Elevator Pub Advice

We’ve got quite good at answering “Where should I drink in…?” queries, distilling our advice into one or to Tweets.

We gen­er­al­ly find our­selves using the fol­low­ing for­mat:

1. A full-on craft beer place
2. An old-school real ale pub
3. Some­where in between, or oth­er­wise inter­est­ing

So in Fal­mouth, for exam­ple, that’s Hand Bar, Sev­en Stars, and Beer­wolf (also a book­shop). In Vic­to­ria (today’s exam­ple) it’s Cask at Pim­li­co, the Speak­er in West­min­ster and the Jugged Hare for excel­lent Fuller’s ales. You get the idea.

We like this because it’s (a) a straight bloody answer – a rar­i­ty in any forum – but also (b) takes into account peo­ple’s dif­fer­ing needs and tastes.

If noth­ing else it usu­al­ly elic­its fur­ther pref­er­ences: “Oh, I should have said, it also needs to be child-friend­ly. And have food. And a choice of ciders.”

So, just for fun, if we asked for advice on where to drink in your town, sub­urb or city, what would be your 30-sec­ond/140-char­ac­ter answer?

55 thoughts on “Elevator Pub Advice”

  1. There’s a bril­liant choice of pubs to suit all tastes in cen­tral Stock­port, espe­cial­ly around the Mar­ket Place. But unfor­tu­nate­ly, my local, the Nation­al Inven­to­ry-list­ed Nurs­ery, isn’t what it used to be.”

    1. Fur­ther South in Cork.
      The Mut­ton Lane,Bierhaus,Franciscan Well,Crane Lane,Abbott Ale House,Rising Sons,The Oval.
      I nor­mal­ly do most if not all of those when Mrs Pro­fes­sor Pie-Tin is hit­ting the shops.

  2. For Berlin, I’d sug­gest three places:

    1. either a craft beer bar or a local micro­brew­ery like Vagabund or Hops&Barley,
    2. Augustin­er am Gen­dar­men­markt, they seem like a tourist trap, but keep all the Augustin­er beers rather well (and they real­ly have the full selec­tion avail­able),
    3. Försters Feine Biere for the full on Ger­man beer expe­ri­ence, be it tra­di­tion­al Fran­con­ian lager beer, Düs­sel­dor­fer Alt­bier, or mod­ern craft beers and rar­i­ties that oth­er­wise haven’t made it to Berlin.

  3. Hor­sham, West Sus­sex. Dec­i­mat­ed by H&W pur­chase of K&B, but make sure you do The Anchor Tap, The Malt Shov­el and Piries Bar. Oth­er­wise it’s just ‘spoons and over­priced, unloved non­sense.

  4. Sheffield

    Cen­tral – Beer Engine, Rut­land Arms, Bath Hotel
    Sub­urbs – Hop Hide­out, Sheaf View, Broth­ers Arms, Broad­field
    Kel­ham Island – Shake­spear­es

  5. Ham­mer­smith, Lon­don (non-Riv­er pubs)
    1. Draft House (craft)
    2. The Swan (Real ale)
    3. The Dis­tillers (In between)

  6. Linköping, Swe­den: Back­en, The Horse & Hound, -

    Nor­rköping, Swe­den: Café Broad­way, Durk­slaget, The Black Lion Inn

    Stock­holm, Swe­den: Omnipol­los Hatt, Tudor Arms, Oli­w­er Twist

    Copen­hagen, Den­mark: Mikkeller Vic­to­ria­gade, Char­lie’s, Ørst­ed Ølbar

  7. Oslo, Nor­way right now:
    Haand­verk­er­stuene for a splen­did range of Nordic beers and good food
    Røør for 60 well kept beers on tap
    Café Sara for a mixed crowd, inex­pen­sive food and always new Nor­we­gian craft beers in taps and bot­tles.

    1. @Knut, I have been very impressed with the growth in the craft beer scene in Oslo the past cou­ple of times I have been there! I have been to the Crow Bar sev­er­al times before, but last week I made a nice lit­tle cir­cuit, includ­ing Occu­lus and Brus as well. Some very good beers in a pleas­ant envi­ron­ment!

