February 22, 2017 by Kay Byrne
Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Camra members enjoyed a fine day out surveying the real ale scene in Bristol on Saturday. With a target of ten pubs to get around, it was always going to be a busy day!
Arriving by train at Temple Meads, we headed first to the Barley Mow in Barton Road, the Bristol Beer Factory’s showcase pub. There, despite around 25 thirsty customers arriving all at once, bar staff quickly dispensed pints from the eight hand pumps, and everyone managed to find a seat in the cosy, welcoming pub.
Next stop on our route was the Moor Brewery on Days Road, which has a brewery bar serving a good range of keg craft ales, manned by a knowledgeable and friendly team.
An uphill walk from there took us to the Volunteer, Bristol Camra’s 2016 Pub of the Year. It did not disappoint, with six hand pumps and excellent fish finger sandwiches.
At this point, splinter groups started to form, with some folk heading off to the Bank Tavern on John Street and the Gryphon on Colston Street.
Others headed for the Lime Kiln on St Georges Road, which had a superb range of beers, a real fire and a friendly cat.
We were also joined at this point by Karen McGeoch and Rod Undy, the former licensees of Mumbles Ale House, who are now making an equal success of running The Fleece in Hillesley, Gloucestershire.
Next port of call was the Bag O’Nails, a tiny but perfect alehouse also on St Georges Road, which was packed with happy drinkers and even more cats.
Back up the road we headed to the Three Tuns, which had another fantastic selection of beers, including Arbor Ales.
By this time, sense of direction was starting to become a little hazy, but we managed to locate the excellent Seven Stars on Thomas Lane, where we had a choice of eight hand pumps and a pool table to play on too.
From here it was just a few minutes walk back to Temple Meads station and the 19.54 train back to Swansea.
Many thanks go to Will Greenwood, who organised the trip.
Camra member John Skinner said: “I would like to add my thanks to William for a fantastic tour of Bristol pubs, some of which I visited for the first time. I was impressed by the quality of ale on offer as well as the welcome afforded to us in all pubs visited.”