Enjoy Playing Away From Home . . .

Wednesday 28 December 2011

No Sign Bar, Swansea

From Stephen H, who found an excellent bar in Swansea which deserves comment. The No Sign Bar, Wind Street. Apparently the oldest bar in Swansea and once frequented by Dylan Thomas.
The mamagement rotate the guest ales on a regular basis, the three currently on sale are, Polar Express 4.3% by the Cottage Brewing Company Somerset. Rev James 4.5% by Brains Brewery Cardiff and Santa's Little Helper 3.7% by the Caledonian Brewery Edinburgh.

Monday 26 December 2011

Ale o'clock on St Stephen's Day

Just saying, Ale O'Clock ;-)

Happy Christmas Day at The Dolphin, Hastings.

OK, as I slept for much of late yesterday, a benefit of separation from one's wife, as is going to the pub whenever you want, providing it's open and you've the spare cash, following my Christmas Day lunchtime at the Dolphin, I didn't manage to post anything anywhere yesterday.
So, my Pub of the Day has to have been the Dolphin, in Hastings 'Old Town' opposite the local fishing industry that has the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe. And it was a great few hours, mostly drinking the very quaffable Dark Star Hophead, my usually ale at the Dolphin, though they did have 5 other ales, including the very drinkable Young's Winter Warmer and Harvey's Old Ale.
Anyway, I can now wish you a Merry St Stephen's Day :-D

Friday 23 December 2011

Pub of the Week - Leinster Arms, Bayswater W2

On Wednesday, I was drinking at the Leinster Arms, 17 Leinster Terrace W2 3EU, which sells 5 ales, including the ubiquitous Fuller's London Pride and Sharp's Doom Bar as regulars, and a 5.5% Christmas ale from Skinner's, Jingle Knockers (the names people come up with!), an old favourite from my days in Sheffield, when I worked for a while at the brewery, Kelham Island Pale Rider, which I have brewed in the past, and a newer favourite of mine, Dark Star Hophead, which I now regularly drink at my new ‘local’.
In addition to good ales, there is a not too expensive menu on offer, including a variety of sausage and mash at £8.95 a meal, eg Cumberland, Beef & Guinness, Wild Boar & Apple or Veggie sausages with mash of your choice from 'Simple Seasoned', Mushroom, Parsley & White Wine, Tomato, Basil & Parmeson or Chive & Spring Onion. Whoever said 'mash' was boring?!? In addition, they still provide a 'traditional' pie of the day, salads, Ploughman's Lunch, sandwiches, puddings, and bar bites! This is a very friendly place and wasn’t too busy on visit.

The bar looking towards the front of the pub.

16th December - Pub of the Day, Roebuck, Richmond Hill

The Roebuck is a 200 year old pub at the top of Richmond Hill overlooking Petersham Meadows, painted a few years ago by Turner, and, consequently, known worldwide. Below is the view from the front of the pub, ie behind me in the photo above :-)
The Roebuck sells good food and has 4 real ales available, being a free house. Richmond is really the land of Youngs (still!), but the Roebuck had 4 ales on and no Youngs, but did have Fullers London Pride (ubiquitous on the other side of the Thames); the fruity and hoppy Red Squirrel RSX 3.8%; the pale and hoppy White Horse Village Idiot 4.1%; and a dark rich and roasted malt 'stouty' (complicated) Downton Winter Solstice 4.6%.
There are a number of Youngs houses down in the centre of Richmond, a few I would recommend, and Fullers is available down there too, but the Roebuck has that great view and provides you with more diverse ale... and it's close to the gate to Richmond Park, if you are coming from, or going, there. Enjoyable visit!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

White Rock Hotel, Hastings

The White Rock Hotel in Hastings, virtually opposite the pier, sells 4 real ales, usually at £3.00 a pint, up to 5% in strength.
Today, they had the trusty, and always very tasty, Dark Star Hophead, Hastings Best Bitter, Beachy Head Legless, and the very seasonal Harveys Christmas Ale.
I love Hophead, but thought I'd give 2 of the others a try, so started with the 5% (£3 a pint) Legless, a pale-ish bitter, but with a sweet first taste, a little fruity and bitter, orangey, a little like a Belgian beer, but with a Weiss beer type consistency. Interesting and enjoyable...
Then, though £4 a pint, I tried a half of the Christmas Ale at a mighty 7.8%! This is truly a Christmas pudding of a beer, with a dark, deep reddish colour, sweet, fruity, and a dry finish. Worth the cost!