  8. GBG has nailed it for New­bury – Cather­ine Wheel, King Charles Tav­ern, Cow & Cask (micro) – all near the mar­ket place and the rail­way sta­tion.

  9. The Red Hoose is quite quaint, has a real fire in sea­son; and fea­tured in Still Game. Oth­er­wise, go to Falkirk or Stir­ling.

  10. Brus­sels

    Some­where tra­di­tion­al – Morte Subite or Les Brasseurs (if you want lam­bic on draught with­out the hordes of beer geeks)
    Some­where mod­ern – Dynamo Bar
    Some­where in-between(ish) – Moed­er Lam­bic Orig­i­nal

    1. My top 5 for Brus­sels are Poech­enellekelder, Moed­er Lam­bic Fontainas, Brus­sels Beer Project, Can­til­lion Brew­ery & Laboureur

  11. Sheffield entries I’d agree with, Belfast I’ve not been for years, Hor­sham was gen­er­al­ly woe­ful last time I was there..

    Leices­ter,
    1. A full-on craft beer place; Criterion\Tres Bien (only open friday\saturday evening)
    2. An old-school real ale pub; The Globe
    3. Some­where in between, or oth­er­wise inter­est­ing; The King Richard III

    1. Paul – The Anchor Tap (Dark Star) has made it worth a vis­it and The Malt Shov­el is going through a peri­od of good land­lord with well kept local beer. Not worth get­ting on a train espe­cial­ly, but if you’re­quire in the area. The rest is pret­ty dire because of Hall & Wood­house…

  12. Win­ches­ter:

    1. Over­draft – mod­ern keg and cask, Mex­i­can food and DJs play­ing vinyl – lum­ber­jack shirts.
    2. The Hyde Tav­ern – tra­di­tion­al local cask ales, folk bands – old­er beardies and dogs.
    3. The Black Boy – go for the ales and roar­ing fire, stay for the quirky clut­ter and taxi­dermy. Some­thing for every­one.

    I love all three, no offence intend­ed by my stereo­types. This exer­cise has made me appre­ci­ate how well served we are for fair­ly tra­di­tion­al pubs in Win­ches­ter as I could eas­i­ly have picked 3 or 4 oth­ers. Many are a lit­tle dull on choice (GK/Fullers) but gen­er­al­ly the pubs seem to try a bit hard­er here than in many places I’ve lived.

  13. We don’t real­ly have a stereo­typ­i­cal craft beer bar in Cam­bridge, there are a range of over-priced pseu­do-pubs in the city cen­tre pop­u­lat­ed by the local red-trouser brigade and big groups of dis­ap­point­ed look­ing tourists, and anoth­er selec­tion of wood-clad beer empo­ria in the ter­races, that kind-of strad­dle your first and sec­ond cat­e­gories.

    Every­one says the Cam­bridge Blue, so I’m going to say the Blue Moon, the Kingston Arms, and Calver­leys Brew­ery Tap.

  14. This thread is turn­ing into a real­ly use­ful resource.….! 😉

    For Read­ing, The Nags Head is both the best Craft Beer Bar as well as the Best Real Ale Pub.

    Hon­ourable men­tions for the Cas­tle Tap, as an up and com­er in the craft stakes, and The Ale­house (for­mer­ly the Hob­gob­lin) as a very quaint haven in the main High St, with a good choice of well kept cask beer.

  15. You are spoilt for choi­cein the mid­dle of Nottingham,suburbs with­in the City bound­arys are most­ly no go zones.

    Our top five city cen­tre pubs are.

    Farradays,my wife’s favourite at the moment,four real ales on all pret­ty local
    South­bank City,an out and out sports pub that has live music on at weekends,also a dance floor lat­er in the evening,run by Nav­i­ga­tion Brew­ery.
    Keeens Head,a small Cas­tle Rock tied house,only prob­lem is get­ting a seat.
    Langtrys,Handy for the the­atres and close to the Cor­ner house,eight real ales on,we vis­it it quite a lot.
    Organ Grinder,a Blue Mon­key tied house with their usu­al real­ly nice beers on the bar.

