Reading Beer Guide: Your Reading guide to beer, beer bars, breweries and brewpubs

Latest reviews from Reading

68 /100
Brew Republic (Internet-based)
ONE, ARLINGTON BUSINESS PARK, WATERSIDE DRIVE
“An online bottleshop and subscription service that seem to be going down the Beer52 or Honestbrew route. The one thing that sets them apart is that they have two options - a craft beer box or a traditional beer box. Their beers are from all over the UK and Europe, however the vast majority are from Beekshire and its neighbouring counties of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Wiltshire. I really only ordered from them because they have commissioned a few beers and therefore wanted to tick them off. Although with focus on more local breweries they will have ticks for people. Price wise they're not too bad and the postage is competitive. Box arrived within a couple of days However they're not going to compete with those bottleshops that stick all the most sought after beers. Will be interesting to see how they do. Their adverts were all over my Facebook and based on their offerings I suggest that they are looking at the current beer scene as something they can take advantage of rather than aiming for serious tickers, etc.“
BeardedAvenger 5 days ago
62 /100
Mleczko (Grocery Store)
26 WEST STREET
“Thank you wheresthepath for putting me on to this and you have nailed the description. It is a largish supermarket with the drinks section to the right. The beers are now mostly held behind the tills and you have to get one of the girls to show you the beers, luckily they are quite patient. There are a few interesting beers to go at, all Polish on my visit, which was okay with me as I'm trying to get Poland up to 100 rates. Worth popping in.“
imdownthepub 41 days ago
64 /100
Mleczko (Grocery Store)
26 WEST STREET
“At the unfashionable end of Reading town centre lies this larger-than-average Polish shop, which I believe is part of a small chain. As with all Polish shops I've visited in the UK, there's interesting food to try, the deli counter looks and smells tempting, and the staff are always friendly. The beer selection (near the tills) is a little larger than most Polish shops (40-50 different brews), and includes some craft styles from Amber along with a notably high number of radlers. Overall, not a bad place; I'd go there again.“
wheresthepath 367 days ago
58 /100 57 ST. MARYS BUTTS
“This is a traditional boozer in the centre of Reading by the makeshift market stalls. Chatty and friendly inside, warm and cozy on a cold winters afternoon. By all accounts there are more beers available at the weekend but there were 5 cask beers on during our visit. Loddon is an ever present then topped up from the Ei guest beer list, so nothing too ground breaking. The kegs are all macro brews. Not a beer destination pub but fits in on the way from The Alehouse to The Castle Tap.“
imdownthepub 379 days ago
68 /100 224 KENNET SIDE
“Nice location on the Kennet Side, close to the Kennet and Avon Canal. Not more than 20 minutes walk from the central, pedestrian area, of Reading. Gives, indeed, a cottage-like impression with a medium-sized L-shape bar room in wooden interiors. Four cask ales and craft beers on keg and bottles. We had well kept ales from XT, Siren and Arbor. Tasty fish n' chips. Friendly service. British indie rock in the back, from Liam Gallagher among others. (Visited with Finn 24.10.2019).“
Rune 380 days ago
76 /100 11 CASTLE STREET
“Medium-sized, modern BrewDog bar located downtown, about ten minutes walk from the railway station. They had 18 beers on tap from the ongoing Collabfest 2019, all of them available in thirds. Friendly, helpful, and informative service. British and American indie rock in the back. (Visited with Finn 20.10.2019).“
Rune 387 days ago
68 /100 120 CASTLE STREET
“A cozy, medium-sized pub with a retro touch. The five cask ales are supported by craft beers on kegs, and a quite large bottle selection. Friendly and informative service. Live piano music, short-lived, followed by ska music in the back. Relaxing atmosphere. (Visited with Finn 20.10.2019).“
Rune 388 days ago
76 /100
Nags Head (Bar)
5 RUSSELL STREET
“Packed with people watching Manchester United vs Liverpool on TV. We were lucky to find a table and two chairs and joined in singing both You'll never walk alone and the supporter tune for Ole Gunnars Team. Really good vibe in a pub that is located in a residential area just outside the central part of town. A proper freehouse with 12 cask ales, and just as many craft ales on the taps. Pulled pork for food. Friendly service. Excellent traditional British pub! (Visited with Finn 20.10.2019).“
Rune 388 days ago
70 /100
Greyfriar (Bar)
53 GREYFRIARS ROAD
“The street corner pub can be seen right ahead from the exit of the train station. A freehouse with a bar serving two sections of the pub. Eight rotating cask ales, and quite a few craft beers on the taps. All the cask ales were new when we came back a few days later. Decorated with lots of pump clips. Traditional classic blues and soul music in the back. Relaxing Sunday feel. Polite service. (Visited with Finn 20.10.2019).“