The Six Bells, St Albans

Stephen H reported on the 6th December that he had a few excellent pints in The Six Bells that evening, and he recommends Oakham JHB and Three Witches. Oakham are a cracking brewery and produce excellent ales, so always happy to support such a recommendation. 

Seasonal photo ;-)

The Six Bells is located in St Albans at 16-18 St. Michaels Street, AL3 4SH (tel: 01727 856945), close to Verulamium Park. The pub dates back to the 15th century and provides a wide selection of real ales. The pub has wooden beams, a ‘real’ fire, loads of character, and real ale, many thanks Steve.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Liverpool and Tranmere Rovers

Rob posted on my facebook page that the Lion Tavern, 67 Moorfields, Liverpool, L2 2BP (0151 236 1734), was his ‘pub of the day’ when visiting for an away match up there against Tranmere Rovers on 19th November.
Salopian www.salopianbrewery.co.uk Oracle was his choice for ‘beer of the day’ and he said that the daft thing was it was in a pub that wasn't in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide; the good ones aren’t all in there, though, and Liverpool does have an exceedingly large number of very good public houses!
He added that the ‘Pub of the Weekend’, according to a mate who stayed the weekend in Liverpool, was the Philharmonic, it was “awesome”. The Philharmonic has also been given the thumbs up before by Stephen H, and, indeed, by myself, so fully in agreement.

Not only does the Philharmonic sell a good selection of real ales and good food, but it is architecturally of note.

Indeed, give the gent’s loos a visit; but ask first, if you’re a woman!

Stoke - a reappraisal

Many thanks to Stephen H for sharing this, as an away supporter he travelled to the away fixture at Stoke City on 19th November. On this trip, he and his pals were fortunate enough to be in the company of a couple of Stoke City fans who took them to their local, the Malt ‘n’ Hops, located in King Street, Fenton.

When he first saw the pub and its location his immediate reaction was that he “should have taken note of the Beermeister’s recommendations but I was always taught that you should never judge a book by its cover. Externally not a lot to look at but once inside you realise that you have entered a good pub.”

Photographs were supplied to see the selection of ales, including the above 2, Abbot being a regular and, presumably, the Malt n Hops ale is brewed for the pub, but also, in addition to those pictured, Holden’s Supernova, Toft’s Inn Swinger, Buxton’s Blonde and Wadworth’s Swordfish were on offer.
I have to say, credit to the Stoke fans, sharing a decent pub to enjoy in safety with a good selection of ales, though they may not have been quite so amenable after the match!

The White Hart Inn - Exeter

This was something of a pilgrimage back to an old stomping ground for Steve the Beermeister when I joined him to visit Exeter a couple of summers ago.

(The White Hart Inn, South Street, Exeter)

As is often the case when visiting a former home town, there were plenty of pubs to reacquaint ourselves with and this large former coaching house within the city walls was probably the one that sticks in the memory. Perhaps the reason this was more memorable than others was due to the fact it was one of the first we encountered on that afternoon. A couple of pints of Old Wallop probably wreaked havoc with the memory banks.

The occasion was a 1st Round League Cup encounter between Exeter City and Queens Park Rangers. The result of the game was never really in doubt on that warm evening in Devon with Jim Magilton's men running out deserved 5-0 winners. The Grecians had caused a few first half scares but flagged in the second.

A large yet pleasant pub with a selection of beers and ales available. The bar staff on duty were friendly and didn't mind being regaled with stories of Steve's misspent youth in the City or how far we'd travelled and what we were going to do to their home town team.

