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

Latest reviews from Derby

76 /100 203 SIDDALS ROAD
“The thing I don’t like about this pub is that it’s too good ! This and the adjacent Brunswick are such destinations in their own right, and so near the railway station that it’s difficult to persuade visitors to walk past and see all the other brilliant pubs that Derby has to offer. Was the founding place of Derby CAMRA back in the 1970s and has since gone through many ups and downs. Currently a Castle Rock house, but the licensees have a great deal of influence over its character. Entering from the street – you are currently instructed to ring the bell and wait to be served. There is then a one way system you have to observe – if you are allowed in ! This review will describe the situation pre-Covid though. Turn left and you reach the main bar. The room is long and thin with the bar on the right. This is a dart board in the left-hand corner, next to a real fire. Everywhere else is absolutely covered in railway memorabilia, from an enormous electronic clock on the ceiling, to worksplates, mileposts and station nameboards. If you had turned right you would have reached the lounge. There’s a small bar here. Room is similarly furnished, but much less so. It does have some rabbits in a cage though. There is a beer garden out the back – which is probably where you’ll end up if you visit at popular times. The railway theme continues here with more signs, and reaches it’s climax with a complete cab of a class 37 locomotive ! In terms of beer, it definitely majors on real ale. About 8 handpumps in total. Always 2 or Castle Rock beers, but the others can be from anywhere. Always a couple of darker beers too. Also 3 or 4 “craft keg” beers – which are worth investigating. There are a few continental bottles available too, but I’ve never investigated those. Unfortunately the beer served tends to be on the cold side. Food is basically bar snacks – though there is a large range of those. Majoring on scotch eggs. So, is this the best pub in Derby ? Well I wouldn’t like to say that – but it’s certainly in the top 10. Ticking wise it’s certainly possible you will find some here – though nowadays the Smithfield is best for that. “
Martinsh 43 days ago
64 /100 55 AGARD STREET
“Thought I’d better review this place as there have been changes recently, and they no longer brew their own beer. All previous reviews should be disregarded. Former back street pub, which became more prominent when the street it’s on got considerably widened as part of a one way scheme. Impossible to miss, as the building is covered in huge murals depicting scenes of old Derby. Unfortunately these have seen better days. Once inside it is open plan and surprisingly light and airy. The bar is on the right, there is comfortable seating around the perimeter walls, with a focus on cushions (!). Further seating is available upstairs, but I have never been there, and there is a small beer garden out the back. In terms of beer, there are six or seven cask ales. Their own house beer “Golden Eagle bitter” is brewed by Greene King, and Titanic Plum Porter is a constant too. On my last visit there were two beers from Aldwark Artisan, but I’m not sure how regular that is. A couple of ciders and two or three mainstream “craft” beers as well. Pre Covid it was a regular venue for live music, but that has yet to resume. No food currently, as they have been unable to recruit a chef. Sometimes street food in the beer garden though. Definitely worth seeking out – a tick or two almost certainly awaits. “
Martinsh 52 days ago
“A basic free house, this won't be on your to do list. Ales were ok but nothing special, visit if you are in the area but not a lot to recommend this place.“
Beermenace 60 days ago
“Been here many a time, so some of the comments relate to the situation pre-Covid – but it hasn’t changed all that much anyway. Well the first look isn’t promising. From the main street it advertises itself as the “Georgian House Hotel” and looks every inch an upmarket establishment. However, malk down the side and there’s a red door marked “Mr Grundy’s”. As you enter you will hear fairly loud music (probably 1970s) from a PA system, but don’t worry you can barely hear it once you get inside. Turning left inside you come to the bar – which is absolutely festooned with hops and other bric-a-brac as is the rest of the room. Even a red phone box ! At the mpoment there is minimal seating here, but there used to be very comfortable chairs and tables. Most seating is now out the back – there are a few tables under a canopy then a huge open area with rustic tables. Major sporting events are shown on TVs – with an emphasis on rugby. Beer is mainly from their own on-site brewery. Usually 3 or 4 of theirs (colour of pump-clip = colour of beer !) and two or three guests, often one from Black Hole brewery which is in the same ownership. Beware, the chalked beer-list may be incorrect. Food is available (though not currently mid-week lunchtimes). Good hearty pub-food with large portions and reasonable prices. The place is a bit tatty, and service can be slow, but it has it’s own charm and a friendliness you can’t help but like. “
