Saturday 6 July 2013

A mini Bristol pub crawl

After two weeks in this excellent beery city I was looking forward to trying another new pub as well as visiting a couple of pubs I have already discovered and enjoyed.

My first stop was a tiny pub down an old cobbled street.  The Seven Stars has a plaque on the wall about Thomas Clarkson, an English abolitionist.  I love a pub with history and this pub has buckets of it.  Thomas Clarkson visited the pub in 1787  and used it as his base for his research into the local slave trade.  For the full story you can read it here.  I can imagine the pub has changed little in the 200+ years that have passed since.  The tiny interior has a small area to the right of the central bar and a larger area to the left with a pool table at the rear.  The darkened interior was full of old wooden tables, the bar had a mass of 8 handpumps selling beers from local and not-so-local micros and despite the sunny evening outside there was a mass of people inside enjoying the gloom.  It is a fabulous pub!!          

As it was July 4th I chose a pint of Hopslinger (4.5% ABV), an American Pale Ale from the London micro By The Horns.  I retired to one of the benches in the narrow cobbled street outside and enjoyed the pint.  It had a lovely pale golden colour, a spicy hoppiness in the initial taste and a delightful mellow fruity finish.  A very fine beer.  Score 8/10.

From the Seven Stars it is a short walk across the river to the tiny Bridge Inn.  This pub is in fact smaller than the two micropubs I have visited!!  It has a small bar with four handpumps and there is seating for probably no more than 25 customers.  Thankfully there are five large tables on the pavement outside.  It may not be an idyllic pub garden and you do have the constant noise of traffic whizzing past but it is OK on a sunny evening.  I popped in earlier in the week and enjoyed a lovely pint of Dark Age (4.0% ABV) from the Celt Experience brewery.  Tonight I chose a Duck Blonde (4.2% ABV) from the Green Duck Brewing Co.  This had a cloudy appearance but it was a very floral and aromatic pale beer which was perfect for this particular sunny evening.  It reminded me a little of the Belgian white beers and it was very drinkable.  Score 8/10.

I could not leave Bristol without visiting the Barley Mow again.  This amazing pub is the subject of my previous post and tonight it was packed.  I ordered a pint of Acer (3.8% ABV) from the Bristol Beer Factory.  This beer is packed full of hops, predominantly the Japanase Sorachi Ace.  It had a delightful earthy taste giving it lots of great flavour for such a low strength.  This was my first 10/10 beer of the evening.  I simply could not fault it.  Fantastic.   

I ended the evening with an awesome cheeseburger washed down with a pint of RyPA (4.0% ABV).  I can highly recommend the food in this pub along with the amazing beer selection.  On my previous three visits to this pub I have given top marks to over half of the beers I have tried.  Tonight it was 100%.  This beer was truly stunning.  It is a collaboration between the Moor Beer Company of Somerset and the Beavertown Brewery of London.  It was pale and a little cloudy which I have found to be the case with most rye beers.  It had a gorgeous hoppy aroma and the taste was a lemony citrus tang with plenty of lasting hoppy bitterness.  It was divine.  I absolutely loved it.

I found Bristol to be quite a place for small perfectly formed pubs.  I only scratched the surface but it is a place to go back to at some point.  No guesses for my favourite but the Bridge Inn and the Seven Stars are both worthy of a visit too.

Happy drinking.

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