"This is only the first St James' Park we'll visit this year!"

The food on offer looked good too.

Precisely the kind of Beermeister pub I've grown accustomed to visiting in the years I've known Steve. A man who is quickly a local wherever he goes.

Next time you're in Exeter give it a look.

(The Beermeister himself, seen here enjoying an Old Wallop)

Recommended for the London Drinker on the Move - Euston Tap - Euston Rd, London

Now I'm not the sort too do anything to excess and I would never dream about jeopardising my journey home of an evening by having "one too many."

However, since moving to Watford a couple of years ago, I've found that travelling home from Euston Station offers a few distractions and contradictions to that principal.

Take The Bree Louise and the The Crown & Anchor as examples, there are also a couple of bars at the Station itself such as The Doric Arch and if you're looking for a cheap and cheerful nightcap then the Rocket down Euston Rd is a reasonably priced venue attracting all manner of groups of visitors to London.

The Euston Tap is a welcome addition to the landscape offering bottled and draught craft beers from around the World and in particular the USA.

Housed in one of the remaining lodge houses of the old station, the pub itself uses the cramped space it has well. Don't expect a seat, although some are available up the narrow spiral staircase to the upper level.

Available beers are displayed on black boards around the bar and you'll find the staff on hand are friendly and happy to make a recommendation should you need one.

The Euston Tap is now celebrating it's 1st Birthday having opened it's doors in November 2010. A "Cider Tap" is planned to open across the road in the other lodge house (may already be open?!).

If you like what you see, then there's a "Tap" at Sheffield Station with another one rumoured to be arriving at Cambridge soon.


Tuesday 15 November 2011

3 Sunday - The Smuggler at Pett Level

Again, last night we visited a couple of other pubs in St Leonards on the way back, the Dripping Spring and the North Star, both good ale houses, and we watched much of the England v Spain match in the Dripping Spring, whilst quaffing Wye Valley HPA an excellent couple of glasses of ale, indeed.
However, on Sunday, we caught the first train of the day to Rye, the inland Cinque Port, and visited the church for a brief spell, as there was a service shortly after our arrival. We then left to begin our trek back to Hastings, first following the Royal Military Canal to Pett Level and The Smuggler, which serves an excellent looking breakfast from 09.30 to 11.30; you guessed it, I'd prepared a packed lunch, so was again envious of those eating here, saving the experience for another day! We had a couple of excellent pints of Ringwood Fortyniner at only £2.50 a pint, whilst sitting outside, looking at the sea, bathing in the warm sun, and eating my delicious sandwiches!
We also experienced another minutes silence at the Lifeboat Station, before finishing our beers and wandering up to the cliff tops and heading west for Hastings, where we drank Dark Star Hophead, yet again, at the Dolphin and also Fullers ESB at the Cinque Port Inn in the early evening.
So an excellent weekend, lots of walking, a few pints here and there in great surroundings, and marvelous weather too, what more could one want from a weekends entertainment, except for a football match of course.

2 Saturday - The Plough at Crowhurst

Having also visited the Dolphin last night, and enjoying live music there, on the Saturday, we ventured, by bus, to Battle, amazingly called because of an important battle there in 1066, not really at Hastings but 5 or 6 miles inland.
Anyway, we had a coffee here and walked back to Hastings via Bexhill again, and then along the coast, calling in, on the way, at The Plough at Crowhurst.
We sat outside whilst eating our packed lunch and enjoying a couple of pints from within, St Austell's Tribute in very good condition again.
This is a pub that sells very good food too, but I'd already made my own, however, was a bit envious of the venison stew... The Plough only opens at lunchtimes until 2.30pm, please take note if visiting, but we did see a little of the F1 qualifying.

