Some of you may remember my totally emotional eulogy to Kash Bar a few days back, in which I said goodbye to a place which was a stage where the most important events of my life played out. Fast forward three days (yes, folks, three days) and I found myself knocking on the door of the familiar building, with beer on my mind.
The frames might be the same on the old girl but she’s changed, man.
It’s rather unbelievable what Deva Craft Beer guys have managed to do in just a 72 and a half hours. I’m saying half because they were still finishing the decorating when I turned up. Granted, I was one of the first people through the door bang on at 4PM on Thursday and considering how much they’d accomplished in such a short time period I think just a few loose cushions and ten minute wait for the beer lines to be flowing was nothing short from a miracle.
So what’s changed then? How about everything. Gone is the psychedelic wall graffiti, gone are the oversized, glossy, decorative stars in the ceiling and the etheric fairy lights on the beams of this old Cocoa House.
What we have instead is clean lines and fresh colours which actually make the place feel a tad bit larger, and definitely taller. I’m vertically challenged anyway but I felt even smaller in here. The walls are decorated with the artwork from their pump clips, which is developed by the ever talented Nimbws Graphic Design & Illustration (but you can call him Matt… I do!) and, you remember I mentioned those cushions before? They’ve got loads of them. And they’re colour coordinated. As you do.
I’ll be honest, you wouldn’t recognise the place. Which I kind of get; Deva needs to stamp their own mark on this place and make it really theirs. If they’d kept it similar it would’ve felt like a graveyard of what it used to be – and even as a punter who used to love Kash, I wouldn’t want that. To be honest, walking in was almost like ripping off the proverbial bandaid – it stung like hell at first but after a while I felt really at ease. The place grows on you dead quick, you don’t even notice it.
So lets’ get to the important stuff then: beer. They’ve kept the same amount of lines as their predecessor so whether you like to get freaky with some kegged delights or prefer to sup some casked ale, you’re golden here. They serve their own and they get some pretty funky guest beers in too. On the opening night I was looking down a pint of Fat Stout by Mad Hatter and trying to figure out whether I liked Instruments of Destruction more on keg or cask (it’s keg, Nick, I’m sorry!)
By the way, if a beer is named Instruments of Destruction, proceed with caution or your head will be as sore as mine was on Friday morning.
And the food. Oh my days, the food. The guys are concentrating on a compact but inventive menu and doing some crazy Sunday meat feasts. On the opening night they circled some tasters around and if you didn’t jump when you saw them appear you went without. I feel like I need to give the chef a massive shout out for the IPA sourdough bread and smoked butter and pork crackers with njuda amongst the other fabulous things they served but I’d probably feel like I was chef-cheating on hubby. Suffice to say it was pretty fab though.
So yeah. I think I can definitely see myself hanging out at the Deva Taproom on most of my nights off. I mean if you serve good beer, good food and there’s good company, I’m there, right?
Well done guys. It all really came together like magic.