Update on Abingdon Pubs over the last year

I haven’t made many blog entries recently, but now the summer is on its way, it is time to be more active.

Pubs in Abingdon have seen some major improvements over the last year. After the take over and closure of the Morlands Brewery and Morrels Brewery by Greene King around the end of millenium, we ended up with something of a beer wilderness in Abingdon where almost every pub was run by Greene King and all served the same small selection of beers (Greene King IPA, Morland Original and maybe one guest… but all the pubs seem to choose the same guest each month). Not that there is anything wrong with Greene King beers, but I like to have a choice.

In the last year there have been several improvements:

  • The Stocks Bar (at the Crown and Thistle Hotel) has installed 10 hand pumps and regularly serves 9 real ales (many locally sourced) and around 6 ciders or perries. It also has beer festivals featuring 30 or more real ales (more on this in next blog entry)
  • The White Horse (by the Drayton road double mini roundabout) installed extra hand pumps and has guest beers that are not from the Greene King range
  • The Nags Head (on Nags Head island on Bridge street) now has 4 real ales from different breweries (LAst weekend this was Adnams, Black Sheep, Bombadier and Greene King IPA
  • The Plough (Stert street) is still Greene King, but has a GK guest beer available (last year it only ever had IPA), which is served well
  • The Anchor (wharf) has a range of Greene King beers, and has had several mini beer festivals over the last year, some of which featured non Greene King beers
  • Cross Keys (Ock Street) has improved a lot, and serves Greene King beers including a guest

On the downside:

  • Kings Head and Bell (East St. Helens Street) is still closed, but a lot of building work is going on, and the planning permission application was approved and looks lik it will be good.
  • The Grapes is closed again. It was turned into a Tapas bar, but became unpopular amongst locals
  • The Broad Face is looking for a new tenant, but is still operating in the meantime.

Other pubs worthy of a mention

  • Spread Eagle (Northcourt Road) has good range of Greene King beers, well served in a friendly environment
  • Punchbowl (Market Place) is friendly, but still suffers from only having two beers available (Morland Original + Greene King guest), though they are well served and the staff are friendly
  • Brewery Tap (Ock Street). Range of Greene King beers, well served in a friendly environment. THe only Abingdon pub in the Good Beer Guide 2009

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