Sunny Weekend in East Sussex 1 Friday11-11-11

Not much football for me this weekend past, jealous of those following teams with matches, but walked about 40 miles and had a few pints. I'll only mention 3 of the hostelries visited, as I'll mention others again, no doubt, or have already talked about them here or elsewhere.
First, on Friday, after observing a minutes silence, I met my brother, and walked from Hastings to Bexhill on Sea, and back again, along the coastal path/beaches.
Not a bad walk either, but a fairly new pub for me to visit, the Dripping Well, and a brand new place for Dan.
Aside from the local 'Spoons', the Dripping Well provides the cheapest ale in Hastings, and in very good condition! 3 regular ales, though they do have a 4th pump, but no immediate plans to add to the 3 ales, ie Wadworth's Henry's IPA and Adnams' Southwold, both at £2.60 a pint, and Courage Directors at £2.95 a pint; for comparison, a measure of Jamesons is £2.20, though I didn't check on the size, I'm guessing, at that price, 25mls. We drank the Wadworth's, which was a good beer to start the evening with, light and gently bitter.
Friendly place, with a relatively new owner, longer serving barstaff, and a freehouse to boot!

Monday 31 October 2011

If the Beermeister did perfect drinking partners...

OK, so I'm shallow, but who would you like to share your time with when you go for a beer? 

Please share your thoughts :-)

Sunday 30 October 2011

Pub of the Week - Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield

OK, have to add the Kelham Island Tavern in Sheffield as this weeks pub of choice for a few reasons, and not just because it has been CAMRA's National Pub of the Year TWICE in recent years! 

This warm, clean and friendly pub has a diverse clientele, and for a real ale house, a surprisingly high number of female customers too. Ales are kept in cracking condition, quality lagers, good value food, comfortable to sit in, and welcoming barstaff too. A place to visit, whenever I get to Sheffield. 

And, for me, I'll always meet someone I know there to talk to, CHEERS :-D

Sunday 23 October 2011

Pub of the Week - The London Apprentice, Old Isleworth

The London Apprentice dates to Tudor times, being rebuilt in the early 18th century. Their website reports that it was patronised by a number of eminent people in the past, including Henry VIII, Charles I, Charles II and Nell Gwynne, Lady Jane Grey and Oliver Cromwell, all of whom had close links with nearby Syon House. 

My brother and I had walked a larger circular route, including the north bank of the Thames from Richmond Bridge to Putney Bridge, stopping on the way at The London Apprentice, cracking pub! 

There are 6 ales served by handpumps at the bar, regulars include Fullers London Pride, Adnams Broadside and Sharp's Doom Bar. There are also 3 rotating guest ales, on my last visit these included Young’s London Gold, Brains SA and Purity Mad Goose, the last being in very good form and very much enjoyed! Keg beers are served too, of course, and include Staropramen, Leffe and Hoegaarden, for people with more European tastes. 

We enjoyed ourselves immensely, the bar staff were very friendly, though it was early in the shift (before noon), so it did start getting busier whilst we were there, and investigating the building was a pleasure too. We had only ever seen it from the south bank of the river on a significant number of occasions before our visit, when we kept agreeing we must cross the river sometime. We were suitably shocked and impressed at its history and fine features, not to mention enjoying the beer. One of the advantages of Isleworth is that it is also easy to get to Twickenham or Brentford, only a short distance away. Enjoy it yourselves!

Eight Bells

Many thanks to Stephen H again for this addition for the Eight Bells.

The Eight Bells, Putney Bridge

Stephen H's next posting following QPR's 6-0 drubbing by Fulham on 2nd October:

We ended up drinking in the Eight Bells, Putney, prior to the drubbing at Fulham. Not sure how far we actually walked to The Eight Bells but, by the time we arrived, I was so thirsty I had to have five pints to rehydrate. Lovely old pub where you can get a decent pint of London Pride (ed's note, they also sell Sharp's Doom Bar). The atmosphere was really good with a selection of Fulham, Chelsea and QPR fans all drinking in harmony. See attached pictures.

Wolverhampton, The Great Western

This is a review from Stephen H, many thanks to him, written after the Wolves v QPR match played on 17th September, Rangers won 3-0:

The Beermeister comes up trumps again. Our small group was on the road again last Saturday following our beloved Queens Park Rangers for the away fixture v Wolves. Just like our recent trip to Liverpool, I had planned the trip to coincide with a visit to a good pub and again contacted my fellow R'sss supporter Steve, otherwise known as the Beermeister. 

