Beer’s new frontier

 

Words by Nick Moyle
Illustration by Hattie Clark

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From tap rooms to bottle shops, the good old fashioned boozer isn’t the only way to enjoy a pint – pull up a pew at one of the south-west’s best new drinking spots


BeerCraft of Bath
Argyle Street, BATH

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Open: Monday 11am – 5.30pm; Tuesday and Wednesday 11am – 6.30pm; Thursday to Saturday 1am – 7.30pm
What is it: An off-sales shop with wall-to-wall beers and four taps tucked behind the counter.
Atmosphere: A steady stream of locals give it a lively feel.
Who will love it: Anyone who fancies a sneaky half while shopping in town.
Try this: A juicy IPA from new Welsh brewers Loka Polly (£2.50 a half) or take away a Duchesse de Bourgogne (£3.50 a bottle).
You may also like: How about a tasting session at Independent Spirit, on Terrace Walk?


The Hideout
Lilliput Court, BATH

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Open: Sunday to Friday 5pm – 11pm; Saturday 2pm – 11pm

What is it: Legend has it that this underground whiskey bar was once  a hideout for highwaymen. Now you’ll find some decent beers along with plenty of smart cocktails.
Atmosphere: Lots of wood, leather, low lighting and a bar gleaming with bottles – a real winter retreat.
Who will love it: Mad Men fans who’d sooner clink a whiskey glass than swill a flat lager.
Try this: Try a schooner of London Stout for £3.20.
You may also like: If gin is more your poison, seek out The Canary gin bar on Queen Street.


Palmer Street Bottle
Palmer Street, Frome

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Open: Tuesday 2pm – 10pm; Wednesday 2pm – 11pm; Thursday to Saturday 11am – 11pm
What is it: A lively bottle shop where you can drink in, or take away craft ales, wines, spirits and cheese.
Atmosphere: Laid back with a typically buzzy St Catherine’s Quarter vibe.
Who will love it: Anyone not afraid to indulge in the finer things.
Try this: The shop’s own Bear Cub IPA, produced by New Bristol Brewery, £4.50 a pint or take home a bottle for £3.60.
You may also like: Frome is also home to the original Brewed Boy and new micropub, Just Ales.

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Bath Ales Hare Brewery
Southway DrIVE, Warmley

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Open: Thursday 5pm – 8.30pm; Friday 3pm – 8.30pm; Saturday 11am – 5pm 
What is it: Opened earlier this year, it’s a state of the art brewery with a modern taproom situated among shiny steel tanks.
Atmosphere: A small wooden bar with hand pumps gives it a minimalist vibe that has become popular with locals and brewery visitors looking for a quiet pint.
Who will love it: Real ale fans.
Try this: Barnsey, a rich and fruity dark ale at £3.50 per pint.
You may also like: Kettlesmith Brewery, Bradford-on-Avon.


Brewed Boy
Walcot Street, BATH

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Open: Tuesday to Thursday 12pm – 9pm; Friday and Saturday 12pm – 11pm; Sunday 12pm – 7pm
What is it: A recently opened bar serving sought after craft beers and ciders from 10 taps and stacks of cans and bottles.
Atmosphere: Typical of its Walcot Street location, it has a friendly vibe. 
Who will love it: Anyone looking for an injection of craft in the middle of a traditional ale pub crawl.
Try this: A comforting oat and coffee stout from Vibrant Forest.
You may also like: For more craft ale treats, wander along London Road to Chapter One.


Electric Bear Taproom
Brassmill Lane, BATH

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Open: Friday 12pm – 10pm; Saturday 12pm – 6pm
What is it: A trading estate block with makeshift seating, ten taps of quality beer and visits from some excellent street food vendors.
Atmosphere: A lively buzz.
Who will love it: Weekenders looking for an alternative beer stop.
Try this: The list of dark beer reads like a dessert menu - chocolate cookie porter anyone? Or try the Edison pilsner at £3.90 a pint.
You may also like: For more Electric Bear beers try their popular pizza and booze café Fire and Brew in Oldfield Park.

 
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