Craft beer and real ale in Hampshire and beyond

This is an archive of all my posts about craft beer and real ale including my guide on where to buy fresh ale and beer to take away in Hampshire and beer tasting tips for beginners.

The ultimate guide to Southampton’s craft beer bars and real ale pubs – including best pub crawls with maps and directions

This in-depth guide to Southampton’s best craft beer and real ale pubs, micropubs and bars includes recommended pub crawls with maps and directions, plus information on local breweries, getting around, where to stay and more. Comments, improvements, suggestions, corrections? Leave a comment below or contact me.

A few months back, I popped up to Leeds to check out the city’s oft-hyped craft beer scene.… Read more

Five unusual places to drink craft beer and real ale in Hampshire

Read on to discover five weird and wonderful places to drink real ale and craft beer in Hampshire. Then add your own suggestions in the comments at the bottom of the post.

A few weeks ago on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I popped along to the Bursledon Brickworks Museum near Southampton.

It was no normal day at the museum – today was its first beer festival, and it wasn’t long until I was browsing the museum’s collection of vintage arcade games with a real ale in hand.… Read more

Searching for Hampshire’s best burger at: The Rockstone, Southampton [review]

Mention burgers in Southampton and most people think of 7Bone Burger Co or the Rockstone.

I finally got round to rating 7Bone’s offering earlier this year. Now it was the Rockstone’s turn in my search for Hampshire’s best burger.

I regularly visit the Rockstone for a beer or three. But it’s been a while since I’ve eaten there. That changed last week when Tiff and I popped in for an impromptu midweek burger.… Read more

Searching for Hampshire’s best burger at: The Crown Inn, Bishop’s Waltham [review]

Until a couple of years ago, the Crown Inn was best avoided if you were after fine food and drink (think sticky carpets and faded Sky Sports banners drooping over the entrances).

Then came a £2 million makeover for this 16th-century coaching inn, which turned it from unloved watering hole into a posh pub, restaurant and hotel.

We headed to the Crown for a late-afternoon Sunday lunch last week.… Read more

A walking tour of Winchester’s best real ale pubs and historic sites

If you like sightseeing and love beer, the roman city of Winchester is perfect.

Not only is there lots of history, heritage and fine architecture dotted throughout the city’s medieval streets, but there are also many excellent traditional pubs serving excellent real ale.

This pub crawl and walking tour of Winchester allows you to see many of the sights of the city while sampling real ale from some of Hampshire’s 30+ breweries.… Read more

The great keg beer rip off?

Why is keg craft beer more expensive than cask beer and ale? To find out, I asked some of the south’s top brewers and publicans. Here’s what I learnt.

Kegs – through their association with bland, mass-produced beer and lager – used to be a dirty word when it came to quality beer and ale.

Not so anymore.

While some real ale stalwarts will only drink draught beer served from a cask, savvy drinkers recognise that there are now lots of decent craft keg beers available in the UK.… Read more