Real Ale Pubs in Nottingham, UK Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Real Ale Pubs in Nottingham, UK

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A good English pub is, of course, first and foremost one that serves decent beer, that is to say real ale. The following selection of hostelries is in no particular order and is not exclusive, but it can easily form the basis for a decent pub-crawl in Nottingham, England, UK.

For readers unfamiliar with the English pub system, it is probably worth mentioning that many pubs are owned by companies who impose on the public their own branded 'look and feel'. This company will usually have an influence on the range of beers stocked in their pubs, but in addition it is common in good establishments for there to be a selection of 'Guest Ales' from other breweries.

The Lincolnshire Poacher

161 - 163 Mansfield Road, Nottingham

This is a fair-sized pub but the place does get busy and at weekends it tends to be standing room only unless you get lucky. In summer the back court yard is used to accommodate more people. The pub is owned by Tynemill and has a tie-in with the Bateman's brewery, hence their beers are always to be found here. There is also a range of guest beers.

The Bell Inn

18 Angel Row (Opposite the Council House)

This is very popular due to its location. The selection of beer here is fantastic; a good tip is to go to the back room for the best selection, where there are 12 hand-pulled beers to choose from, and possibly the only place in Nottingham where you can get both Black Sheep Special and Riggwelter on draught1. Even the two front bars have 11 hand pulls between them. There is also an upstairs bar, which opens occasionally.

This pub also has the distinction of being Nottingham's oldest pub, no matter what the Salutation or the Trip to Jerusalem (see below) may claim.


South Sherwood Street, opposite the Theatre Royal

This has about a dozen real ales on offer, and frequently holds its own beer festivals. CAMRA2 members can occasionally obtain discounts here, though this tends to be only midweek. You can usually find a pint from the Nottingham brewery Castle Rock since they have merged with Tynemill, who also own this pub.

The Salutation

Maid Marion Way

This is a Hogshead-branded pub. It has a wide selection of beers with the downstairs bar having the wider selection. The standard beers are Whitbread's Boddingtons or Wadworth 6X, but a selection of guest beers are also available. The two snug rooms - the King Charles and the Cromwell - are ideal to have a bit of peace from the large crowd who tend to flock here.

The Trip to Jerusalem

Castle Road (Built into the side of Nottingham Castle)

Ignoring the advertising on the side about it being the oldest inn3, this still attracts a lot of tourists especially during the summer months. The selection of beer here is limited, as it is wholly owned by Hardy and Hanson brewery who sell their Kimberley range, although it is worth avoiding the Best4 and going for the seasonal specials. The rooms here are small but do try upstairs where at the weekend you will find a small bar open and a few more seats. In the downstairs room you can also try the game of attempting to get a ring, which is attached to the ceiling by string, on to an animal horn, which is a laugh after a few drinks.

Fellows, Morton and Clayton

54 Canal Street (Behind the Broadmarsh Centre)

This pub, apart from selling its usual fare of Boddingtons, Timothy Taylors Landlord - a three-time winner for the CAMRA best beer award - and a range of guest beers, also brews two beers of its own on site, Fellows and Post Haste, the pick of the two being the latter. There is also a restaurant attached.

The Bunkers Hill

Hockley (Next to the National Ice Stadium)

This pub comprises of one large room with the world's smallest snug room attached which has enough space for four people at a push. All the real ales here are from microbreweries throughout the UK, and with about a dozen to choose from, it's like going to a mini beer festival every week. The food here is standard bar food - plenty and cheap. It also does not get overcrowded very often, so seating is often available even late on a weekend. There is a function room upstairs, which frequently has bands.

VAT and Fiddle

Queens Bridge Road (Next to the Castle Rock Brewery)

This is a Tynemill pub so expect a good selection of real ales, and of course, due to its location, beers from Castle Rock - their standard being Hemlock. A friendly 'local' type pub, with occasional live music, this is a good place to miss the train home.

1These beers are brewed by the Black Sheep Brewery which is owned by the Theakstons family who created their famous namesake brand, and is usually only available in bottles.2Campaign for Real Ale, an active group fighting to maintain Britain's real ale heritage.3Although it has been used as a cellar for a long time but not a pub.4For historical reasons, in Britain the appellation 'Best' is usually given to the weakest or cheapest ale.

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