I’m going to say from the off, that I’m a big fan of Tap Social Movement. I like the mismatched tables and chairs with the casual, friendly atmosphere. It makes you forget that you’re in an industrial estate unit on the outskirts of Botley and are, instead, part of a welcoming, community space.
The staff are always friendly and knowledgeable and will talk to you about what beers you like, to make recommendations if needed. If you can’t decide on a beer, or you like too many, they offer flights of 3 thirds to get you started. If their own craft brews don’t do it for you, they have a cider on tap as well as an interesting selection of canned beers that rotate on a regular basis.
Since opening in 2016 I’ve been impressed with how they’ve evolved their beer selection, and not just rested on key brews like ‘Goodsize, eh’. The addition of some really refreshing sour beers, seasonal specials and a gluten-free beer – Tung Feeler – are great.
Their IPA ‘Get your Hops Off’ came second in the last years Oxford Beer festival so they definitely have something special here. They have a new sour beer on the way, which will be a combination of red berries and sage. After seeing some of the flavour combinations for the past sour I’m looking forward to this one. Most of the beers on tap are also bottled, so if you fancy taking some home, you can!
The events calendar is pretty packed with live bands, DJs and quiz nights. When I visited, a live band were setting up and street food vendor, Gourdans Steak Frites, were serving up fantastic steak and fries (my tip would be to go for both peppercorn and salsa verde sauces, really, really good!!). On a regular basis, they pair up some excellent live music with brilliant street food vendors. At the moment the website has the next couple of months events loaded if you want to check them out.
Down to the beer, I went for their new chocolate porter, 16 ft Norwegian (5.2%). Very dark brown and hazy in colour with a rich dark chocolate aroma, reminding me of opening a fresh slab of dark chocolate. On first taste, not as sweet as I would have imagined but that dark chocolate comes through well while still being very easy drinking and not too rich. The finish is bitter which lingers nicely with the carbonation keeping a light head as you drink through the pint. I would have gone back for another one if I hadn’t been slightly hungover from trying out The Plough the night before!
Pricing wise, the beers on tap are £4.50 a pint or £2.25 for a half (except for Monkey Bars, their Belgian Dubbel, which is £3.35 for a half). I have heard some people say they think this is a bit pricy for a beer that is brewed on site (although many are now brewed in their Kennington site), but for the variety and quality, I’m happy.
I look forward to returning to Tap Social, hopefully in the not too distant future, and am excited to see what new brews come out in 2019. Keep up the good work!