Our first Oktoberfest celebration kicked off this evening with a week-long festival of German beer, food, music and fancy dress.
Pints start at £2.50 and there’s a range of German drinks alongside British beers and ciders:
Firebrand Brewing Co – Oktoberfest
Erdinger – Weissbrau
Erdinger – Oktoberfest
Hofbräuhaus München – Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier
Hofbräuhaus München – Dunkel
Dortmunder Union-Brauerei – Vier
Cornish Orchards – Cornish Gold
Penpont Brewery – Cornish Arvor
Countryman Cider – Farm Scrumpy Medium Cider
Great Heck Brewery – Citra
And of course there are loads of bottles to sample if you make your way through that lot.
The food’s looking great too, with tonight’s specials a mixture of German, American and British influences. The The German Drinking Plate of homemade pickles, smoked and pickled Hunter’s sausage, chutney and dark rye bread goes particularly well with German lagers.
Our front of house team have got into the spirit of things so feel free to join in if you enjoy a bit of fancy dress! Oktoberfest is on until Sunday, October 4th.
Cornish BBQ is a pretty new addition to the restaurant scene. It combines a style of cooking influenced by smokehouses in the southern United States with the British ideal of sourcing quality ingredients from local producers. It’s a style Cornwall is uniquely suited to. Surrounded by the freshest seafood, crops and livestock, Cornish restaurants have the best of all three at their fingertips. Combined with the local love of beach barbecues and doing things dreckly, smoking meat and fish low and slow is second nature.
Eddie Thomson has been pioneering the genre since opening Firebrand Bar & Restaurant in November last year. As head chef he’s constantly renewed the menu as he and his team have pushed the boundaries of what can be smoked reliably and consistently at a commercial restaurant.
Eddie has championed delicious but unusual cuts of beef which aren’t well known in this country. Smoked hanger and Denver steaks have made regular appearances on the ever-changing specials board, and the latter is now becoming a permanent fixture on the restaurant’s new meat plate. Evolving out of Mexican tapas, the Firebrand Meat Plate now includes a mouth-watering array of smoked meats. Southern fried wings sit along Firebrand’s trademark pulled pork, made from the rare breed pigs raised just down the road on the Penpont Brewery farm and fed on the waste mash from the brewing process. Complementing the beef, chicken and pork are slaw, house pickles, hot sauce and burnt end beans made with the tastiest offcuts of smoked brisket. And of course you get to choose between chips and sweet potato fries.
Eddie said: “The barbecue plate was already our best selling dish but we wanted to make it even better. Rather than just slow cooking everything we wanted to show more of the skill so some meat is smoked to rare and some on the bone to demonstrate more of the technique. Great barbecue isn’t purely about slow cooking stuff for 24 hours and then pulling it – though that tastes great too.
“Apart from the brewery pigs, the meat is all from Philip Warren. You can really tell with the rare Denver steak that it’s good quality, it’s not a cheap cut.”
We had to ask him – why is the meat plate not served on a, er, plate?
“It doesn’t look right and the tray is a bit more show stopping and grabs the attention,” explained Eddie. “We’re showing the quality of the meat on there.”
Hot sauce goes really well with all three meats but you can opt for one of Firebrand’s other sauces if you’re not keen on spicy food. All the pickles are made on a weekly basis so they’ll change depending on what’s in season.
“Mussels seemed to be really popular when they were on the specials board so we’ve added them to the starters, and all the starters are also available as mains which gives an extra four choices,” said Eddie.
“We’re going a lot more smokehouse rather than burger bar and trying to bring in a lot more dishes smoked to rare on the menu rather than just on the specials board. Everything’s authentically smoked in a ProQ.”
Eddie has plans to start running demos to show diners how to smoke their own meat to rare and finish it off on the barbecue, so look out for details.
The Firebrand Meat Plate is available from Monday 21 September for £15.95. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your table.
Our chefs are heading over to Bude for Food from September 18-20 to smoke you the freshest Cornish BBQ you’ve ever tasted.
We’ll be filling the ProQs with local meats and wood chips and smoking them nice and slow. Each mouthwatering dish will be ready when it’s ready – and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
It’s a great festival so make sure you get to Bude at some point over the weekend and check out some of the best local street food and Cornish producers.
Festival opening times:
Friday 4pm – 11pm
Saturday 10am – 11pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm
It’s National Burger Day, so the Cornish Guardian has naturally jumped on board by featuring the very best burger joints in Cornwall on its website.
We’re pleased to see our gourmet burgers, made from local meat from Philip Warren Butchers, have made the list and the extremely popular Piggyback Burger gets special mention. It’s a 7oz cheeseburger loaded with pulled pork, bacon, slaw and pickles and accompanied by your choice of chips or sweet potato fries. If you haven’t tried one the when better than National Burger Day? It’s available to eat in or takeaway every day from 5pm.
If you’ve been to Firebrand Bar & Restaurant or read anything about us you probably know we source our meat from the excellent Philip Warren Butchers, meaning our steaks are the same ones you’ll find in top London eateries.
Flat irons and sirloins are always on the menu but we like to mix things up a little on a Wednesday and offer a choice of four as part of our Steak Night. It’s a great opportunity to try a delicious cut you won’t find in most other restaurants. We’ve championed the Denver steak which you can read about by clicking the link, and the hanger which is known for its brilliant flavour. It’s so good it used to be known as the butcher’s steak because butchers would eat it themselves rather than selling it on. We tried it in our smoker during our National BBQ Week experiments and it really is something special.
