Latest Beer at the Brewery Tap

Click the image to see the beers currently being served at the Brewery Tap in Abingdon, and what is in the cellar waiting to come on.

If enough people are interested in this kind of info, I could set up a mailing list, forum or database and also ask other local pubs to provide information for it. Please comment to this post to let me know if it is worth setting up.

You can also get up to real time info of beers available The Brewery Tap and some other pubs at

Quick Round up of Abingdon Pub / Brewery News

Loose Cannon Brewery

The Loose Cannon Brewery is now selling Abingdon Bridge and Loose Cannon Pale in pint bottles. Currently available from the brewery shop in Suffolk Way off Drayton Road, at £2/bottle or case of 12 for £21.50. You can of course still buy it directly from the conditioning tanks in plastic PET bottles (1,2 or 3 litre), 5 liter mini cask, 18 and 36 pint polypins or 72 pint firkins. Please support our local brewery, which reintroduced the brewing tradition back to Abingdon following the closure of the Morland Brewery.

The Old Anchor

The Old Anchor on St. Helen’s Wharf is now running under new management. The new managers have good plans to refurbish it. Currently it is serving 3 beers in good condition from the Greene King range (Morland Original, Speckled Hen and London Glory). With the Nags Head still closed, this is the only pub where you can sit outside with a view of the river.

Brewery Tap

The Brewery Tap is now serving 5 real ciders. Unlike other pubs that just have cardboard box polypins on the counter serving at room temperature, The Tap has them in the cellar at a cool temperature being served through the beer fonts. The range includes ever popular and strong Old Rosie and the sweeter Thistle Cross. The beer range continues to be the best in Abingdon and you can now get a real time update of what is on the bar and what is coming soon in the cellar by logging into This site if you register can also send you email alerts when a beer is changed.

Kings Head & Bell

The King’s Head & Bell on East St. Helen’s Street is having a beer festival on August bank holiday weekend (27th-29th August). They always have a range of 4 real ales, which change frequently, but mainly includes beers from Hook Norton, Box Steam, Loose Cannon and Adnams.

The Ox

Work has begun on The Ox on Oxford Road to turn it into a Tesco Direct. This is despite the fact that no planning permission has been applied for and it is close to an existing convenience store which may go out of business if next door to a Tesco Direct. There is more on this on the Abingdon blog including a lot of comments from concerned residents, and some of our town councillors are investigating what if anything can be done to stop it, though it seems at the moment that Tesco’s are not doing anything illegal. This is almost exactly the same as what happened earlier this year at The Fitzharris arms.

Blue Boar

The Blue Boar on bath street is now serving a good pint of Adnams Southwold Bitter. For several years no real ale had been available in this historic pub and this is a good sign of things to come.

Added Ingredients

Added ingredients in Stert street sells a range of bottled beers from local brewery, The Compass Brewery.

The Plough

Continues to be open, but with no real ale. I think it is still for sale, but its future seems uncertain.

Nags Head

No news on this. As far as I can see from the Land Registry, Punch Taverns still own the lease, and there are no for-sale or to-let signs on it making it difficult for anyone who did want to take it over from even knowing who to contact! I understand there are several interested people who want to take it over and turn it back into a thriving pub with its wonderful beer garden in the middle of the Thames.

Other pubs

No specific news, but other pubs including The Punch Bowl, Spread Eagle, Broad Face, Stocks Bar, White Horse and Cross Keys continue to serve beer in good condition and are worth a visit. Also if you don’t mind a walk or short cycle ride I can also recommend The Prince Of Wales in Shippon (6 real ales including beer from local Shotover Brewery), The Flowing Well in Sunningwell (a recent change of management with 3 well served beers from Greene King guest range and a lovely beer garden) and The Crown in Marcham which has real ales not seen elsewhere in this area.

Loose Cannon Pale Ale Trials

The Loose Cannon Brewery in Abingdon in Suffolk Way has just finished brewing a new beer.

As with the Abingdon Bridge when it was launched last year, Will Laithwaite the owner and head brewer has made two different recipies, currently known as Trial Brew 1 and Trial Brew 2. They are made from the same malt and yeast but use different hops.

  • Trial Brew 1: Made with Fuggles and Goldings Hops: Smooth, almost sweet, delicate, slightly spicy
  • Trial Brew 2: Made with Challenger and Pioneer Hops: Lemon/Gratefruit citrus aroma.
Handpump serving Loose Cannon Pale Ale at the brewery

Both trials can be sampled at the brewery shop, which is at the brewery in Suffolk Way.

You can also buy both of the Pale Ale trials as well as Abingdon Bridge in various sizes including 1 and 2 Litre bottles, mini-casks, polypins and Firkins.

We took a few litres back to our office to get the opinions of our colleagues. The reaction to each trial seems quite mixed. Both are very drinkable and different people seem to prefer different ones. Personally my vote is for Trial Brew 2 as it has a more complex taste, but brew 1 has more traditional English hops.

Bottles of Loose Cannon Pale Ale trial to try at home (or work!).

At the moment it is not being served in any Abingdon pub, but hopefully some of them will start stocking it in the next week or two. In the meantime, I recommend visiting the brewery to try it out. The brewery shop is open weekdays from 8am-6pm and Saturdays 9am-5pm.

