Cornwall LivingIssue #64
A match made in heaven
St Ives’ fantastic new bar and restaurant, Beer & Bird, brings together two of our favourite things: craft beer and hearty food.
St Ives is known for many things (art, surfing, aggressive seagulls), however not until recently has it been known for craft beer. But that may be about to change with the arrival of Beer & Bird, a newly opened bar and restaurant offering over 100 craft beers.
“Hearty comfort food that puts a smile on your face. That’s why we went for fried chicken.”
So large is the selection in fact that patrons are given a dedicated beer menu stretching to over 12 pages. While this may sound overwhelming, the beers are helpfully divided into categories depending on style and flavour, so even a craft beer newbie can quickly navigate their way to a delectable brew.
Founded by the owners of St Ives’ oldest family business – Johns Wine & Spirits Specialists – Beer & Bird is located in Fore Street, tucked away on the first floor away from the bustling crowds. On entering via the steep staircase (there is also level access to the side of the building) the first impression is of a stylish, spacious room with a slightly industrial feel. Think reclaimed wood and leather booths; exposed structural beams and copper pipes.
To achieve the design, the Beer and Bird team employed the help of another Cornish company, Boex Design, who worked with them closely to create what is undoubtedly a stylish and inviting space. But what about the food?
“We wanted food that would complement the beer,” explains co-founder Tom Hanson. “Hearty comfort food that puts a smile on your face. That’s why we went for fried chicken.” Southern fried chicken to be precise, freshly prepared on site, coated in a secret-recipe breading and fried to perfection in a state-of-the-art pressure fryer from America.
“It was important that we sourced the chicken locally, and even more important that it was free range,” explains Tom. “That’s why all our birds come from a family run free-range poultry farm in north Cornwall. They’re fed on low-density, additive and antibiotic free food, and allowed plenty of space to run around. It really makes a big difference to the flavour.”
In addition to the chicken, there’s also a decent selection of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as freshly griddled Belgian-style waffles for dessert. If you’re feeling particularly naughty, you could of course go for the outrageously indulgent fried chicken ‘Waffle Burger’, served with bacon, Sriracha mayo, gruyere cheese and drizzled with maple syrup… Mmmm, don’t mind if we do!
"Hearty comfort food that puts a smile on your face. That's why we went for fried chicken."