Whether you like your steak blue or cooked right through, if you’d love to try something different make sure you book your table for a Wednesday. Not only are there four cuts to choose from, you can also pick from Diane, bordelaise and peppercorn sauces and top it all off with a free dessert.
Yeah, we know, we hate ourselves a bit too, but needs must. You super-organised people have already started booking your office and club parties and requesting our Christmas menu. After much bullying, head chef Eddie Thomson has come up with a delicious three courses with not a turkey in sight. The dishes are made from the same quality local produce you expect at Firebrand, with meat from Philip Warren and fish from Matthew Stevens.
The menu is available throughout November, December and January for pre-booked groups only. Our standard menu will also be available if you prefer and we’re very happy to cater for dietary needs – just let us know in advance. Merry Christmas!
Firebrand Bar & Restaurant hasn’t even been open for nine months yet so we’re extremely proud to have been shortlisted for a second award.
We’ve been nominated in the Breakthrough category of the 2015 Great Cornish Food and Drink Awards which recognises businesses which have had the biggest impact on Cornwall’s foodie scene over the past 18 months. Considering Firebrand has only been open for half of that, we’re honoured to have been shortlisted.
It’s awesome to see our supplier and fellow Launceston company Philip Warren Butchers also in the running in the Great Cornish Food Retailer category. They spearheaded the town’s food renaissance to the point where Launceston is now being recognised as an essential place to visit for quality Cornish produce.
Firebrand was shortlisted in the What’s On Cornwall Awards Best Burger Joint category in our third month in recognition of the huge impact our Cornish BBQ concept was having. We came second to worthy winner Hubbox, so keep your fingers crossed for us and Warren’s this time round. We’ll find out the results on 21 September. Thank you to all our customers for your ongoing support!
Firebrand had another great Saturday in the square this weekend at the Launceston Family Fun Day.
Our food fun day in February brought lots of parents and young children into the town so we decided to do it all again but with more focus on kids’ entertainment. Firebrand owner Joe Thomson has three young children so he wanted to create another festival which they would enjoy.
Our gingerbread man decorating stall was as popular as ever, with lots of kids covering their cookies with icing and sprinkles. If you’re a regular at Firebrand you probably know our pulled pork is made from pigs raised on the Penpont Brewery farm and fed on the waste mash from the brewing process. This time we turned them into delicious sausages which went down a treat.
Mr Showers kept kids enthralled with his different acts, and the giant bubble blowing had face-painted children chasing bubbles round the square. Chris Brown’s bouncy castle, candy floss and popcorn also proved a hit, as did toys and other food and gift stalls. Launceston Rugby Club did a good trade in raffle tickets for their ‘Win a Car’ fundraiser.
Mayor Brian Hogan valiantly volunteered to go in the stocks and was pelted with wet sponges by a Minion and excited children, before the Minion headed off to play on the bouncy castle.
Launceston is fast getting a reputation for its varied free festival scene. Launceston Family Food Fun Day kicked things off in February, followed by the Launceston Food and Drink Festival in June and the brand new Lanson Grill Fest in July.
We’re really lucky to have space right in the middle of the town where anyone can choose to put on an event for people to come and enjoy themselves. We’re keen to continue putting on the type of festivals that we and our families want to attend, and fortunately it seems the rest of Launceston wants to come along as well.
Our next is Launceston Beer Festival on Saturday, August 22 from 11am to 11pm where there will be more than 30 beers and ciders plus live music.
Well yesterday was pretty awesome! Who knew the people of Launceston loved meat, fire and music so much?
Lanson Grill Fest was absolutely rammed – so much so we actually had to cancel demos because there were too many people round the smokers! Meat and beer had to be restocked four times. We were gutted when the weather forced us to postpone it back in May but it turns out that was definitely the right thing to do.
A lot of people still think of barbecuing as being about charred sausages and undercooked chicken, so we wanted to show that it’s really about cooking over live fire using charcoal and wood, whether it’s smoking large joints of meat low and slow, or char grilling fresh seafood. Our chefs are always experimenting at the restaurant but it was even better to be able to bring it out into the town and make it accessible for everyone.
Sizzle Grills deserve a special mention for the amazing spectacle of their Argentine barbecue. The beef tasted as great as it looked and we’ll definitely be trying out different ways of cooking inspired by them.
Saturday wasn’t just about big slabs of juicy meat though. There were art and craft stalls from Paige’s Paintings, Eccentric Ella, Diane Short and Karen Farrington, as well as lots of entertainment. Encore Kids did some quality face painting; McQueen’s Theatre School drew big crowds for their performances; local graffiti artist Dorian Weeks sprayed a piece to commemorate the event; the Big Dog Boogie Band played their great brand of blues; and Feral Fairy got the kids having a go at circus skills before putting on a fire display. The new Cornish Barbecue Company had their kit on display too. It was a busy day!
We’d also like to thank Launceston Voluntary First-Aid Service whose members supported the festival. It was awesome to be able to introduce them to our food.
People keep saying our events are exactly what Launceston needs more of, so we’re putting on Launceston Family Fun Day next Saturday, August 1 and the third Launceston Beer Festival on Saturday, August 22, both in the town square. See you there!