Oxfordshire Beer Tourism

I’ll spend an August week in Oxford whilst my wife takes a class. It is my impression that beer pickings are slim in Oxford proper, so I seek suggestions for breweries or real ale pubs worthy of daytrips for daytime drinking. They don’t have to be in Oxfordshire proper if easily reachable by train. The Nag’s Head in Reading fits this description since it is 30 minutes by train followed by a 15 minute walk.
Suggestions? I’ll take the train to London if all else fails, but it would be great to find something closer to hand. I’d also love to find some modern IPAs or NEIPAs, but I am not holding my breath on managing that.

Don’t miss this (tiny)micropub in Oxford Covered Market, which is the brewery tap for the excellent Church Han:

Oxford also has a Brewdog bar a short walk SE from town - not been there, but assume it’s similar to their other pubs.

If you like traditional atmospheric English pubs, Oxford is chock full of them - but as you say, there don’t seem to be too many of them that do interesting beer

Reading is a great town for beer. Best places near the town centre (best first) are:
Nag’s Head, Weather Station, Brewdog Reading, the Castle Tap, the Alehouse and Greyfriars.

There’s also the ZeroDegrees brewpub (does great pizzas but crap beer). Phantom and Double Barrelled have brewery taps (with limited hours) a bit further out. More handily, Double Barrelled will also have a bar in the new Blue Collar Street food market that’s due to open soon in the town centre.

Finally, if you want bottles to take home from Reading, make sure you go to the excellent Grumpy Goat bottle shop (no longer in the Harris Arcade, recently moved to Unity Street aka Smelly Alley).

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Teardrop Barzinho looks amazing. I’ll be sure to find that. Thanks also for the many Reading tips.

I’ve added a few of my recent place reviews from October last year, I used to live in Oxford and then 11miles outside for well over 20 years so very fond of the place. I think that if you like Craft beer then the Cowley Rd area is excellent and a relatively recent addition Big Scary Monsters is great place with a fab range.


You also have Brewdog a very short walk from here and whilst recent going’s on within the company have soured the brand somewhat for me, there is no denying the Oxford venue is one of the nicer smaller establishments of theirs.

I am also a big fan of The Library, it is a great little place and again not far to walk from Big Scary Monsters, the tap choice is limited but usually has something decent, but the fridges are usually well stacked. I haven’t been to the Star for a long while and I know that it has recently been under threat but it has always been a decent boozer.

I know that I am biased but I really like Oxford but for me, my drinking would usually focus on the Cowley Rd area.

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A record shop AND a beer venue? How cool is that? This week is starting to look more hopeful!

If you haven’t done Oxford before then there is plenty to go at. As above the Teardrop is excellent, there is also another beer bar just opened up in the covered market, I haven’t managed to get there yet to check it over yet though.
The more traditional pubs, highlighted in places, are well worth a wander round, you will find plenty to go at, probably enough to keep you going for around 3 days of your week.
A quick train trip to Reading is worth while, particularly for the Nags Head, but also for a good saunter round. A bus trip to Abingdon, or if the weather is good, a walk along the Isis (Thames) to Abingdon is a great day.


Do you know the name of the new one @imdownthepub? Can’t see it on the covered market’s website; I might like to give it a go next time I’m in Oxford.

It’s called Gulp Fiction, it’s a pub cum 2nd Hand Bookshop combo. It has the same opening hours as the Teardrop. As I haven’t been there yet I cannot tell you what beers are available but a friend visited last week and enjoyed his time there, but maybe he is more a traditional beer drinker than craft.

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I have added it on here now, just in case it is worth visiting. They are showing West Berkshire bottles on their Facebook page so a little concerned.

Thanks for that @imdownthepub. Their Facebook also mentions having Tap Social on tap, which is a bit more hopeful…

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