Rune 388 days ago
66 /100
Grumpy Goat (Beer Store)
8 HARRIS ARCADE
“Located in an arch in the middle of an arcade, not far from the train station. Cool little bottle shop with two small rooms. Mostly beers but also cheese and some other stuff. Spotted two chairs and a table outside, so it might be possible to open a bottle or two at the premises. Relatively good range of beers, including a section on Scandinavian bottles. Polite service. Open on Sundays. (Visited with Finn 20.10.2019).“
Rune 388 days ago
72 /100
Alehouse (Bar)
2 BROAD STREET
“A very pleasant revisited after many years. Not much has changed since I first visited the pub in March 2005, the pub was then called the Hobgoblin (my 2005-rating in BITE). Still the same dark wooden layout with the main barroom at the entrance leading up to a narrow corridor with a few cozy snugs. Decorated all over with pump clips. Well kept, rotating cask ales served from ten hand-pumps. Located straight down from the train station in the beginning (or end) of the pedestrian area in reading. Polite service. (Visited with Finn 20.10.2019).“
Rune 388 days ago
60 /100 99 - 105 FRIAR STREET
“About five minutes walk from the train station. A central located standard spoons with ten cask ales, four of them from the ongoing autumn festival (last day at our visit). Unusual friendly and informative service. Decent traditional breakfast. Quite busy early on a Sunday before noon. (Visited with Finn 20.10.2019).About“
Rune 388 days ago
80 /100 UNIT 20, STADIUM WAY IND EST.
“My longer review just disappeared on me so here's aabbreviated version. Based in a pretty large industrial unit the place appeared dead other than a couple of smokers sat in the benches outside. However when I opened the front door there was then a roar of chatter and this was about 6:30 on a Thursday evening. The place was packed for the Halloween event. 20-30 tables and benches (I was told that there were more than normal). A large bar with 13 taps and some large glass fronted fridges. For this event there was an extra keg machine set up on a table and a stall from the Grumpy Goat selling cheese boards. The staff were friendly but busy. My main concern was where to go with my drinks but I spotted one table with only a couple at it so sat there. A short while later a guy came and sat opposite where I was and speaking to him it turned out he was a regular. So ended up staying about 2 hours chatting to him, his girlfriend and another couple who ended up on the table. The owners came by thanking people they knew for coming. It just had a really warm positive atmosphere, possible helped by the candlelight. Really good array of beers from the brewery itself and the likes of Unity, Elusive, Glasshouse, Pohjala and Lervig. A similar array of breweries in the fridges. A great place. I've not been to that many one of the most impressive I've been to, even if it was a special event.“
BeardedAvenger 391 days ago
74 /100
Grumpy Goat (Beer Store)
8 HARRIS ARCADE
“Have been meaning to visit this place for a while and finally did... once I'd walked around in circles. I had never noticed the small Victorian (?) shopping arcade it's located in so the Google map directions confused me. it's a tiny place. Cheese counter and till as you walk in and the booze is then in a second room/area to the right. And I was concerned about knocking bottles over with my rucksack. The decor is traditional as befits the location. A decent enough array of modern and oldschool beers from local breweries plus further afield in the UK and Belgium. A few too many boring bitters but I did manage a tick from a Dorset brewery I've never seen before in Southborne as well as a couple from Elusive and Unity. If I was more local I'd definitely drop in to see what new beers were in. Very helpful staff - although one in fact turned out to be a regular customer who was helping out unpacking the delivery they'd just received.“
BeardedAvenger 391 days ago
72 /100 224 KENNET SIDE
“Inviting canal-side pub with outdoor seating and an ok beer range.“
Finn 400 days ago
74 /100 11 CASTLE STREET
“Typical Brewdog.“
Finn 404 days ago
60 /100 120 CASTLE STREET
“Small inviting local pub. Limited selection.“
Finn 404 days ago
72 /100
Nags Head (Bar)
5 RUSSELL STREET
“OK selection. A bit noisy.“
Finn 404 days ago
60 /100
Grumpy Goat (Beer Store)
8 HARRIS ARCADE
“Deep inside an arcade. Ok selection. Also some fine foods. No tasting possibilities.“
Finn 404 days ago
70 /100
Greyfriar (Bar)
53 GREYFRIARS ROAD
“Semi modern corner pub conveniant for the stadion. Good selection. Both cask & keg.“
Finn 404 days ago
70 /100
Alehouse (Bar)
2 BROAD STREET
“Lovely old-time pub. TV in the front room. More quiet options further in.“
Finn 404 days ago
58 /100 99 - 105 FRIAR STREET
“Large typical ´spoons-“
Finn 404 days ago
80 /100 UNIT 20, STADIUM WAY IND EST.
