A traditional night out in England – Friday Night Pub Crawl

If beer was food then this blog entry is about consuming a lot post work on a Friday night. It does lead up to a Food Blog entry but that is a seperate post. This Friday I was back in my home town of Nottingham becoming reaquainted with some English Beer and some of my old drinking haunts and the tradition of a Friday night pub crawl.

First stop was the Vat and Fiddle which is just a few minutes stroll away from the Train Station at Nottingham and about 5 minutes away from the Tram terminus. It is adjacent to and attached to the Castle Rock brewery, a local Nottingham based microbrewery which has the distinction of producing the Champion Beer of the UK. So guess what we were looking forwards to getting our hands on. Yes a pint of Harvest Pale.

It might not look much but don’t let its light colour fool you, it has a distinctive hop flavour and a crisp finish. During the brewing process it has an aromatic blend of American hops added to it, so might be quite familiar in flavour to the US readers and a bit like some of the offerings from the Chicago based Half  Acre brewery.

The Vat and Fiddle does offer food, apart from a range of excellent cobs (I recommend the egg salad and bacon one) they also now do hot food such as sausage and mash, beef casserole, Whitby cod, and a regular curry night.

Located at 12-14 Queensbridge Road, Nottingham UK. Website: www.castlerockbrewery.co.uk

The next port of call was the famous Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem – billed as England Oldest Inn dating back to 1189AD, it often vies for the position with the Bell Inn which we also are visiting later.

To be honest the ‘Trip’ is more of a destination pub for me, I am not that keen on all their beers, but it doesn’t help that we always seem to head here after having been to the Vat and Fiddle and to be fair what can you drink when you have just sampled a Champion Beer? Well it wasn’t going to stop us trying.

I went for the Extra Pale Ale which is brewed by The Nottingham Brewery Ltd. It was the lighter of the two pictured on the bar and was a well balance smooth ale with a light fragrant hop finish. Quite tasty and quite a bit hoppier than it looks.

They have a very extensive menu at the Trip and I was starting to get a bit peckish at this point but it was too early for food just yet. I did have my eye on the ‘Burger Board’ to share which was basically sliders – two mini burgers, two mini cheeseburgers, two mini bacon & cheeseburgers with Bloody Mary relish, onion rings and skin on chips. But as I was looking I was dragged away out into the Castle grounds and off to the Bell Inn in the Market Square of Nottingham.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is located at Brewhouse Yard, Nottingham, in the shadows of the Castle Rock. Website: www.triptojerusalem.com

The third port of call was the Bell Inn, another old famous established traditional Nottingham haunt. Officially dated at 1437AD it is still sometimes vied that it was older than the Trip, it is said that a group of Friars arrived in Nottingham in 1276AD and used the cellars in the hand carved caves within the natural sandstone of Nottingham where it was said they stored their wines and had a bonded warehouse.

These days the pub is owned by the same group that own the Trip and they both share the same menu. Needless to say I did not get my hands on the ‘Burger Board’ here either. But I did get a pint of Greene King.

It was not the most exciting beer, another well balanced, refreshing offer, a hoppy flavour with a clean bitter finish, but the night was well on its way by now and there was still more to come so I was not too worried about this slight dip in beer enjoyment. 

The Bell Inn is located at 18 Angel Row in Nottingham. right off the Market Square and it sight of the Tram Line that snakes through the square. Website: www.bellinnottingham.co.uk

The last stop before a food stop was Langtreys just above the Market Square. It has a great selection of beers and we always hope for a pint of Deuchars here.

I used to get it all the time when I lived up in Scotland but here in Nottingham we had it once and then for about 10 visits in a row it was either sold out, on tap the next day, or just not on tap at all.

Would this be the time? especially after having been out of the country for so long I was quite hopeful.

Yes we got a Deuchars and I will just leave the pictures to tell you if it was appreciated.

Langtreys is located at 4 South Sherwood St in Nottingham. Deuchars IPA is from the Caledonian Brewing Company and is well worth seeking.

I wrote more in this blog entry than about food, but after all this beer we did pause for some food in Nottingham City Centre and that tale is coming next.

The Vat and Fiddle is very close to the Station Street NET stop, the Trip to Jerusalem is on the threshold of the 5 minute walk radius from that stop and the Old Market Square Stop.

The nearest stop for the Bell Inn is the Old Market Square stop, but you could also walk down from the Theatre Royal Stop.

For the Langtreys Pub the best stop is the Royal Centre as it is real close to the Cornerhouse complex.

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