Martinsh 80 days ago
“Been coming here for a few years now, and in that time its star has waxed and waned. Currently, at an all time high. New management has meant that it has won local CAMRA “pub of the year” for the last 3 years. A bit difficult to get to, but straightforward if you start from the Exeter Arms ! Situated by the riverside and a curved shape is because it was previously on a street corner leading to a (now demolished) bridge. There’s a small pool / TV room on the left as you enter, but the bar and all the action are to the right. A bright and airy semi-circular room with seating on the convex side, and various memorabilia on the walls. Note the collection of old drinks trays above the bar. At the far end is another room which accesses the other side of the bar. Then there are steps down to the terrace by the river. A wonderful sun-trap this, featuring lots of wrought iron tables. Post Covid, this area has been extended into the adjacant car park. Now for the beer. Well it’s hard to disagree with their own description of themselves as “a ticker’s paradise” ! There are 8 real ales. Always Bass (in honour of the legendary Lana) , the 7 others are all from obscure breweries all over the country. I feel disappointed if I can’t find a brewery tick here ! The left 2 pumps are always dark beers as well. Also have a range of about six craft keg taps – though I’ve never got as far as sampling them. Quality is always very good as well. The only food is Sausage Sunday Various events are held, live gigs at the weekend, plus country-rock discos with the legendary Mick Moonshine. I think there is also a cheese evening during the week. Beer festivals have been known to happen. Almost forgot, a (small) CAMRA discount. If you visit regularly (i.e. a least once a year) then they apply the discount for you without being asked ! One of the best pubs, in one of the best towns for pubs in the country. Excellent !! “
Martinsh 97 days ago
74 /100
Flowerpot (Bar)
“Well, here we are back again ! My first place rating since pubs reopened. Have been to this place many a time before, and went again last week. Thigns have changed a bit of course, so this review is a mixture of “how it was” and “as is”. It’s on the corner of a busy street just north of the city centre, and has a reputation for two things, Live Music and Real Ale. As you enter it appears to be only a small place with the bar on the left, a small seating area and toilets to the right. But, as you go further in the larger it gets ! There’s a large beer garden to the rear right which sometimes has live music, and other artistic performances. Rear left are further, larger, seating areas. The farthest one can get cordoned off when paying gigs are taking place. There’s also reputedly a “basement bar” that I’ve never actually found. All rooms are decorated with pictures of bygone Derby – including one featuring my grandfather ! [ A school photo ] So, back to the main bar. In normal times there are about 8 cask beers on handpump here. Further beers are available elsewhere, to give a total of about 12. There is a list at the end of the bar, showing just hwat is available, including % and style (“T” = “traditional” !). There are one or two macro beers, but most are from small breweries nationwide. Always one or two dark beers available. [ Currently offering a reduced range of about 8 beers in total ] Perhaps a word about the music now ? Live gigs take place 2 or 3 nights a week. Mainly (professional) tribute acts but also the occasional “whatever happened to” act from 20-30 years ago (e.g. China Crisis), and some contemporary “roots” artists. Free gigs also take place midweek and Sunday lunchtimes. Gurkha curry nights take place on Tuesday evenings – these are highly recommended. Only other food is (was) bar snacks and baps. CAMRA discount is (was) available – but only on pints. A beer festival “Potfest” usually takes place at the end of August. Almost forgot – there is an on-site brewery, though it is currently out of action. Both Black Iris and Lenton Lane started up here, before moving elsewhere. It may have rather a careworn look and be pretty empty offpeak, but it is definitely worth visiting. “
Martinsh 99 days ago
