100 Best Beer Days Out in the UK

Okay, a bit of a grand title but I was thinking of sharing a project I have been working on that got a bit out of hand. I was trying to find a few new places to visit, using Ratebeer Places data, that perhaps I hadn’t really thought of before.
For us a beer day out is to visit a place and have 6 decent places to visit and a few more on standby, so I started comparing places taking the top 6 drinking establishments then having a few more as back up. This grew until I had covered the whole of the UK.
I stripped out any Stores and Bottle Shops, I know that some bottle shops run taps but I didn’t have the time or willpower to find which ones. I also stripped out Beer Festivals. Then the controversial bit, I took out anything that hadn’t opened by 5pm on a Friday, which is mostly smaller Brewery Taps and some Micropubs. This is because when we go somewhere we go during the day and not always on the weekend and I initially wasn’t sharing this.
I ended up with a list of almost 200 places that fitted the criteria and they could be sorted from lowest to best.
I was thinking of releasing 5 a day doing a countdown from 100 to Number 1. It might help people to choose places to visit, create some discussion and hopefully encourage more use of what is probably our best feature, the Places section.
I know our data isn’t perfect, my calculations may not be entirely accurate as I wearied and the whole system is skewed to places that are in the areas most visited, but it is quite an interesting list with some surprises, controversies and disappointments.
Here goes, let me know what you think or ask questions as we go.


My first contribution are numbers 100 to 96. The Total Points is the sum of Ratebeer scores for the top 6 drinking establishments in the town / city. I have also listed the top scoring place there. Where there is a draw, and there are lots, I have used the top place score to separate them.

100 Bradford - West Yorkshire 436 Points - Sparrow Bier Cafe
99 Skipton - North Yorkshire 437 Points - Boat House
98 Leek - Staffordshire 437 Points - Den Engel
97 Kentish Town - Greater London 437 Points - Camden Town Brewery
96 Edinburgh, Newington - Lothians 437 Points - Cask & Barrel Southside


I have managed to drink in 4 of the 5 listed on days out, I just haven’t been to Bradford. I thought Skipton would be higher in the list as it’s a really nice place to go, but I suppose it is a little remote and there is lots of competition.
There are lots of London areas in the top 100 but that is where most visitors to our shores go and thus they get more reviews.


Interesting project Glen… over what time has this research been compiled?

Im just considering the vast difference in number and quality of venues from the pre covid high to what we have today


Cheers Colin. I’ve managed to collate the data over the last month, but you are correct in that the data might include some now shut places and certainly places that now have reduced opening times and might not have qualified if updated. However I think that the results give a pretty good idea of the best towns and cities we have available.
If something has looked odd then I have adjusted manually.
In the end it’s a bit of fun and hopefully will raise some interest in our places section.


Nice game to play Glen.

I helped Skipton get some scores, but like you I’ve never been to Bradford; not even for a football match. Leek is fairly close to me, but I’ve only driven through. I did organise a CAMRA coach trip there once, but couldn’t go myself!

I have friends in Edinburgh and we visit every two years or so, some really good pubs. London doesn’t see me so often now our son is back up here in Shropshire and Kentish Town has not been on my radar for beer ever.

I look forward to your next 5 towns/places. I might not reply, or see them for a while, as we are leaving the UK on 4th December for the Winter (well until 23rd January).


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Nice one, I would suggest a day in Leek is worth it, some good, traditional pubs plus Den Engel with some decent Belgian beers available.
Kentish Town is worth doing when combined with Camden Townplus there is the superb Southampton Arms very close by. Getting to and around the smoke is the biggest problem though.
That area of Edinburgh is a very pleasant stroll.

I think things are on a ‘bit’ of an upturn now but some places I guess are suffering more than others.

Central London is not what it was with many venues relying on Monday to Friday footfall … Tuesday to Thursday are fairly heavy commuting days … or the TWATS (Tues, Weds and Thurs) as we call them … getting close to pre - pandemic levels however Monday and Friday are pretty dead.

