An interesting, central located pub with live music upstairs, a popular patio at the entrance, dried hop decoration, and a darkly lit, retro-like main room with a bar serving six cask ales, lots of ciders straight from the cask, and a few selected craft beer bottles from breweries like BrewDog and Gipsy Hill. Smiling, friendly service. Ambient jazz in the black (Visited with Finn, 28.09.2016).
The Old Firehouse should be on anyone’s pub-crawl schedule in Exeter. It is located towards the North East of the town centre, which is a relatively short walk away. It is a pretty large & busy multi-floor pub with a strong student vibe to it. The main-focus here is cider with 4 casks via hand pump and about 10/12 bag-box options. They had 6 local cask ales on our visit which are on stillage. Beer condition was variable, but the cider was tasty. Plenty of rare cider scopes. Service was pretty prompt, especially considering how busy it was. Definitely worth a visit, especially if you like cider.
One of the best places in Exeter in terms of atmosphere. Although if you are planning on visiting be aware that it is packed with students on Friday and Saturday evening. Selection is so-so, as others have pointed out, it’s more of a cider place.
Having lived in Exeter most of my life, i can say that the firehouse is one of the better bars in town. A half decent selection, but mostly focusing on local drinks, and then mostly on ciders.
It’s generally charming, with a friendly atmosphere, its cosy and a little rustic, and usually rammed full of students and locals. It’s a great place to be when it’s cold outside.
Arrived around 22:30 on a Friday night to be greeted by bouncers requesting a £1 entry fee, so declined! Place looked packed from outside & had we checked website, we’d have realised there’s live music & £1 entry on Fridays & Saturdays after 21:00. I returned at lunch time on Saturday. Place still busy, but much quieter & more to my liking. It was a beautiful day, but the courtyard wasn’t getting much sun. Still very pleasant though. Bar downstairs is very small & I didn’t venture upstairs. I found the selection of 5 cask beers uninspiring & very poorly labelled (names written on fridge door, but brewery not identified). Jacket potato was tasty with salad garnish nicer than most & homemade coleslaw, but skin of potato wasn’t crispy & cheese was completely melted on, which isn’t my preference. Other food I saw looked good. Overall, not a bad place, but not great either.
A very atmospheric and cosy pub - quite magical in fact, manly candlelit, with fairy lights dotted through hops and colourful pennants strung from the ceiling. There’s a small enclosed yard (unheated) and a small room downstairs where the bar takes up half the space. There’s also a large upstairs room but we were lucky enough to find a table in the main bar. They’re open late and I understand this is known as a busy student pub but we missed the crowds by visiting fairly early on a Monday evening. There were seven casks and four ciders on offer. The food options looked good too, and not at all expensive.
(Visited 12 January 2015).
Rambling old building reasonably close to the Central Railway Station in Exeter. There are two things that become immediately obvious, 1) This pub is very popular with students and 2) it is a cider pub that also does a few beers. The beers are however; straight from the casks behind the bar, a little like a mini beer festival. The bar girl took quite a laissez faire attitude with her customers, managing to remain remote from much of the serving procedure and there is a guess where the loo’s are competition that newcomers are always going to loose. The most popular drinks were pitchers full of cider and fruit syrup, which gives a clue to how it operates. Worth a look and good if you enjoy your fermented apples.
Ignore the previous entry - all the real ales (6 or more) are served direct from casks on gravity, from smaller craft breweries. The 4 handpumps are for ciders, plus another 8 or so in draught boxes. Often busy, popular with both students and locals, there is extra space in a courtyard outside and two floors upstairs too. Good food served till late. Rather dark inside but cheerful atmosphere.