68 /100 37-38 QUEEN STREET
“New (July 2019) bar occupying prominent position on corner diagonally opposite Olde Dolphin. Has a laid back minimalist feel with wooden floors, and plenty of space around tables. Big glass windows plus a long bench and high stools make it a perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. Also a giant purple tree mural in one corner ! Has 8 craft keg taps, flanked by two handpumps. The cask ales are usually local, often Dancing duck or Ashover, and change regularly. The keg taps tend to be more contstant, but do rotate over time. Currently three German, three Belgian, one from Tiny Rebel, and a cider. Never seen anything really unusual / exciting there though. The is also a small range of bottled beers. I’m sure there used to be a printed Beer Menu, but I didn’t see one on my latest visit. I think this is is a “verified venue” for the Yellow site. I like this place, but unfortunately whenever I’ve visited it has been pretty much empty. There are ticking possibilities here, but that isn’t the market it’s aimed at. “
Martinsh 229 days ago
82 /100 203 SIDDALS ROAD
“Marvellous railway-themed pub chock full of old memorabilia from the good old days, with an appealing platform clock on the ceiling. Lovely coal fireplace and darts board. Good honest down to earth pub that doesn't just focus on the trad cask, some hoppy keg and a nice range of modern craft cans, bottles and some Belgian / German options. 6 good box ciders too. Great place, wish we had something like this closer to home.“
minutemat 233 days ago
“Lovely old pub oozing lots of charm. Built in 1841 as part of a purpose built village for railway workers nearby, the area fell into disrepair in the 70s and threatened with demolition. Thankfully the ardent enthusiasm for the railway meant it was preserved and reopened in the 80s. Now a lively, popular multi-roomed pub, surprisingly busy on this Monday evening. We grabbed a seat next to the wood fire with our dog. Good range of predominantly cask ales with 5 of their own available, plus others from regional suppliers. We came predominantly because it was named cider pub of the year 2018 (CAMRA I think), but we expected more than just 6 box ciders, including 2 novelty options (sticky toffee pudding etc.), i picked up a nice local cider though. Good pork pies. Their own brewed stout was decent too. Really liked the atmosphere in this place.. especially with the Alexander round the corner.“
minutemat 233 days ago
72 /100
Suds & Soda (Beer Store)
“Visited on a short tour of Derby; this was the last stop after The Alexander and Brunswick Inn, and was very much in stark contrast to these two old school pubs. Small, modern, box-shop style place with a small amount of bench seats, shelving with around 150 bottles / cans and small bar at the back with ten or so taps. A Pollys tap takeover seems to have just taken place the weekend before so selection seemed weighted towards them, though there were a couple of local-ish breweries. Bottle range was typically craft, decent selection, at the higher price-point, even ambitiously stocking some of the notoriously expensive American spontan beers which no one buys (£33 for 500ml). Two Hogans ciders. The place is fine, good to catch up on the latest craft releases, but I just find myself veering towards places like the Alexander Hotel nowadays.“
minutemat 235 days ago
76 /100 51 SADLER GATE
“Bit of a difficult one to describe this, as there are several parts to it. I normally visit the front bar though, and that has the largest range of beers – so it’s what I will describe. The first thing you will notice when entering the Tavern bar is how long and thin it is. The long side faces the street so there is plenty of light. This feeling is emphasised by the bar taking up most of the rear of the room. Elsewhere there is mixed seating, including high stools and comfy sofas. Seating tends to get rearranged periodically so I won’t ay anything moor about it. Décor is mainly brown with cream walls on which there are plenty of old prints and political caricatures. Low wooden beams overhead as well. Offerings at the bar are dispensed through a set of 8 handpumps, which are flanked by two sets of 6 keg taps. Whilst not all macro, the keg taps are pretty much mainstream and tend to rarely change. As regards cask beers, Bass is always available, along with a house beerr (Derby brewery). Other beers may come from anywhere though there are usually some local ones (Littleover, Dancing Duck), and often one from Imperial brewery (South Yorkshire). Beer quality is usually pretty good. [ NB there may be one or two pumps blank on quieter days ] Food is served all day (except Sundays), and can be a handy choice when other places are too busy or closed. Weekday menu is mainly sandwiches, small plates and burgers (though there are other choices). Quality is good, but value for money is variable. Sunday has a separate Roast of the Day menu – which I haven’t tried as there are no trains to Derby on a Sunday ! The place was completely refurbished a few years ago, so is still a bit pristine. However, it is a regular stop on my Derby pub crawls, and is definitely recommended. By the way, other parts I haven’t described include the Tudor Bar, dining room, grand ballroom and accommodation. “