You still see roughly half the amount of cask lines in the good beer venues that you used to in Central London. I was in the original Craft Beer Co, Clerkenwell, a few months ago … they used to carry 16 cask lines with nearly all on simultaneously … on my visit … just the 4 which was a sad site.

They are however just about to open (1st Dec) a new venue near Paddington station.

The outlying residential areas in London and places like the Bermondsey arches seem pretty much back to normal now.

In Wycombe the Bootlegger had gone pre Covid, Heidrun is back to full taps (16 keg + 4 cask), however Mad Squirrel don’t do guest beers anymore so 12 or 13 of their own taps and 7 or 8 blanks. Also no guest beers in their fridge which used to have maybe 100/120 from varying breweries and styles.

I also noted this opened in Birmingham last night on the good news front …

North Brewing Co to open ninth venue at Snow Hill, Birmingham | North Brewing Co


First of all i have to say that this is an amazing project. Yes, RB data isnt perfect but it ain’t bad either (wish more people would rate places but the UK is better than most countries in this respect).

We went to Bradford for a holiday last year… my wife was working in Leeds and we thought we’d check out the area. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of good beer pubs. You coukd easily do them all in a day, but you’ve also got Saltaire and Shipley to the north.


I have already added this and friends went on Friday for the opening.


However, a bit of a quandary, it’s right on the border between the city center and Hockley, it’s quite close to the Wolf really. I might move it to Hockley as it makes a little more sense.


Time for the next tranche of Beer Towns for your consumption. If you liken this to the Football League ladder yesterday was the bottom of the old Division 4 or new League 2, so today is the low towards mid table League 2. (Just getting into the Football League is a great achievement btw).

95th - Wigan, Greater Manchester with 437 Points. Highest rated place = Wigan Central.

94th - Holborn, Greater London with 437 Points. HR = Craft Beer Co. Covent Garden.

93rd - Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire with 439 Points. HR = Hopinn

92nd - Salisbury, Wiltshire with 439 Points. HR = Rai D’Or

91st - Gateshead, Tyne & Wear with 439 Points. HR = Central Bar.

Quick piece of housekeeping. A day out we always reckon should be reasonably easily walkable once you are there.


Of the latest instalment the only place I have been around many times is the Holborn area of London, The Holborn Whippet is a massive loss to the area, it would have been much higher up the ladder if it was still there.
I have been to Salisbury a couple of times and it’s a lovely town to wander round and have a few drinks.
Wigan, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Gateshead I’ve never been to, maybe try and put at least one of them onto my list for next year.

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I’d have that as city centre myself

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I have a series of lists saved on Google maps. I always start with Ratebeer but then use Beer Guide London, Whatpub, etc, to check which places the Ratebeer database is missing or have closed. Finally UT to check what beers are available.

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The Bear has 29 kegs and then only 6 casks.

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Nice idea Glen, thanks for this (although I think you missed the perfect opportunity to do it as an advent calendar style countdown!).

I’ll look forward to seeing the rest of the top 100. The only places I’ve had beers in so far are Skipton and Salisbury, although not been to any of the top 6 in either of those.

I wonder how much the list will be impacted by RB breaking down towns into localities - for instance, Reading has not been split up at all (so all of its top 6 will count in one place), whilst Oxford is split into 9 separate localities (so its top 6 will not count as being in in one place). Might mean your method boosts some unexpected places in the Shires?

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Pretty sure they had Lost & Grounded on when I was in there for the Christmas lights switch on. And looking at their other bars on the yellow website, some of them have plenty of guest beers, so hopefully more will appear in Wycombe soon.

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Guest beers arent a No all together … reckon ive seen 3 or 4 total this year …just not what it was when you would see 7 or 8 in one visit… one every few months so i wouldnt advertise them as a bar with guest taps

That will be the model going forwards … more keg and less cask

Well, my plan was that once we get into the higher echelons of Beery Days, Championship and Premier League if you like, then to slow down the numbers, show a bit more depth of the data, aiming for a Top 3 reveal on Christmas Eve.