• Good news. Good brews.

    November 15th, 2012

    I’m pleased to tell you that the “Aha!” moment real ale drinkers in Istanbul have been waiting for is finally here. Today, The Bosphorus Brewing Co has opened the doors to the brewery and is welcoming customers to take their first sips of honest brews that are gently carbonated and big on flavour. I’ve sampled all, except the Karbon Stout, which I have on good authority is equally excellent. Though I’m particularly fond of the IPA, I’ll just have to see how Karbon tastes. But not until I’m back in town. For those of you in town, however, you no longer have any excuse to drink mediocre beer. So don’t wait for me. All the pertinent details accompany the chap in the cap below — şerefe!

  • Bosphorus Brewing Co. leak

    November 2nd, 2012

    Once upon a time I decided I would never, ever work again in advertising or branding unless it was for something in which I believed wholeheartedly. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I believe in good beer. Better yet, I believe in good beer and good food. Happily I have made the acquaintance of the Bosphorus Brewing Co., an interesting new venture involving craft beer by a delightfully eccentric brewmaster named Philip Hall. He and his family have been living in Turkey for several years now and have decided to invest themselves fully into something which they too subscribe to — real ales and honest food. Well, my friends, I can tell you that I have sampled both now, and the golden nectar they serve is the genuine article. The entire menu at the Bosphorus Brewing Co. has been developed to pair perfectly with its select brews and is the work of a former Turkish airlines flying chef teamed with Philip’s wife. It is great. Here are some test shots that I took today. I couldn’t wait to share them with you and hope I don’t get in trouble, but this is something you need to see. Better yet, this is something you’ll need to taste. It’s only a matter of a few weeks before Istanbullu can drink some real ales, and I couldn’t stop myself from spreading the news. By the way, the fishcakes are the best I’ve ever eaten.

  • Cold tea time

    May 25th, 2012

    It’s not always easy to get a beer in this city. Sometimes, it has to be done on the sly. Recently I was in a nice little eatery a bit too close to a mosque to have an alcohol license, which used the code name soğuk çay (cold tea) for beer. There are times when I enjoy these little rituals and games and  then there are times when I just want a beer without any secret handshakes or fuss.

    Yes, there are days when it seems that there are a few too many fences between me and the swinging Sultan style of life I believe I desire. Some days I’m half tempted to just knock at the gate of someones’s yalı and find out what’s going on for those fortunate enough to live within toe-dipping distance of the Bosporus. Fortunately there are a few places where you can almost pretend you’re an Ottoman aristocrat, if not a full fledged Sultan. One of those is Gazebo in Yeniköy. I’d never visited the place before as I was a bit put off by its name, a word which I associated with small town squares not majestic Bosporus shores. Still I was not disappointed by what I found. There’s a good view,and liberal splashings of sea and sun, and the soğuk çay was properly cold if not exactly cheap. Not sure if I felt like a Sultan or even an aristocrat, but at least I didn’t need a code word to be on the right side of the fence.

    GAZEBO CAFE  Köybaşı Cad. No:175 Sarıyer – Yeniköy, İstanbul – Avrupa (0212) 299 8487