Martinsh 268 days ago
66 /100
Suds & Soda (Beer Store)
“Only open from 4pm in the winter mid-week. More of a bar with a number of taps and a additional display of bottles & cans. Double check the best before dates as I noticed a few which were out of date a couple of months. Service was so so as they were busy and I wasn't noticed. I got discount on the one out of date bottle I decided to purchase once I told them.“
Jerseyislandbeer 299 days ago
72 /100 5A QUEEN ST
“A pub which claims to be Derby's oldest pub, so expect a very traditional place with a number of rooms. A choice of a number of well kept ales. Reasonable pub to stop in for a pint if your passing, as I was.“
Jerseyislandbeer 299 days ago
78 /100 19 FULL STREET
“A decent pub in a handsome building serving a good choice of 8 ales & tasty food. Service was good.“
Jerseyislandbeer 299 days ago
56 /100
Flowerpot (Bar)
“A pub on the north of the city centre with a rough & ready feel. Choice of ales & the service was good. It seems to be a music venue.“
Jerseyislandbeer 299 days ago
80 /100 13 EXETER PLACE
“A small & cosy old pub which is the tap for the Dancing Duck brewery. They had a few of there own well made on tap plus a list of quality guests. A good sized patio at the back for the summer. Service was ok.“
Jerseyislandbeer 299 days ago
“A outstanding pub operating as the tap for the Derby brewery, who's own beers a very good. They had 3 on tap on my visit plus a number of very good guest ales. Friendly service. I liked the ambiance so much here I visited 3 times over my 2 day visit.“
Jerseyislandbeer 299 days ago
“A outstanding & spacious brewpub only a short distance from the train station. A choice of 4 of there own well made brewed ales plus a number of quality guest ales. Very hearty & tasty pork pies served in the bar, with a restaurant upstairs. They have a selection of 6 or so of there own bottled beers to take away. Service was friendly & efficient, and prices were good.“
Jerseyislandbeer 299 days ago
58 /100 203 SIDDALS ROAD
“A down to earth local with a good choice of guest real ales plus The Castle Rock regulars. Very busy on my visit due to the football.“
Jerseyislandbeer 299 days ago
74 /100 5A QUEEN ST
“Traditional pub spreading over several rooms. Wasn't that crowded in the early afternoon, we had the cozy back room for ourselves. Classic pub interior with some interesting details. Decent selection of cask beers which were new to me. The beer ere just average to OK, but nothing more than that. If you're nearby check it out, wouldn't say it's worth a detour.“
Iznogud 299 days ago
74 /100 28-32 IRON GATE
“A Wetherspoons so normal style of rating doesn’t apply, and it’s “fill in the blanks” time ! Standard of service : reasonable. Most staff seem reasonably attentive, and know how to pour pints. Can be difficult to get served – as can be very busy. Range of Beers : Pretty d*mn good ! There are 24 handpumps in all (4 x 6) and usually 2 sets contain nothing but guest beers. During Wetherspoons Festivals there is usually a separate stillage area at the rear, which has ALL the beers in the festival. Choice of Beers : tends to concentrate on local breweries such as Falstaff, Derventio and Leatherbritches. Quality of Beers : have to say “variable” I’m afraid. Sometimes they are fine, but lately they have tended to be served too cold. Probably too much adherance to Cask Marque guidelines ! Recently I was served a freezing cold pint of Falstaff Darkside which was a travesty of a beer – until it warmed up, when it became gorgeous. Have known beers to be “off” as well. Food : reasonable, in terms of choice, quality and speed of service Cleanliness : as noted above can get very busy. At those times empty plates and glasses can pile up, but they usually get cleared pretty promptly afterwards. Decor : can only say “magnificent”. A former bank building with a huge vaulted ceiling and enormous portraits on the walls. RateBeer advice : Always worth popping in to see what’s available. Best to check it out at quiest times though. “
Martinsh 312 days ago
82 /100 203 SIDDALS ROAD
