Burgers & Beers by the Beach in Bray

Back in October new restaurant, Box Burger celebrated their launch night in Bray. Being massive fans of casual dining we were gutted we couldn’t make it. So for Wayne’s birthday we chose to pay a visit. On a chilly Sunday morning we wrapped up and began our journey.Once we arrived in Bray, Box Burger was a short two minute walk from the train station. Its been years since I was last in Bray. The funfair was still there back then!

We had a table booked and we were slightly late but on arrival we received a lovely warm welcome. We were shown to our table which faced the kitchen part of the restaurant. The atmosphere is really laid back, and the seating is so comfortable with a mixture of tables and booths, even bar stools overlooking the kitchen. First thing we checked out was the drinks menu. They literally have something for everyone, from craft beer to cocktails and everything in between. Of course we ordered craft beers while we chose our food, Wicklow Wolf Amber for me and O Brother Chancer for the birthday boy. Both breweries which are Bray natives so it was only fitting we had these.

A few days beforehand I browsed the menu on their website, which you can view here, and already knew what I was going to order. After skipping breakfast we ordered a feast. We started with their buffalo chicken wings which we decided to share a portion of. There were served with a lovely blue cheese dip which I could drink by the bucket load.

My eyes nearly popped out of my head when my burger arrived. I decided on the blue cheese burger. After dreaming of this for days it didn’t disappoint, a beef pattie served on a steamed brioche bun loaded with lettuce, onion, ketchup and mayo, mustard and pickle with a generous helping of blue cheese and even bacon. A tower of tasty heaven! For my side I ordered dirty fries, covered in pepper sauce and bacon! Absolutely delicious.

Wayne chose the Mac & Cheese. Who knew this could be so tasty, a burger  with mac&cheese topped with american cheddar. I had burger envy! In hindsight we should have cut them both down the middle and had a half of each. He ordered the box fries as his side. Fries covered in chicken gravy, onion and cheese. Not my cup of tea at all but he enjoyed them (northern boys love their gravy chips) Needless to say we devoured our food.

After the mains settled the waitress offered the dessert menu and literally sold us on the mini donuts. These were little rings of sugary goodness sprinkled in cinnamon and drizzled in chocolate sauce. These were served with soft ice cream. We both agreed we’d come back for those alone! This is a dessert made for sharing/fighting over!

We enjoyed our experience so much. The staff were all so friendly and the food was delicious. If you haven’t tried it out what on earth are you waiting for!!

We finished our day off in Bray with a flying visit to The Harbour Bar. They were having a growler weekend. When we arrived we spotted young Barry from O Brother brewing doing a tasting. Also Simon from Wicklow Wolf was floating around with samples of their Amber Ale and Elevation IPA. I spotted a sign for hot cider so I couldn’t resist ordering one from Kym. The cider used was from Craigies, another Wicklow native! A perfect way to thaw out on what was a freezing day.

We enjoyed a few glasses of beer and a chat with the brewers before we got to take a growler away. We chose The Chancer from O Brother. It didn’t last long, we opened it straight away when we got home. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and definitely worth the trip. We can’t wait to return.

Winter Craft Beer & Cider Festival – Kilruddery House Bray

The bar in the Marquee.

On the weekend of the 2nd November, Kilruddery House in Bray hosted along side its regular weekly farmers market, a Craft Beer and Cider event. 

I was piggy backing in with the lads from Bru Brewery, but also in attendance were Mountain Man Brewing, Trouble Brewing, White Gypsy, and Dungarvan Brewing. On the Cider side we had Orpens, who will be setting up shop in Slane, Co Meath next year, and Craigies from Wicklow. Also in attendance was The National Homebrew Club, and True Batch Brew.

Firstly, if you get the chance to go down to this farmers market you should, they’ve a lot of local food producers, including the ever delicious Hicks Butcher. 

The day was long, and the conditions were very cold, I wouldn’t have liked to be running the Hell and Back the next day. Fair play to anyone who did.

Trouble brewing brought along a keg of the pumpkin ale, quite possibly the last keg, and it was delicious as always. They also rotated the 2nd tap between Sabotage IPA and Dark Arts. Our neighbours from White Gypsy were pouring a lovely Baltic porter called Gota, and Belgian ale called Semoy. 

On the Bru Stand we had the three products flowing, and after initial teething issues with the gas on the Rua we got things pouring great. The Dubh went down really well, but there were plenty of plaudits for the Amber Lager. 

Mountain Man probably had the busiest stand, his stand has evolved from the RDS where now one of the taps is actually made with a 50 cal bullet casing for the green bullet. Phil is a gas man, and it was great to meet up with him again, and Mrs Mountain Man was great too! Hopefully you enjoyed your snack box on the way home! 

One of the most interesting stands for me though was the team behind True Batch Brew. Essentially its a 1 gallon all grain brew kit contained with all the ingredients you need to make a small batch without loads of home brew equipment cluttering up space. They’d samples of their pale ale, and porter. The pale ale was very tasty. It was their first outing and judging by the visitors they seem to have captured the public’s imagination. The kit is €45 and comes with very clear instructions. Well done guys, I hope to pick up a kit to test and post the results on my blog! Best of luck with the venture.

Lastly, the ciders, Orpens cider, coming soon to the royal county, taking up home in the Old Mill in Slane near the infamous bridge on the banks of the Boyne. The cider is lovely medium dry, and it very refreshing, I can’t wait to have it more. Well done. We also had Craigies from Wicklow, who were there with their lovely cider. A bit on the dry side for my taste, but as I was tasting it I was thinking of the food matching possibilities, pork belly and cider mmm. Anyway, they’ve some pretty interesting plans for bottling into the future, and best wishes guys. A very tasty day.

A good day was had by all, and i’m sure there were some valuable introductions for all the exhibitors on the day that hopefully will mean we will see more of these bespoke, artisan, hand crafted products in more places in the future.

The day wound up pretty quickly from about 7 on wards it was very quiet, one or two comments from people locally was they were unaware it was on. Even though there was shuttles in operation and phone numbers for local taxi drivers in supply the crowd was a little light after the farmers market finished up, maybe for the next event, they could target market the locality, in pubs like Hollands, and others in the area.