“Visited with Dad for the Friday session in August 2019. The place is easy to find and parking no issue in an industrial estate on the Reading outskirts. The place is huge inside, and it’s the working brewery. There are a good amount of chairs and tables, and when we were there even at 5pm it was well occupied. The bar is big, with 12 taps, many of their own brews, but also some guest beers, the measures are chalked up in half or two thirds, but they also serve thirds, which we went for. The beers are all solid and a wide variety of styles when we were there. To the right of the bar, there is a large fridge with guest beers in cans and bottles, well chosen, organised and priced. Worth a visit for sure.“
CraftBeerNick 475 days ago
64 /100
Botanist (Reading) (Restaurant)
1-5 KING STREET
“Part of a small chain; I've also been to the one in Marlow. The Reading one is housed in a former bank, which makes it rather more gloomy than the Marlow one. Like the Marlow one, the service and food are pretty average; it's one of those chains trying to do the informal gastropub thing, and like all such chains not quite getting it right. The food "twist" in this one is a hint of the eastern Med, and it's a little overpriced for what you get. The beer choice, however, is significantly better than you usually expect from a chain like this. Although there is only one house ale on tap, there is an extensive "Ale Inventory" of 50-60 different beers, divided into sections for the different style groups. They range from lagers to wheat beers to lambics, from pale to dark, and from alcohol free to 12% impy stouts. Admittedly they tend to be mass-market versions of each style - you'll not find anything rare or unusual +although there were VB plenty of new rates for me), and admittedly they're rather over-priced. But this range and variation is unusual and welcome in a chain, and the staff are trained to know and recommend beers and food matching too (they even offer a beer masterclass). So... not a beer destination, but certainly somewhere you can take non-beery friends or family for a nice meal in the safe knowledge you'll get a decent choice of beer.“
wheresthepath 518 days ago
96 /100 120 CASTLE STREET
“Very small but good selection of beers.“
BubbleLiquids24 553 days ago
82 /100 11 CASTLE STREET
“If in Reading this is the modern Craft Beer Bar. Good selection of UK beers other than Brewdog. Siren that is not available except the taproom... Typical brewdog environment though.“
Gerbeer 648 days ago
64 /100 120 CASTLE STREET
“I don’t get the high scores. General small pub atmosphere with some varied casks. Still pretty much esoteric old pub offerings. Ok for a Saturday aft with friends an beer is just a side note.“
Gerbeer 648 days ago
76 /100
Nags Head (Bar)
5 RUSSELL STREET
“Nice small pub with a mix of kegs and casks. Bottled ciders and beers with the latter coverage Belgium and the UK. Some interesting finds.“
Gerbeer 648 days ago
86 /100
Nags Head (Bar)
5 RUSSELL STREET
“Visited 5/2/2019. 15 minute walk from the station on a none too picturesque route, however this pub is a gem and fortunately was just a few doors down from the guest house I happened to be booked in to prior to a meeting close by the next day. Great selection of casks and kegs, plus some bag in box ciders a fairly sensible prices. Service was very good, locals friendly, atmosphere was quite buzzing for a Tuesday evening. Limited food, though it's first and foremost a beer pub and it does that very well.“
Grumbo 648 days ago
80 /100
Grumpy Goat (Beer Store)
8 HARRIS ARCADE
“Visited 5/2/2019. Nice shop tucked away in a small shopping arcade full of an eclectic mix of shops. As you enter the shop, you’re met by a pungent aroma of cheese as you walk by the counter on the way to the beers. Decent selection of both. It’s occasionally crossed my mind that if I had to give up some things, what two things would I not be able to give up and the answer is beer and cheese, so I might be slightly biased when reviewing a shop dedicated to those two things! But it is a really good shop and if I wasn’t limited in terms of amount I could carry I’d have certainly bought more than I did. Service was very good, helpful and interested in me as a customer without being overbearing. Definitely a Reading highlight.“