    There are loads more that we like in the mid­dle of Not­ting­ham.

    1. I agree Alan, the pubs in notts are fan­tas­tic. You haven’t even includ­ed any of my top ten notts city cen­tre pubs.

      The pubs in the sub­urbs are even bet­ter, if any­thing. The strat, the lion, the crown, the bread and bit­ter, the johno

      1. Re Py,
        I also love the Stat­ford Haven,but it is in West Bridge­ford and out­side Not­ting­hams tight city boundarys,me and the wife love The Crown in Bee­ston which is yet again not with­in the city boundarys,the same goes for the Bread & Bitter,just out­side the cities bor­ders up in Map­per­ley.

        We do vis­it loads of Not­ting­ham pubs most weeks and prob­a­bly have about 40 that we do in turn.
        I would be very inter­est­ed in your top 10 city pubs.

        1. Admin­is­tra­tive bound­aries are a non­sense. It’s all about the func­tion­al urban area.

        2. I like:

          The Sal
          The Malt Cross
          The Canal­house
          The Old Angel (although I hear it has been ruined)
          Ned Ludd
          Vat & Fid­dle
          The Tap

          That’s all I can think of for now.

          1. Def­i­nite­ly agree with a lot of these for Not­ting­ham, cer­tain­ly the Canal House for beer choice, Malt Cross for a unique venue, Strat­ford Haven for a tra­di­tion­al pub (best place for pre/post For­est games) and Kean’s Head.

            Heavy on the Cas­tle Rock there, but per­son­al­ly I think their pale ales are some of the best around. Ned Ludd offered some­thing new when it opened but I did­n’t pre­fer it over the oth­er great places – haven’t been for years now so the city is like­ly to have changed a lot.

          2. I do like Cas­tle Rock beer, and they know how to run a pub. Not­ting­ham Brew­ery are also great, par­tic­u­lar­ly the EPA and Rock Mild – the Plough out in Rad­ford is a crack­ing pub, if often quite qui­et

  16. Man­ches­ter (city cen­tre): City for a decent range and good ambi­ence*, Beer­moth for all the Craft Beer you can shake a stick at, Bock for Bel­gian bot­tles, Smith­field for the per­fect cross between old-school pub and craft beer bar.

    *Although if I’m hon­est I spend more time & mon­ey in the pub next door – the Water­house, a rare mul­ti-room Spoons.

    Chorl­ton Prop­er: the Beech (prop­er pub, good range of well-kept beer), the Par­lour (bit more upmar­ket and crafty). There’s also a whole bunch of capital‑B Bars down that way, but I’ve only been in most of them once or twice – it’s about twen­ty min­utes’ walk from our house, and if I want­ed a walk I’d go to the Beech.

    Not Real­ly Chorl­ton (the bit where I live): Font for mad beer selec­tion, com­fort­able seat­ing, twen­ty-some­things larg­ing it and squawl­ing infants; Pi or Keg & Cask for a more chilled ambi­ence, with the first of those things but with­out the oth­ers; and (my favourite) the Mar­ble Beer­house, for a bar that wants to be a pub (or vice ver­sa) and some excel­lent Mar­ble beers. There aren’t many prop­er­ly ‘pub­by’ pubs round where I am; the clos­est is prob­a­bly the Greene King about a quar­ter of an hour’s walk away, and I’d have to pass all of the above and a cou­ple more to get to it.

  17. Man­ches­ter:
    1. Cafe Beer­moth
    2. Briton’s Pro­tec­tion (and Pev­er­il of the Peak a short stag­ger away)
    3. Mar­ble Arch

    (4- brew­taps: Track and/or Cloud­wa­ter)

    1. The Pev is worth see­ing, but I would­n’t drink in there. Last time I did I end­ed up on Deuchar’s IPA. I did­n’t include the MA – or any of the brew­taps – because they’re a bit of a trek out of town, but YMMV. I don’t actu­al­ly like going to Cafe Beer­moth, if I’m hon­est, but it is what it is.

