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..

    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

    Il bovar­ro
    Pub­lic house
    James Joyce pub

    De Heeren (Den­der­leeuw)
    Moed­er lam­bic

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

    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:
    Dou­ble moun­tain

    Asheville, North Car­oli­na:
    One world brew­ing
    Wicked Weed

  25. This is a great list. Ill be con­sult­ing this on my trav­els for the next few months.
    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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