Zero Degrees opened their first microbrewery – cum – taproom in 2000 and haven’t looked back since. Brewing their own, core range of beers, a few seasonal specials and offering Italian inspired food, you really can have it all under one roof.
We headed over one chilly night on the invitation of Eat Early to find out if the award-winning food was up to the standard of the beers I had tried previously, the Mango Beer being a firm staple when idling away summer evenings on the pubs’ balcony. Despite having frequented the place on and off for nearly 11 years I had never tried the pizzas or other food offerings and for that, I am slightly ashamed.
I arrived early so shown to my table by the warm and enthusiastic manager, whose face you may have seen in the Bristol Live Newspaper recently for scooping an award for his Thai inspired pizza at a recent competition. I asked about the pumpkin beer and he offered to bring me a selection of what they had on offer, as my companion sat down, no less than eight 125ml measure beers appeared, showcasing everything the brewery could offer. This may have been a little intimidating to some but as a beer lover, I had enormous pleasure in trying each one and rating my favourites.
To start we went for seafood after being assured it was some of the freshest in Bristol. I opted for calamari whilst my friend when for the beer battered king prawns. The portions were enormous and partnered with a fresh side salad and dipping sauces. We both agreed the soy sauce presented with the prawns may have been better replaced with something sweeter, my sweet chilli sauce hitting the spot with both dishes. Luckily I had enough to share and the plates were polished off with no hesitation.
For main we both browsed the extensive pizza menu but found ourselves drawn elsewhere (we shall be back for these) instead, opting for mussels and a tequila pasta that kept catching my eye (booze and carbs? I’m in!). The mussels come by the kilo and again were huge! The manager explained that they had exclusively partnered with a new shellfish enterprise in Bournemouth, ensuring the produce they ordered and served were to Zero Degrees standards. The result were big, fresh and plump mussels swimming in a home-brewed wheat ale and cream sauce with fresh chives, parsley, spring onion & smoked bacon. We both felt the wheat ale flavour could have been stronger but a highlight for me was the zingy mayo that came alongside a bowl of fries, I would love to have the recipe for it!
My pasta was a mound of rich cream and pesto sauce and liberally added chicken, jalapeno, peppers and sweet red onions. The lime was a welcome tang coming through the cream and the tequila was just noticeable in the background. It was a dish I could have kept eating but alas my stomach protested and I had to stop. This is why I should learn to carry Tupperware with me when I head out.
Desserts were offered, considered but just couldn’t be stomached, an audible groan came from both us when we stood from the table where thoughts of the stretchy waistbands on our PJ bottoms at home was a comfort, to say the least.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Zero Degrees, the service was attentive and the food portions were more than enough for one to know they had got their money’s worth. I will definitely be back to try some of their more outlandish topped pizzas (the pear and gorgonzola and the scotch bonnet carnitas being two that caught my eye) with plenty of on-site made beer to wash it all down with.
**Please note this meal was offered free of charge with Eat Early but in no way affected my review, Zero Degrees nor Eat Early saw the review before publishing**