Grumbo 648 days ago
88 /100
Nags Head (Bar)
5 RUSSELL STREET
“What a great place, we started our tour of 22 English counties here, and stepped into a time machine, leaving us at the 80s , great music from The Clash, and the beer selection and ambience to fit, there is a beer for everyone here, good service, nice pub grub, what more can you ask for?“
gunnar 695 days ago
70 /100 11 CASTLE STREET
“Modern looking bar as always with Brew Dog, we arrived late, and was the only customers a long time. 14 brewdogs beer on tap, amongst them a small batch, Coconut & Yuzu, fruit IPA. 6 guests. Good music at our visit, Smiths, Clash and Talking Heads.“
gunnar 695 days ago
70 /100 11 CASTLE STREET
“Visited on tour to 22 southern counties with OGJ and EE 02.01.19. Large, and mostly empty, hipster place with industrial style interior. At least over 20 beers on keg.“
Holmen2 695 days ago
86 /100
Nags Head (Bar)
5 RUSSELL STREET
“Visited on tour to 22 southern counties with OGJ and EE 02.01.19. 12 interesting ales on cask from various micros, all served without sparkler. A superb and lively boozer with a local atmosphere. Friendly service with offer of samples of the ale. They also have a seletion of single malt whiskies. Highly recommended.“
Holmen2 695 days ago
74 /100
Grumpy Goat (Beer Store)
8 HARRIS ARCADE
“Small bottle shop with a great selection of UK craft. Also sells some stuff from Europe and the US. Prices are still on the bottom of the bottles/cans.“
YantarCoast 696 days ago
42 /100 99 - 105 FRIAR STREET
“Very busy on our visit and was not enough staff. Just a typical spoons pub.“
joe19612 761 days ago
64 /100 STATION APPROACH
“Visit was on a Saturday afternoon was not very busy, food was available when we visiting. All pumps and taps were on.“
joe19612 761 days ago
78 /100 11 CASTLE STREET
“Above average Brewdog bar. Usual modern BD interior. Friendly and knowledgeable service. Good selection of own stuff, plus list of guest beers was particularly interesting. Usual BD pricing. Worth a look for sure.“
UKBeerGeek 800 days ago
74 /100 120 CASTLE STREET
“This place looks more like a coffee shop than a bar, atmosphere was quite relaxed. Service was OK but not terribly enthusiastic. Selection was OK, if a bit pedestrian. Prices OK. Not bad but there are better places in Reading for beer.“
UKBeerGeek 802 days ago
84 /100
Nags Head (Bar)
5 RUSSELL STREET
“Rather large, traditional looking bar. Service was friendly. Big selection of beers on cask and keg, also impressive selection of Belgian beers in bottles. Didn't try the food. Prices were decent. Best bar in Reading.“
UKBeerGeek 802 days ago
76 /100
Alehouse (Bar)
2 BROAD STREET
“Scruffy looking boozer close to the centre of town, quite small. Pump clips and beer mats seem to cover every available surface. The guy that served me was friendly and knew his beers quite well. Selection was OK but a bit limited in terms of style. Prices were good. Worth a look.“
UKBeerGeek 802 days ago
50 /100 163 FRIAR STREET
“This place was better as a Spoons pub, it's not really worth bothering with now“
Cheeseboard 859 days ago
60 /100 9 GUN STREET
“'Interesting' venue, more of a dive bar / club vibe rather than a daytime haunt, it's good for a late drink if other places are closed. Two or three cask options, nothing too exciting, plus eurotrash macro bottles. Garden out the back which is a nice suntrap in the summer“
Cheeseboard 859 days ago
70 /100 120 CASTLE STREET
“One room pub, relaxed ambience more cafe bar style. A small but select choice of beers (both cask & keg), including some unusual options.“
Cheeseboard 859 days ago
84 /100
Nags Head (Bar)
5 RUSSELL STREET
“The Nag's Head stands out as Reading's best beer venue. It is located just west of central Reading, some 15mins from the train stations. It has captured that great balance of traditional boozer and contemporary beer bar. They offer 13 cask ales, 12 kegs and various bag in box and polypin ciders. O also noticed a couple of fridge which included some local breweries. On my visit I saw the backend of a crazy Tiny Rebel take over which dominated most taps. Local vibes on a Sunday at midday. Friendly staff and good prices. Hard to complain really.“
Scopey 866 days ago
78 /100 11 CASTLE STREET