“Solid local, tatty round the edges but a convivial welcome none the less. The Castle Rock ales are supplemented by a few guests, one of which a Triple Choccy Stout I eagerly quaffed down. The railway theme is a nice touch too, worth venturing into with the Brunswick just round the corner.“
Beermenace 386 days ago
82 /100 179 KEDLESTON ROAD
“I have to admit a personal interest in this place – I was the first ever customer back when it opened in December 2018 ! A micropub – but a rather big one. The proprietor here has done what I’m sure a lot of us would like to do, and converted his home into a pub ! Bar is in the room on the left as you enter, and on the right in that room. Bar room has a small number of chairs and tables –with an emphasis on cushions. The other room (on the right as you enter) as quite different. Done out with green walls covered in paintings, and more formal arrangement of chairs and tables. I refer to this as the “green room” but I’m not sure if that is official. Recently opened is a beer garden to the rear of the premises, accessed via the green room and what is obviously a former garage. Includes a water feature incorporating a fire escape ! There are five hamppumps serving beer of excellent quality. They have their own “Nailed It” beer brewed by Derby Brewery, and the other beers usually include some local ones. Falstaff and Hartshorns have been seen. 3 or 4 macro lager taps as well. I’m not sure about bottles or cider. Games are available to play (including Dobble !). The green room sometimes hosts events / exhibitions. I believe these include live music, but that has never happened when I’ve been there. An absolute cracker of a pub – one of my favourites. “
Martinsh 403 days ago
“Well I certainly didn’t expect to find this place on RateBeer ! It’s an oold school boozer which has followed the trend for sports TV. You won’t find any ticks here as there is only ever a maximum of 3 cask beers available (and only macro keg). Latterly only two as well. Normally Exmoor Gold and Bass, but last time I had Exmoor Fox as the brewery had sent the wrong beer ! Beer quality is good without being anything special.“
Martinsh 414 days ago
“Micropub in historic suburb which is now the brewery tap for Hartshorns. One room only, a strange “slice of cake” shape (due to location on street corner). Bar is at the rear in a former storeroom that has been opened out. Old prints of Derby on the walls, plus a display of beermats, with descriptions giving the history of each brewery represented. Four cask beers are usually available, 3 from Hartshorns themselves plus a guest. A very small number of “Craft keg” taps and bottles are also available, but they are pretty much the “usual suspects”. It’s a nice friendly place, but somehow I’ve never managed to get wildly excited about it, nor the beers on offer. “
Martinsh 414 days ago
72 /100 13 EXETER PLACE
“This is a food lead pub just off the centre of Derby,close to the inner ring road. Whilst being quite foodie the beer isn't forgotten, they have their own brewery beers plus a few guest ales. There is a friendly welcome, dogs are also welcomed. Comfortable but too late I noticed a patio out the back which would have been nice. Well worth a look.“
imdownthepub 516 days ago
“Multi Room pub with a large choice of cask beers. Both those I tried were in good condition. A visit to Derby not complete without coming here, especially since it is within 5 minutes walk of the railway station.“
moleha4 561 days ago
78 /100
Suds & Soda (Beer Store)
“A lively bar on a Friday evening offering many bottles and cans plus a few well chosen kegs/key kegs from micro breweries. A nice change to all the nice olde-worlde pubs in Derby city centre.“
b727trijet 603 days ago
“Its a bit off the beaten path, but when you finally hit the door here you're in for an absolute treat. Greeted by a line of cask handpulls and several t-bars of draught beer dispensers I was in hog heaven. Beer quality here is second to none, especially in the cask range. There is some serious attention to detail being given to every beer in the cellar and it shows in the beer in the glass. Also one of the best pints of Bass I've had in years can found on the bar. Day out in Derby? Make this an essential stop!!!“
CitizenCained 638 days ago
“What a lovely little micro pub this is, across from the green itself. My pints of Tallywhacker from Hartshorns were delicious on a warm evening, served by a friendly barman. Relaxed atmosphere and chatty locals make this place a must do on a visit to Derby. Superb!“
Beermenace 820 days ago
54 /100 51 SADLER GATE