The Cricketer’s Arms in Littleworth has both of the Pale Ale trials as well as Abingdon Bridge at their Beer & Sausage Festival this weekend, which features 14 mainly local real ales and 2 real ciders. More information can be found at

This Week’s Beers Available at Brewery Tap

The Brewery Tap in Ock Street has a changing selection of real ales with a mixture of locally brewed ales, award winning beers from further afield and a good selection from Greene Kings guests.

For this week (7th February) they have:

  • Morland’s Original 4.0% WEST GATE Suffolk 3.05
    RUBY BROWN. Original is a fully fermented, refreshing ale with a very distinctive and intense
    bitterness. Hints of subtle fruitiness on the nose follow through to the palette along with a light
    touch of malt.
  • Good Old Boy 4.0% WEST BERKS BREWERY Yattendon, Berkshire 3.45
    LIGHT CHESTNUT. A good balance of malt and hops giving a full-bodied bitter with strong malt
    fl avours, yet retaining a rounded bitterness and a strong hop fi nish. Champion Best Bitter in
    the CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain London and South East Regional Beer of the Year Competition
  • Riptide 4.1% BREW DOG Fraserbourgh 3.45
    DARK. A strong, silky smooth imperial stout with a deep, dark ruby appearance. Mocha, bitter
    chocolate, liquorice and dark cherry flavours prevail, before the balanced, warming and
    encapsulating finish.
  • Original 5.5% EVERARDS Leicestershire, 3.55
    CLASSIC TAWNY BROWN. A locally brewed ale with a good balance between hop and malt.
    Full fl avoured and smooth, with well rounded bitterness from Challenger hops. Savinski hops
    give the beer a light citrus and floral finish
  • Alpha Dog 4.7% BREW DOG Fraserbourgh 3.45
    HAZLENUT BROWN. A rock and roll medley of summer fruit and pine gives way to hints of
    roasted malt and a heady hoppiness, but with very low bitterness.
  • Yorkshire Terrier 4.2% YORK BREWERY 3.40
    GOLDEN. This multiple award-winning Yorkshire beer is a golden coloured premium bitter with
    a rich, creamy malt and full hop palate finish.
  • In the cellar: Pheonix by Westgate, Henry’s IPA by Wadsworths, Golden Glow by Holden’s, Abingdon Bridge by Loose Cannon

If any other landlords (or customers) would like to keep me regularly informed of the beer range in any Abingdon pubs, particularly ones which have a changing range of guest beers, then I will be happy to post them here.

Abingdon Beer Update: February 2011

I am sorry not to have posted anything here for several months. It has been quite an eventful time for Abingdon pubs.

The Fitzharris Arms has closed down, currently boarded up and sold to Tesco. This was a community pub serving an area of Abingdon without any other pubs close by. The nearest pub is the Spread Eagle which is over half a mile away. See This Abingdon Blog for photos of the Fitzharris in its sad closed down state.

The Nags Head also closed after christmas and is currently boarded up.

The Plough was up for sale and I understand an offer has been made on it. There are several rumours going around town about the buyer and what the intention is, but it seems unlikely to remain as a traditional pub.

The Ox closed down briefly, but appears to have reopened again. I have heard that it is now selling good real ale such as Timothy Taylor Landlord Bitter, but I have not yet had chance to check for myself. If true, then this would be excellent for Abingdon to have a freehouse free of Greene King’s control of most Abingdon pubs.

The Black Swan I believe has changed management and has signs on the window applying for a change in license involving making the bar smaller and removing some fixed seating.

The Blue Boar which has been something of a desert for real ale has been reported as occasionally having real ale available.

The Brewery Tap has reached an agreement with Greene King allowing two handpumps to be free of tie. As part of CAMRA LocAle scheme, it is expected that at least one of these will have a local beer on most of the time. The other four handpumps are from Greene King’s range of guests, and currently include a good range of different ales including two from Brew Dog. They are holding a blues, brews and jazz festival on March 25th-27th.

The White Horse, also a Greene King pub continues to have an interesting range of guest beers.

The Stocks Bar (Crown & Thistle Hotel) also continues to vary its range, mainly from the Marstons group of breweries including Ringwood, Jennings, Wychwood and Brakspear.

The Old Anchor (yet another Greene King pub) always serves its 3 Greene King beers in good condition, but it is likely that landlady Leslie will be leaving in a few months when Greene King find new tenants. Over the last few years several excellent beer festivals have been held there, and you always get a friendly welcome. This is one of Abingdon’s picture postcard pubs, being one of the first sights you get of Abingdon when travelling up the Thames. I hope that it will continue as a pub.

The King’s Head & Bell had its first Winter Beer festival last weekend. This include 16 beers with about half coming from Hook Norton’s range, some local beers from Vale, White Horse and Abingdon’s Loose Cannon, and the Steam Brewery. This was held upstairs in the King Charles’ Room and combined with the Rugby being shown on TV Friday and Saturday and a folk music session on Sunday had a really good friendly pub atmosphere.

The Broad Face have managed to recover and restore the original lost pub sign that was taken down in 2001, and plans to reinstate it soon. They are also holding their first beer festival on 1st-3rd April coinciding with Abingdon Arts Festival. Also remember they have live jazz music every Sunday afternoon as well as live bands most fridays.

Sorry not to mention every pub… The Spread Eagle, Punch Bowl and Cross Keys are always worth a visit. The Prince of Wales just outside Abingdon in Shippon always has 6 real ales, a new dining room, open fireplace and a friendly environment.