  18. Worces­ter:
    Best Real Ale Pub + great wknd food – The Plough
    Best Craft Beer Selec­tion + music – The Fire­fly
    Oth­er good pubs – The Lamb & Flag + exc Ital­ian food, The Paul Pry + more exc food, The Drag­on, The Chest­nut + music. And more: best era for beer

  19. Go to the Live & Let Live, drink cask Cit­ra and Green Dev­il. Fin­ish the night on rum. Go home.

    1. Cam­bridge. FWIW.

      And we have an increas­ing num­ber of good places to fit every­thing from the cask tick­er’s par­adise to Nation­al Craft Bar. But you can get all these every­where. Fan­tas­tic for the local scene.

      So I point folk to what is both unique and good. Why both­er with what you can get in every oth­er rea­son­able sized town? It’s like trav­el­ling cross-coun­ty to vis­it Mac­cas, no mat­ter how über­hip their wikkid crafts or tick­able their bit­ters. (Tick­ers and craft junkies will like­ly dis­agree.)

      1. I like the Live – and the Cit­ra and Green Dev­il are indeed excel­lent there – but its not real­ly that unique, is it? Wood-clad back­street pubs with 4–5 hand­pumps, full of old boys read­ing the news­pa­per and small groups of post­grads chat­ting about their research are ten-a-pen­ny in Cam­bridge. Its not even the only back­street Pub in Peters­field that spe­cialis­es in rum – the Gel­dart does that as well.

        1. Ten-a-pen­ny in Cam­bridge, but worth pin­point­ing one of them to a vis­i­tor I reck­on. Mill Road isn’t an area you’d nec­es­sar­i­ly stum­ble upon as a tourist and it is a good area for the kind of back­street booz­ers that might be dying out in many towns.

          Whether you pre­fer the Kingston, Cam­bridge Blue or Live & Let Live is real­ly just a mat­ter of pref­er­ence – all are quite “Cam­bridge” and all well worth a vis­it.

          I do find it strange that Cam­bridge still has­n’t real­ly got a good craft beer bar to rec­om­mend – Peter­bor­ough’s Stoneworks puts Cam­bridge to shame!

          1. Per­son­al­ly I think what we have – a vari­ety of pubs that have the range of a craft beer bar, but with­out the prices or the hip­ster décor, is a prefer­able arrange­ment.

            IMO the craft beer move­ment in the UK has ALWAYS been about per­suad­ing our exist­ing pub sec­tor that there is a sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket for pro­vid­ing a wider vari­ety of high qual­i­ty beers than they pre­vi­ous­ly offered, say, a decade ago. We don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly want to go to new bars, what we want is to be able to drink bet­ter beer in the pubs we already go to.

            In Cam­bridge (and else­where), this is what has hap­pened and is con­tin­u­ing to hap­pen. As recent­ly as 5 years ago, 50% of pub vis­its end­ed up with me drink­ing lager because there was sim­ply no oth­er palat­able option. That sim­ply does­n’t hap­pen any­more. I don’t think I’ve drunk a pint of lager this year.

          2. My sug­ges­tion would be The Pint Shop for craft, sure­ly it hits the spot? And for real ale my pref­er­ence is The Kingston. Not sure on the “oth­er­wise inter­est­ing” but how about Calver­ley’s Brew­ery?

          3. Py – which pubs would you say have “the range of a craft beer bar with­out the prices”? There are increas­ing num­bers of pubs that have the odd keg pale on, but I’m not sure I could name many where I could reli­ably find a 6% ABV US IPA on tap, let alone an impe­r­i­al any­thing…

        2. Why does it have to be keg? Is cask beer not craft?

          Any­way my pre­vi­ous sug­ges­tion was the Blue Moon.