“Sadly, unlike previous reviewers I did not get into the Tudor bar as it was closed. The front bar is pretty standard, comfortable enough, although a bit on the dull side. The ale selection was not the best, my half of Bass was overly warm. I might change my opinion in the future if I see the Tudor bar, but not really impressed with the Old Bell.“
Beermenace 820 days ago
“Enjoyed our visit to this brewhouse yesterday. It was the home of Shiny brewery who have moved and they are using the kit to brew their own Furnace beers now. We tried Furnace Son of Abyss and Intrepid Myrce from the good selection on the bar and both were good.“
gillhalfpint 901 days ago
64 /100 16 SADLER GATE
“Strange set up in this bar with a traditional feel to the bar itself, but when you go through to the back there is a small area which has a covered courtyard feel to it, leading to an outside seating area. There were 4 beers available and we chose from Beer Ink and Box Social which were not in the best of conditions.“
gillhalfpint 901 days ago
“As you know I tend to struggle with the more modern bars, however this one was more than bearable, I actually stayed for a couple of hours. Cask ales were fine, atmosphere better than expected, even the food looked rather tasty. Surprisingly decent.“
Beermenace 973 days ago
82 /100 13 EXETER PLACE
“Very pleasant establishment, warm and cozy, with different rooms to sit in. The atmosphere was very civilized, a place to contemplate whilst supping your ale. The Dancing Duck beers were very good, not many guests in evidence, prices on the higher side. Will return on my next trip to Derby.“
Beermenace 973 days ago
“A pub that takes a bit of finding, if you are not familiar with Derby. Standard, no frills pub with a pretty good ale selection, be it cask or keg. Beers drank were well kept and they do an offer on Monday, where certain beers are only 2.50 a pint. Worth a stroll out from the city centre.“
Beermenace 973 days ago
76 /100 203 SIDDALS ROAD
“Visited on trip to 24 northern counties with OGJ 03.01.18. Nice place, decorated with railway memorabilia. 9 ales on cask“
Holmen2 1022 days ago
“Visited on trip to 24 northern counties with OGJ 03.01.18. Eight beers on cask. Live folk music at our visit. Recommended!“
Holmen2 1022 days ago
“Visited on trip to 24 northern counties with OGJ 03.01.18. Six ales on cask.“
Holmen2 1022 days ago
70 /100 11-13 BABINGTON LANE
“15 mins walk from the railway station, large place, with a good visual display of the beer menu at big screen as you enter.17 HP at my visit, and thats the best JDW I have visited in a while. My beer was in good shape.“
gunnar 1022 days ago
“Visited late, located very close to Alexandra, a more calm feel to this place, almost empty at our visit. We got some good recommendations from the lady behind the bar. Nice place close to the railway station“
gunnar 1022 days ago
84 /100 203 SIDDALS ROAD
“Railway themed local, maybe a trainspotters paradise? Nice old boozer, 9 HP and 9 kegs at our visit, all displayed at a blackboard with color codes for beer styles, a nice find. Lively athmosphere, good service and lovely brews, a more than recommendable place.“
gunnar 1022 days ago
“Great place by the river, only a short walk from Exeter Arms. 8 HP and 8 kegs at our visit. Vibrant Forest, Siren,Hopcraft, Turning Point amongst the breweries. Selection was good style wise as well. Live music at our visit, we could easily spent hours here.“
gunnar 1022 days ago
62 /100 13 EXETER PLACE
“Close to The Tap, this was a pleasant surprise, very hot inside on a cold winter day, 7 cask and 5 kegs offered at our visit, also a good range of bottles craft beers from the likes of Magic Rock, Buxton, Siren,Kernel and Weird Beard, slow service, biút overall a great place to visit.“
gunnar 1023 days ago
“Nice corner bar in Derwent Street, easy reachable by foot from the railwaystation, half-moon bar serving a snug and a larger main room. Good food options, and the beer was served from 16 lines, 6 HP and 10 keg. 13 beers from their own range is more than acceptable. There is also a large patio for use in the warmer months, recommended place.“
gunnar 1023 days ago
“New people here have transformed the beer selection back to the mecca it used to be. 8 cask beers, mostly unusual from small brewers. Good value Sunday lunches. Very friendly atmosphere.“
robbgg 1094 days ago
84 /100
Suds & Soda (Beer Store)
“Visited on 4th August 2017. City centre venue, large single room with modern decor, a few tables and a bar area at the far end. There is a great selection of bottles and cans on shelving all along one wall. The beer range was pretty decent with several beers from Norway on tap plus a good selection in the fridge. Staff were super friendly and enthusiastic about beer and even shared one of their beers with me. Good prices too. Definitely one to visit in Derby.“
WingmanWillis 1145 days ago