A couple of contrasting boozers to finish off Leg 1 of the Great Bristol Beer Guide Tick Off.


One more saunter from Brislington (wherever that is) to Clifton should do it. Those 5 in the Forest of Dean look a bit harder.

Bristol Volly.PNG

I nearly didn’t make it to the Volunteer, as a cyclist jumped a red light on the Bath Road and nearly knocked my glasses off. I wished him a good evening.


Three things went through my head as I walked in the Volly*;

a) What a lovely old pub

b) Is this a failed attempt at the longest pub name ?

c) Oh dear, I’m in Twickenham


Full of middle-class mid-twenties wine drinkers waiting for their pub quiz, which I sensed wasn’t going to be as jolly as in my Waterbeach local.

But at least Twickenham has handpumps which tell you what beers are on.  The Volly doesn’t.


Here you have to look at a series of boards on the wall and make a choice,  using a set of secret codes to work out whether it’s cask or not.

Good luck with this one, anyone with eyesight as old as mine.


It’s very exciting to go in a new pub and the first thing you see on the beer board is a 10% Imperial Stout, and I contemplated a pint at a bargain (really) £6.40, before coming to my senses and randomly picking the Vibrant Forest.

It wasn’t cellar cool, but it was very tasty (NBSS 3), and to be fair the pub is a minor gem.  I just didn’t see much turnover of those beers though.

I’ll gloss over the chairs at the bar blocking the view of the beer boards too.


A jog in the rain to the Prince of Wales, via even more street art and the nice man at Lewins Mead selling goat curry and roti for a fiver.


Not all the streets to Bishopston are paved with gold though;


If I’d known the Prince was going to be in the new Guide, I’d have done it on the way back from that Rovers – Cambridge match last month.  Perhaps CAMRA will let me proofread the GBG next year.


Anyway, it’s a decent local with plenty of proper pub seating, and a good place to chat about the Guide and the greatness of London beer with the legends that are Ray and Jessica.

I’ve had better Otter.  I’ve had worse Otter. Pubs are rarely about beer.


*I can’t be bothered to use its full name,which will probably change again slightly next year.


  1. “Not all the streets to Bishopston are paved with gold though;”

    Judging by what that fellow at the far end is doing, me ‘might’ be paving the street with gold. 🙂



  2. I went in the Royal Volunteer Arms or whatever it is called on Saturday,my last pub of the day and my 23rd and i was not too drunk,but on seeing 7 or 8 handpumps with no clips on and a board that could have been used in the Crypton Factor,i was well confused as to what to order,a friendly local tried to help by saying which was real ale,which was keg and which was crap craft,i ended up with one from Harbour and saying to the bar staff that it would be much better to have pump clips where you can see what real ales are on the bar.
    The pub was a let down due to this type of saying what beers are on.

    On another note how do you seem to be in empty pubs so often,it was pretty full on my early Saturday evening visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the last point, Alan, I like going in pubs at lunchtime, except when I’m the only customer. Lunchtime drinking is dead, outside the Spoons/cheap Marstons type pub or at weekend (busy in Manchester on Saturday).

      Glad you mentioned Bristolians are friendly, but you had the same experience in he Volunteer as me. I actually like many “craft” beers, I just thought the “Volly” was full of middle-class young wine drinkers and you know what a dreadful reverse snob I am !

      Look forward to the Bristol write-up.


  3. You are not a reverse snob Martin,
    I think snobs are either posh people who like to say they are posh or middle class people who like to think they are posh which makes them snobs
    We are proud to be working class and left wing Labour supporters and my Mam is far more left wing than me and she is in her late 70s.

    Write ups are way behind both on my own pub stuff and on Pubs Galore,as for doing my blogs there is so much to do as in pubs crawls done years ago and more recent ones.

    As for your first point i got into my first bar in Bristol before 10am and did the Volunteer at about 6.30pm,i do prefer drinking early morning then to early evening,then get home and hit the home brew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It must take you hours to write up all those for Pubs Galore. You’d be amazed how often I try to find out about an estate pub when I’m out (Beehive in Salford, last week as I walked past) and your comment on Pubs Galore is the only reference, even if you went there 20 years ago !


  4. That is because most normal people would not set foot in those types of pubs,i am so pleased that i did so many pubs in Manchester and Greater Manchester when there was more real ale available.
    I do not think i will never set foot in Manchester again as i had done so much of it including most bars at the time,i think i missed two proper pubs within Manchester’s city boundarys.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s