Finding a niche drinking experience is always fun and only by complete chance, I found a new one. On a Friday evening, whilst driving out of Swindon’s Orbital Asda store, I happened to see a sign, inviting me to attend The Rusty Garage Brewery, Swindon. The sign just read open 10.00 – 22.00 with a phone number. There were no other details, but as I like beer, I wanted to know more.
Getting home I searched for the Rusty Garage Brewery and found it’s Facebook page, along with the address in West Swindon, 115 Rivermead Drive. I had no idea what to expect and no idea why I wanted to find out about it but it seemed to be calling me.
Finding the Rusty Garage
On a warm Saturday afternoon in September, I decided to find the Rusty Garage Brewery, to try out their offerings. Finding it was a doddle, driving around I saw loads of signs and sandwich boards, as I drove past the large ‘Kids About’ unit and into Rivermead Estate, I quickly picked up another sign, directing me around to the Basepoint area of the Estate.
Driving into the parking area, the Rusty Garage Brewery unit was wide open and it already had people sitting outside and enjoying a glass of the brown stuff. There was ample parking around, as all the other businesses appeared to be closed. Right at the front of the place, just inside the large roller doors there were a few seats and big wooden barrels that provided a great view of the brewing and the fresh air, that always helps when drinking beer.
The crowd at the door were clearly having a great time and had glasses full of drink. Watching them, it was making me thirsty and in need of a good dose of amber fluid. The crowd was warm and welcoming, shouting out just how good their drinks were. Entering the side door I worked my way past the large metal brewing kettles and down to the small bar that was situated under the stairwell.
This had all the marks of a great drinking establishment, small, fresh beer with a very unique feel that made me want to spend the whole day there (well it is open 10 to 10!)
In the Rusty Garage
Getting to the bar, I met the owner, Marek. He was happily serving his customers and enjoying being the host. Chatting away, he told me that he had only been open since the beginning of August and had been busy from day one. He told me he did all his own brewing and wanted something fun and different. I looked at the Board behind him and saw what he meant.
His board had his beer offerings, all of them made me smile. He offered me some sample tastings, before my order. Starting on Braking Fluid, it smelt great and tasted of citrus. I was ready to order it, but then the No Brakes taster ruined it, as it was just as fresh and even a little floral, I was happy to take a pint of this, until I tried the Flat Tyre. This had to be the best tasting, freshest beer I had drank for quite some time. Up to this point, I was three into the four offerings, so had to try the last one, Rust. The Rust was light and refreshing but for me the Flat Tyre had the best tasting, so this was what I went with. All the beers are great, they had the true roots of proper beer making buried within them. Being genuine and smooth drinks, they did look cloudy but were so full of flavour, the taste more than made up for the look and with no after-taste.
I was surprised to see the costs, at only £2.00 for half a pint and £3.80 for a pint, it was an absolute steal. I almost felt guilty paying so little for my beer, as I walked away. I made my way back to the front to enjoy my drink in the sun and I saw there was a queue beginning to form out of the door. More people had found the address and were eager to try out the Rusty Garage Brewery offerings.
It is always good to chat to the customers to get their opinions. The group at the front were only too keen to tell me that they had found this place recently and on this occasion had walked to the location, just so that they could enjoy the beer and the company (I am guessing in copious amounts) before making their way home. They all said that the taste was great. One of them had bought a small keg of the stuff and was happily topping up his glass, it was these little touches that made the place enjoyable.
I had to agree with them, this was just the place to take a mate for a night out. It is such an honest drinking venue, it made the place feel special. There were crisps on offer but what was refreshing was that it was not like the stuffy, overpriced pubs and bars, who seems to concentrate on food. No, the Rusty Garage Brewery was more about great beer and keeping it how it should be – ‘simple’.
Should you be interested, in wanting to find a unique, genuine place to take a few mates, to try out the freshest and tastiest beer in Swindon, I would happily recommend The Rusty Garage Brewery. If you do go, I am sure that if you tell Marek the Caveman sent you, he will take special care of you.