went for a pint of Electric Bear’s Werrrd!, one of our favourite local beers, whilst I couldn’t resist a bottle of Honey’s Stoney Bonk – if you haven’t tried it, it’s a fabulous tastebud-boggling combination of cider and ginger beer, best served icy cold and the perfect summer thirst quencher.
Drinks in hand, we got stuck into some great starters, a garlic pizza bread sprinkled with melted cheese and fresh parsley, and a ball of mozzarella wrapped in crispy parma ham and served with a fresh green salad dressed in balsamic vinegar. The base for the garlic bread was paper-thin, gorgeously savoury and chewy – exactly as a really good pizza base should be – and generously topped with golden garlic butter and mozzarella, absolutely the perfect partner for a really cold beer. The salad, meanwhile, was simple but delicious, packed with great fresh ingredients.
Next up, it was time to try the main attraction. All the pizzas on the menu feature fabulous Bath ingredients and local connections, and we picked the Moorland (top image – chorizo, pepperoni, fresh chilli) and the Oldfield (chicken, mushrooms, peppers and rocket) – which earned an approving nod from our waiter. The Moorland is the kind of pizza I’d usually choose, and it was delicious – loaded up with melted cheese and spicy meats – but I was surprised to find that the Oldfield was my favourite. I’d usually steer clear of chicken on pizza as it can often get a bit dry, but on the Oldfield, it was gorgeously juicy and succulent, perfect with fat mushrooms and sweet peppers – I’d definitely order this one again. The base was just as good as it was for the garlic bread – I always say that the way I judge pizza is by whether the base is good enough to eat on its own, and this most certainly was. A million miles away from the thick and doughy base you get on a supermarket pizza, the proper stuff is thin and chewy and fabulously flavourful.
|Chocolate brownie with fabulous Jude’s Ice Cream|
Having stuffed ourselves with pizza (it was too good to leave a single bite) we were only up to sharing a dessert between two of us, but just about managed to find room for a warm chocolate brownie, served with two scoops of Jude’s Ice Cream, Salted Caramel and Truly Chocolate – yum.
Whether you’re meeting up with friends for a beer and pizza feast, getting the family together round the table, or you just fancy heading out for some seriously good comfort food, I highly recommend you hit Fire & Brew. The menu is simple but properly excellent, the staff are lovely, and the prices are a total bargain too, with none of the pizzas costing more than a tenner. This is definitely going to become one of our regular favourites – so we’ll see you there.