wheresthepath (90) , England | September 11, 2008
78 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 17/20
Itís a little way out of town, but itís still worth making the trip to this great little traditional boozer. Itís tied to the Hop Back Brewery, and usually has 6 of their brews on handpump (Entire Stout, GFB, Oddyssey, Crop Circle, Summer Lightning and one seasonal) plus one or two guest beers (usually from the Downton brewery, which seems to have some sort of link to Hop Back). They also offer other Hop Back Beers in bottles, and a real cider (Westonís Old Rosie from memory). Itís one of the few places left in Reading to still have a bar billiards table (my favourite pub game) plus also a dartboard. In an area of Reading where the pubs generally have one old bloke at the bar with half a pint in front of him, this pub is a rare oasis of liveliness, yet with a very laid back - and occassionally slightly bohemian - atmosphere. The staff are welcoming and helpful, and the clientele generally friendly - you feel you could happily come in here on your own and still end up having a good time. Well worth a visit if youíre in the area, especially if youíre a fan of Hop Back beers or bar billiards!