If you head up to Canning Circus where the A610 from out of the city centre splits into Alfreton Road, Derby Road, and Ilkeston Road you will find a nice little grouping of three really well supplied pubs full of Real Ale pumps. This is a perfect group for a mini-pub crawl. It is just a short bus ride away from the Old Market Square and about a 10-15 minute walk. I recommend getting a bus (Take the 28 or 30 on the Pink Line, or the 34, 37 0n the Orange Line, or any of the buses on the Turquoise line)
Lets have a little look at what you might find. No apologies if it makes you feel thirsty
We first came up to Canning Circus on a food (and beer) hunt during the summer and at that time we were working our way along the Route to Real Ale. The Sir John Borlase Warren was one of the pubs in that guide. Back then it had just reopened after refurbishment and we had a fine time supping upon a pint of the Everards Sunchaser beer which is described by Everards as “a thirst-quenching beer made in the style of a continental lager”. Since then it has closed and re-opened again. We came up here again to sample beers on the Canning Circus Circuit and we popped in to see how it was faring.
We had a couple of nice pints from Oakham Ales , I like their beer if you can see them try the Scarlet Macaw which they describe as “Tart gooseberry and soft peach on the nose. Gooseberries and fruit to taste, before an intense bitterness that’s as sharp as a macaw’s screech!” They have a ‘Meet the brewer’ night coming up at the pub on the 9th July. We also sampled some beer from the ‘Funfair Brewery’ I think it was the ‘Dive Bomber’ which they say is a ‘straw coloured premium refreshing ale…. it goes well with spicy food’
I think what we are trying to say is that they serve some pretty good beers here
On the food front at the moment they are just serving some simple bar snacks such as Pork Pies and a Cheese platter. I understand that in the near future they will start serving meals and there was even some talk of a pizza oven being brought in. So on the food side there may be some interesting times ahead.
The Falcon Inn is a mere 25yards or so away from the Sir John Borlase Warren in total stumbling distance. If you are walking between the two do not bother putting your coat on you won’t feel the benefit. I have already written about this pub on the blog in “The Falcon Inn – Wood Fire, Good Beer, and Pulled Pork“. Since then they have stopped doing food on a regular basis but they are doing a Sunday Lunch. If you are planning for food then you could take a chance as the situation seems to change a lot
At the moment they are serving up a couple of bar snacks, when we walked in this last week they were serving Crusty Cheese Cobs for £1.75 and I was happy to see that they were still selling the Falcon Scotch Eggs for £2.75. I would recommend trying one of their homemade scotch eggs with your pint. I hear that they are worth the trip up the hill on their own!
On the beer front they are a free house and seem to have 8 or so pumps with real ale. There always seems to be a few from the Lincoln Green brewery, I favour the ‘Marion’ which is a refreshing pale ale and not too strong, they describe it as ‘A full bodied pale ale with citrus aroma and a hint of grapefruit’
After you exit the Falcon stay on the same side of the road and walk along Alfreton Road for about 100yds and you will find yourself at the door of The Organ Grinder. This pub is a great place to meet up and drink a lot of that excellent beer from the Blue Monkey Brewery
There is a pretty limited selection of food at the Organ Grinder but that is fair enough. You really shouldn’t be heading up here looking for food you should just be concentrating on trying as many of those Blue Monkey Beers as you possibly can. On their website they say that “We have up to nine cask ales on the bar. Most are from Blue Monkey, with the occasional great guest beer”. Inside they have a big chalkboard and it usually contains a lot of Blue Monkey Action. The Blue Monkey Brewery is based locally on the Giltbrook Industrial Park in
Giltbrook (close to Ikea off the A610). They have many beers that we like, if we could only pick a few then it would be (in no particular order) BG Sips, Infinity, and Marmoset. The good thing is that you can usually get all three at the Organ Grinder
“There is a lot of good beer to be found at Canning Circus and plenty of bar snack type food to keep you safe while you sup. It really is worth moving off the well worn track in the city centre just a short way away to sample their fares and wares. Give it a go!” @myfoodhunt