100 Best Beer Days Out in the UK

Yes, this is where the ‘Easy Walking Distance’ for a day’s drinking comes into force. Reading is quite compact whilst Oxford is fairly sprawling. I shan’t let any spoilers out though.

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Have paid two visits to Brewdog Waterloo and @Theydon_Bois is still the sole rater of their beers because they’d sold out. Although my point here is that BD are another chain who have severely cut down on guest beers post-Covid. Only 2 on?

I am also finding that some pubs/chains seem to be narrowing their range of beers to the same breweries and core beers. The Big Smoke pubs are an example of this - The Flintage in Weybridge used to be good for ticks but now seems to only offer one or two ticks despite multipe taps. But they always have the same core beers on from Siren, Northern Monky, Two Tribes, Laine and Signature. I guess they know they will sell…Big Smoke’s then repliacte this.

Also there are certain average breweries that seem to be on at tonnes of places… are the likes of Two Tribes and Signature undercutting the opposition.


No … that is a BD Waterloo specific

Ever since it opened in late July it has never carried more than 3 or 4 guest beers typically

I think it realises that its a commuter bar so will sell lots of lost lager and punk so deliberately doesn’t go big on guest offerings

I’ve been to 7 Dials, Tower Hill and Paddington in the past month or so and all are similar guest levels (7 to 10 taps) that you would ordinarily expect

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As for their own beers the brew kit was late being delivered and installed hence quite a lag from the opening to their own beers landing

The first one appeared about 2.5 weeks ago and the 2nd last week

Like you say they haven’t hung around … so along with Lost Lager and Punk I imagine they will be a popular pick for the regular commuters

My office is a 7 or 8 minutes walk from Waterloo so easy for me to swing buy when I see one has appeared on UT

I won’t be making much of an effort to visit BD Waterloo aside from their own brews, unless the guest taps ever pick up

Must have been during Covid when the other BDs I visited were lacking guests.

Albeit there were only 3 or 4 on at Basingstoke more revently but that’s a smaller venue.

The problem with BD Waterloo was that Thursdays are the City drinking nights and I went in on a Friday. Last week they ran out just as I ordered.

Yup … i swung by at 1600 last Thursday and the place was starting to get busy … was there around 1730 on the collabfest thursday and was starting to get rammed

Great idea Glen, of the first five I think that maybe I have been to the Bradford place but not checked if rated. Bradford was a regular haunt many, many years ago when Loz was at Uni there and we have revisited a couple of times in the intervening years, I always liked a pub, which I think was called the Fighting Cock.

Of the 2nd five Craft Beer used to be a fairly regular visit but not been for a few years now. Agree about Salisbury, it is a lovely city but again not been for 6-7 years and that place is not a name I recognise.


Rai D’Or, sounds like an Indian Restaurant!, has been around for a while, it used to be The Star though. Looks like I haven’t reviewed it either but I know that I have been in there.

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The next group of towns & cities, roughly mid table league 2, in the top 100 are as follows :-

90th - Rugby, Warwickshire with 439 Points. HR = Merchants Inn

89th - Ealing, Greater London with 439 Points. HR = Owl & the Pussycat

88th - Chesterfield, Derbyshire with 439 Points. HR = Chesterfield Alehouse

87th - Halifax, West Yorkshire with 439 Points. HR = Victorian Beer Cafe

86th - Lewes, East Sussex with 440 Points. HR = Snowdrop Inn


I can get to Rugby and it does make a very decent beery day out, even if the walk to and from the Railway Station is a bit of a treck and opening times have to be negotiated during the afternoon.
Never been to either Ealing or Halifax so I cannot comment, very differing places I would imagine.
Chesterfield again stretches the walkable in a day rule but is doable, good traditional pubs plus a decent micropub there.
Lewes is a bit Harveys central, which is fine but the Snowdrop, typically the furthest out, makes a pleasant change.

I have an early start tomorrow so I won’t be able to enter the next 5 places, but I will restart on Wednesday.

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Lewes is a nice little town; just to note that the Harveys monopoly has now been broken by the arrival of the Beak and Abyss taprooms (unfortunately I was there midweek so neither were open).

Also, can’t let Lewes slip by without mentioning the Middle Farm Cider Centre a few miles to the east - amazing place, must have the biggest selection of cider in the whole country, both on tap and in bottle.


Lewes is certainly a lovely day out. When we stay at the Caravan Club site in Brighton I walk from there over the South Downs to Lewes and my wife joins me by bus. Some fantastic views, other than the new football ground!, then some great beer.

I will note the last rating from 2014 said they still were also British pub.

Halifax. Now there’s an idea… I’ve never been drinking there. I did however have the absolute hands down worst full-cooked breakfast of my life there, so I hope the pubs are better

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It is actually a pretty good Thai restaurant housed in a traditional English pub. Cask ale and Thai food pairs better than anticipated.

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i like the sound of this project, v interesting, but I wonder how it’ll be affected by Ratebeer’s somewhat arbitrary dividing up of larger cities. Where I live two of the best pubs (both IMO and by RB score) are 2-300 yards apart, but appear as separate areas. I haven’t done the sums but I’d say there’s 2 or maybe 3 ‘areas’ that might make the top 100 whereas the city as a whole would probably sit fairly high…

then again maybe not, if it’s done on the total score, since not many people have rated a lot of the places!

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That’s why I liked Oakham Ales locations at Bartons Arms (Oakham) Bingohame and Brewery Tap (Oakham) Peterborough. Beer and Thai is great pairing.

Now I am sad I didn’t make it to Rai D’Or

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Great idea this, be interesting to see what comes up. So far your 94th is the only place I have been to, and visited again earlier this month and was still pretty good with 9 cask/15 keg, which was allot better than the Clerkenwell location which I visited back in the summer and had a poor selection as detailed by Colin above.

While in the Holborn area also managed to visit/tick off a couple of the JDW’s as well while getting a few of the fest beers going on earlier this month. Looks like one of them is going to get closed down as part of the spoons downscaling (Penderel’s Oak)


In my early days of drinking in London I used to love the Princess Louise.

I would question why someone has wasted their time adding Middle Child Brewery - it’s just the office where the brewery is registered… You’re not going to find any beers there, just a confused receptionist.

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I have been to The Merchants in Rugby but many, many years ago.

Last visited Halifax in December 2016 and it was far better than my last visit (beer wise). The Victorian Beer Café was a fantastic place but without checking there were one or two other great places as well I recall. We were there to see Low play a Candlelit gig at Halifax Minster performing some of their tracks from their legendary Low Christmas album, what a wonderful gig that was, sadly Mimi from Low died earlier this month, such a wonderful drummer and what a beautiful voice.

It’s also worth mentioning that since our visit the Piece Hall has re-opened after a 3 year restoration project, it’s a quite spectacular huge Northern Georgian Cloth Hall the only example of it’s kind.

I once visited Halifax Town’s ground The Shay to watch but not to see Worcester City, I cannot recall who they were playing some team like Slough maybe, but regardless it was a hugely dull game.

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