“Brewdog Reading outpost is centrally located but 10mins walk from the train station. Good hours, opening at 11am on a Sunday, which suited me just fine. Rather big inside with he signature stripped-back / industrial BD style with a fairly high ceiling. Didn't find it dark or dingy like previous, but it was a rather sunny day. 20 taps on offer with a 7 guests on during my visit including some obscure stuff. As expected friendly and well trained staff. Couple of fridges for takeaway beer (they also do growler fills) at the back next to pinball machines. I would say definitely I'm the top half of BD bars and a nice addition to the Reading beer scene.“
Scopey 866 days ago
70 /100 11 CASTLE STREET
“This was the third Brewdog I've visited. Whilst the previous two had their faults, I'd still loved Camden for its laid-back cosy friendliness, and Shepherd's Bush for its great beer range. So how would their CV new Reading venue compare? Well, unfortunately not very favourably. On walking in it was gloomy and dingy, like some low-life dive bar. There's some booths to the left, weird and possibly dangerous tiered seating at the back, and some pinball machines (yay!) beyond the long bar. The bar staff were friendly and knowledgeable about their beers (as per all the Brewdog bars); unfortunately, the range they had to offer was a bit basic. There's the standard Brewdog range, a few fairly unexciting Brewdog "specials", and a fairly limited guest beer roster (although it did have an unusual Bruery beer). We bought two beer flights (four thirds-of-a-pint on each) - apart from the Bruery beer they were all either low-strength beers and/or Brewdog supermarket beers (the friend I was with does play it a bit safe sometimes!), but it came to an eye-popping eighteen quid! I may not have noticed these prices at their London branches (as London is always overpriced), but it feelss a rip-off in Reading. Overall, it felt a little dingy, and from what I've seen in the bar and on their online tap list) the range is not good enough to justify the high prices. If I was passing I might stick my head in to see if there was anything unusual on, and maybe grab a quick third if there was, but I'd soon move on to the cheaper, comfier, friendlier and frankly better Castle Tap and Bags Head, both just a few minutes' walk up the road. Given the Brewdog boys past form I'd maybe think it was just me being old and out of touch, but I've even heard the hipster kids in Reading (yes, there are some!) saying they won't go back due to the prices. I can't help but feel Brewdog have misjudged this one, and if they want to continue their roll out into the Shires they need to adjust their offering.“
wheresthepath 907 days ago
74 /100 11 CASTLE STREET
“This building has had many different owners and names over the years and always seems to have struggled, now obtained by Brewdog, lets hope that with these running the show it will have more success. Off centre, which is the way for most pubs in Reading, so a small walk from the Railway Station. Due to its previous incarnations it does have the feel of a comfortable bar, more so than many in this chain, the stripping back has been less aggressive industrial here, just electrical trunking showing, it's also a lot larger than many, there is a mixture of tiled floors, rough cut wood and even comfy seating in places. If this is the route that BD is taking now then I'm for it. Should now be part of the regular tour of Reading.“
imdownthepub 918 days ago
78 /100
Grumpy Goat (Beer Store)
8 HARRIS ARCADE
“Compact bottle shop with a cheese counter. Strong range with breweries I've not seen in Brum. Beers are laid out by style rather than brewery. Prices are on the bottom of the bottles, which is a bit of a pain. Was left alone to browse, which is a massive plus point.“
tommann 981 days ago
76 /100
Grumpy Goat (Beer Store)
8 HARRIS ARCADE
“Beer & cheese shop, what’s not to like? I think these guys may have moved to a bigger shop at some point but it’s still in the same arcade. There was a good selection available of UK, European and world beers. I’d prefer to have seen more obvious pricing, and more of the stock refrigerated. Bought some beers but didn’t know how much I was being charged. Not ideal. It’s still a place I’d visit though, the best bottle shop in the area as far as I know“
Cheeseboard 986 days ago