          Most pubs around here nowa­days seem to have 4–5 decent cask ales and 2–3 craft keg beers on. Some have more, some have less (I don’t go in those pubs)

          1. It does­n’t have to be keg, but you’re prob­a­bly even less like­ly to find a full-blood­ed US IPA or a dou­ble IPA or an Impe­r­i­al Stout on cask…

          2. Ah, sor­ry for­got folks … I had to jump off the ele­va­tor on the 2nd floor.

            I just like the Live. I do think it has a unique­ness of char­ac­ter com­bined with an excel­lence of qual­i­ty. None of the over-loaded cask line­up pubs in the area man­age to offer qual­i­ty in the cask depart­ment – it’s a “try and select the most recent beers” roulette.

            Cam­bridge is get­ting much much bet­ter on the “craft” front (includ­ing bet­ter cask) … it could drop with anoth­er cou­ple of venues IMO. But have you seen Cam­bridge rents & rates?! Ouch.

            But…. why would I direct a vis­i­tor to Pint Shop for the beer? It’s good, but it’s like oth­er “nation­al craft beer bars” – you can go there and be as if you are in one of many oth­er good craft-cen­tric bars in the UK. If I know that is what some­one is after then Pint Shop is where I will direct them (they also have good rep on the sit-down din­ing front.)

            It comes back to the Live. A fair­ly local pair of beers, kept as well as you can hope to find them, in a pub with some local char­ac­ter (and char­ac­ters). Easy for the sta­tion too. And it’s where I drink in the vary rare cir­cum­stances I have time for a casu­al “non busi­ness” pub vis­it in town. 🙂

  20. If you’re in Wok­ing walk to Horsell and drink at The Crown. If you’re stuck for time the ‘Spoons in the town cen­tre is a good one.

  21. Read­ing: agree with the pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned Nags Head and Ale­house, but I’d swap the Cas­tle Tap for The Greyfri­ar, which has the advan­tage of being just down the hill from the sta­tion and has a good mix of cask and keg.

    And if I want­ed to have a look at the Thames I’d cross the riv­er into Caver­sham and go to the Fox & Hounds.

  22. There are too many to list in Oxford, but one point of note is that Hook Nor­ton have recent­ly opened their first tied house in the city.
    The Cas­tle Tav­ern on Cas­tle Street is adja­cent to the new West­gate shop­ping cen­tre, and down from ‘Spoons Swan and Cas­tle branch.
    The Cas­tle Tav­ern has pre­vi­ous­ly alter­nat­ed between cask and keg, and over the years has been known as The Oxford Ale House and the Par­adise, the lat­ter as it is on the cor­ner of Par­adise Street.
    I haven’t vis­it­ed since the Hooky takeover, but it is said to stock the full range of Hooky cask ales.

  23. For Bath
    – The Raven
    – The James Street Brew­ery
    – The Star

    Although you could also include the Green Tree or Bell

  24. Paris:
    La fin mousse
    Le super coin
    Zero zero

    Firen­ze:
    Dio­ra­ma
    Archea
    Il bovar­ro
    Pub­lic house
    James Joyce pub

    Brus­sels:
    De Heeren (Den­der­leeuw)
    Moed­er lam­bic
    Can­til­lon

    Lon­don:
    Cask Pub and Kitchen, Pim­li­co
    The Roy­al Oak (Bor­ough)

    Dublin:
    Black Sheep
    L Mul­li­gan Gro­cer

    Austin, Texas:
    Jester King
    The Draught House
    Black Star
    Hop Fields
    Hops and Grain

    San Anto­nio, Texas:
    Atta girl
    Big Hops
    Claude hop­pers

    Hood Riv­er Ore­gon:
    Logs­don
    Sol­era
    Dou­ble moun­tain

    Asheville, North Car­oli­na:
    One world brew­ing
    Cataw­ba
    Wicked Weed

  25. This is a great list. Ill be con­sult­ing this on my trav­els for the next few months.
    Hud­des­field.
    The sports­man
    The grove
    Mag­ic rock tap. Obvs.

  26. Ilk­ley has a much improved beer scene in recent years. Here are my rec­om­men­da­tions:
    1. Friends of Ham
    2. The Fly­ing Duck
    3. Bar Tat
    Plus the Cres­cent would also fit into cat­e­go­ry 2

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