This post is also available in: Turkish
Where in the world can you buy Istanbul Pale Ale (IPA) with water made to a Burton on Trent recipe to wash down fish and chips made with beer batter? And why is 81 a good name for a beer in Turkey?
I was delighted recently to be invited to the opening of the Bosphorus Brewing Company in Gayrettepe, a central zone of Istanbul. The BBC (which by virtue of some serendipity and some slick marketing opened on the day of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s 90th anniversary) is the brainchild of Philip and Jill Hall, a couple from Doncaster who have lived in Istanbul for seven years.
Philip is the 3rd generation of a family of engineers; his and Jill’s two grown-up sons, Tristan and Callum, have also contributed linguistic, design and engineering help to the family-run enterprise. Philip proudly tells me he’s designed all the equipment in the BBC himself, including the impressive stainless steel mash tun and kettle. These, which stand gleaming in the centre of the pub, are fuelled with malt and hops, initially imported from the UK, to produce unique brews including IPA, Halich Gold (Halich is Turkish for the Golden Horn), Hop and Glory, and 81. Even the water, which starts off distilled, is prepared to match as closely as possible water originating in Burton on Trent, a great centre of British brewing brilliance.
On opening night the BBC is packed with expats and Turkish customers and everything looks terrific from the menus to the decor. I’m impressed and delighted to see this example of British-Turkish ingenuity and business acumen (Phil and Jill have a Turkish business partner). I wish them all the best.
And 81? It’s a cunning (or appalling, depending on your point of view) pun. Try saying it in Turkish.