Spring – Summer 2017
Twisted Brewing, Westbury
Rebel, Twisted’s seasonal spring beer, made a return earlier this year. The 4.1% chestnut coloured pale ale is made with a mix of four New World hop varieties and has a distinct caramel-flavour. The hops, Mosaic, Citra, Crystal and Sterling, provide a mild bittering and a wrap-around taste of citrus, spice and floral notes and a long, lingering finish. In May the brewery brought back Urban Legend (a 4.3% pale ale) due to popular demand, bringing the total number of beers in production at the time to eight. The six regulars, just to recap, are Three & Sixpence (3.6% hoppy light session), WTF (3.8% hoppy pale chestnut), Rider (4.0% pale amber session), Conscript (4.2% light golden), Pirate (4.2% best bitter) and Gaucho (4.6% deep ruby). Meanwhile Twisted continues to retail beers from breweries not all of which are often seen in this area. In the last few weeks these have included Clarke’s, Vale of Glamorgan and Yeovil Ales.
First of all congratulations to our two branch Pub of the Year champions. The winner of the Bath competition was the Royal Oak in Twerton, whilst the out-of-Bath champion, and overall winner, which will go forward to the regional competition, is the Castle Inn at Bradford-on-Avon. Please see separate articles by Phill the Pint (on the Royal Oak) and Denis Rahilly (on the Castle).
Bath and Surrounding Villages
Canon (formerly Molloy’s), Barton Street, Bath
This recently refurbished and re-styled city centre bar has become a main outlet for Electric Bear. Please see main article by Martin Ansell.
Grapes, 14 Westgate Street, Bath
This city centre pub, which for some years has been leased by Greene King, closed on 9 April. The future of the former wine merchant, which became a pub at the turn of the nineteenth century, is currently unknown. The building itself dates back to the 1317, when its annual rent was four shillings. The premises were re-built in 1620 and the present frontage was added around 100 years later. With the exception of Bath Abbey the Grapes has the city’s only surviving example of Jacobean plasterwork.
Lambretta’s, 8-10 North Parade, Bath
At the time of writing this light and spacious bar just off the city centre was closed for a refurbishment. We suspect that it will have re-opened by the time of publication.
Rose & Crown, 6-8 Brougham Place, Larkhall, Bath
A major refurbishment of this attractive old pub on the eastern outskirts of Bath has recently been completed.
Royal Oak, 8-10 Summerlays Place, Widcombe, Bath
This large pub on the edge of the city centre, and near to the rugby ground, has a new landlord. Trevor Brown took over at the Royal Oak on 1 March. Previously Trevor had run the Wilkes’ Head, Eastergate, near Chichester in West Sussex, winning the local branch Pub of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and going on to win the overall Sussex title in the same years. We in Bath and Borders are clearly very pleased to welcome Trevor to Bath and wish him every success at his new pub
Royal Oak, Lower Bristol Road, Twerton, Bath
Whilst the Royal Oak at Twerton has been named the branch’s City Pub of the Year for 2017. Many congratulations to Chris and his team. A presentation took place at the pub on Thursday 25 May. Meanwhile the pub’s plans to open an in-house micro-brewery, to be named Ralph’s Ruin, are moving forward. A few test beers have been produced and sampled and the main brewing equipment has arrived. Please see main article by Phill the Pint.
Somerset Waggon, Broadway, Chilcompton, near Radstock
We understand that this pub closed briefly but has since re-opened under new management.
Griffin, Milk Street. Frome
Following the relocation of the Milk Street brewery, which occupied a building behind the pub, to an industrial unit on Commerce Park on the outskirts of Frome, the freehold of the pub itself has gone on the market.
Royal Oak, Broadway, Frome
The freehold of this Grade II listed Wadworth’s owned pub, tucked away on the western fringes of Frome, has gone on to the market for £325,000 with selling agents James A Baker. And there is a rather ominous suggestion that this building could be put to alternative use subject to planning permission. The permanent loss of the Royal Oak would leave the western side of the town with very few pubs. Not far away the Ring o’Bells, which for a long time now has been on the market for £300,000, still lies empty and derelict. There were plans to convert this pub into six separate dwellings but these never came to fruition.
Cross Guns, Avoncliff, near Bradford-on-Avon
This pub was taken over by Jack Werner (who also has the Inn at Freshford and the Old Crown Inn at Kelston) in December 2016. A major refurbishment was carried out January and February of this year. Please see main article by Martin Ansell.
Castle Inn, 10 Mount Pleasant, Bradford-on-Avon
Congratulations to the team at this hilltop pub, with its commanding views over the southern half of the town, on winning the branch’s overall Pub of the Year title for 2017. The presentation of the award took place on Tuesday 9 May. Please see main article by Denis Rahilly.
White Hart, Lane End, Corsley, near Warminster
This pub is currently (and hopefully only temporarily) closed. According to its Facebook page a family are trying to get the pub, which is situated midway along the Warminster / Frome road and close to the entrance to Longleat Safari Park, up and running again.
Sir Isaac Pitman, 1-2 Castle Place, Market Street, Trowbridge
This town centre Wetherspoon’s closed rather suddenly on Sunday 2 April. Wetherspoon’s, which also has a Lloyd’s No. 1 bar, the Albany Palace, just round the corner, decided not to renew the lease when it fell due. The premises are currently boarded up. This small-scale branch of ‘spoons opened on the site of a pair of former shop units at the front of the Castle Street shopping centre in 1998. Trowbridge born English teacher Isaac Pitman, after whom the pub was named, published a phonetic system of short-hand in 1837 that would become used world over. The pub was popular and well-used by locals and in recent years had become something of a champion of the LocAle scheme, usually offering three or four constantly changing guest beers from breweries within a roughly 30 mile radius, including Box Steam, Castle Combe, Flying Monk and Twisted. Around 18-months ago the pub was placed on the market but did not attract many buyers. Following its closure many of the staff moved on to the nearby Albany Palace, which has now become the regular Wetherspoon’s for the town. Meanwhile the future of the Isaac Pitman premises remains uncertain.