An evening in Bristol revealed yet more new architectural and pubby discoveries, the supply of great street art seemingly endless.


Hotwells is the suburb connecting the centre to Clifton, home to the brilliant Bag o’Nails which gets its own post later, and not just because of the cats.

Round the corner is the Myrtle Tree which serves Bass from the barrel, as it did 20 years ago. That’s not enough for a Beer Guide place these days.

Obviously, I completely forgot about the Bass (until this morning), and instead visited the Merchant Arms, a Bath house new to the Guide.


It’s a yellow and brown cracker, one of many in the area. The clientele is more mixed than many of Clifton’s pubs, with several discrete areas bursting with banter. Few pubs in towns recently have been this busy early Sunday evening

The beer is superb. I’ve never rated Bath Ales in their pubs here and in Oxford, but Barnsey (NBSS 3.5) might convert me.

One thing though. It was served from a jug. Never mind your silly 500 year old German laws. Only Draught Bass may (and should) be served from a jug. This rule doesn’t apply to octogenarians in West Wales, of course.


Well done Merchant Arms.


  1. ?? Is it on gravity, or pulled from the handpump into a jug and then left sitting around on the bar waiting to be poured into glasses? why?


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