Steve, almost without hesitation, suggested that we visit the Great Western located in Sun Street and I can say that we were not disappointed. When entering the Great Western the first thing to hit you is the way that it has been set out, in fact it almost feels like walking into an old railway waiting room full of railway memorabilia. 

Next and by far the most important feature is the selection of beers with my attention being immediately drawn to the HOLDENS Black Country Bitter and Mild pumps, I sampled both and can confirm that the Beermeister’s recommendation was as always 100% correct. 

Beermeister note: The Great Western sells sells good value food too, excellent roast meat sandwiches in rolls/baps, or 'cobs' as they're called up here. In addition to their own beers, such as Holden's Bitter, Special Bitter and Mild, they regularly sell gtheir great rival's Batham's Best Bitter and other guest ales.

Friday 14 October 2011

At QPR and Fullers ales...

Any Blackburn fans in West London this weekend, if you want a decent pints of Fullers, go to The Dove, Churchill Arms, Victoria or Salutation, in diverse places close by, see http://www.beer-meister.co.uk/london-and-south-east/london/qpr
The view is of the Dove from the south bank of the Thames, looking north towards Hammersmith, great view of the river from sitting outside at the back... ie you'll see me photgraphing you from the south bank on this day :-)

Tout travail mérite sa bière

So, we deserve a beer after work... but also, when we go to a football match... and usually before and after the match... Certainly, over the years, I have found it hard to cope with watching my team sober, though I'm sure United fans haven't had such a problem for a long time, despite there being many cracking pubs in Manchester to drink in!
I bought this t-shirt at a fair in Brussels, and it's always a cracking place to find beer in, a particular favourite of mine being Westmalle Tripel, or Triple for the Walloons ;-)
But who am I to enjoy beer, or to even talk about it?
Oh yes, Steve the Beermeister! So I should really talk about it as this is a blog directed at beer drinkers, and particularly those visiting towns and cities they are unfamiliar with... So, we have been adding pubs of the day, whatever, but also, I want to develop this into talking about beer, wine, food, architecture, history, politics, music, football... hell! It's all culture, and this is what I'm about, culture, and specifically as far away from the vulgar end of it I can get (not easy for me ;-)
Please read, comment and enjoy our suggestions, and remember, I am not alone, Kieran is also a regular contributor to this blog, and he's a good lad, despite our trip to watch QPR at Exeter together a while ago, but that's another story I am giving him the opportunity to add Exeter before I do.

Monday 26 September 2011

Pub of the Day #5, Salutation Inn, Hammersmith.

Wandered from Victoria Station to Loftus Road to watch QPR v Villa yesterday, had a few drinks in The Salutation Inn in Hammersmith, where, not so long ago, we met up with a load of Villa fans who were at Fulham that day. Ironically, we played Villa yesterday, but not before I had some London Pride, though without the Villa fans company this time.

Met up with a few friends, enjoyed the warm day in the beer garden, but remarkably quiet there. Also, met an old mate who I know from another Hammersmith pub, but not football-related, which made the time fun.
I did moan at the barmaid for pulling a short measure even after I asked for it to be topped up! She said "It should have a head on it", I said, this isn't up north, this is London! Anyway, she poured out a full pint, but later brought out 2 pints to us in the garden 'gratis', obviously felt guilty (or had spat in them), or both...
The match? 1-1, poor ref as usual, maybe more about that another time...

Saturday 24 September 2011

Stockport, Pineapple Inn

OK, cheating a little for a "pub of the day", but there are 2 pubs in Stockport I am including, just down the same road from each other.
When in Stockport it would be a crime not to visit a Robinsons' pub, the local brewery, so first I shall reminisce over the Pineapple Inn in Heaton Lane, SK4, not to be confused with the Pineapple in Castle Street, SK3. My mate Dave called me up from the Castle Street version, which I had no idea existed before then, wondering where we were! Just how did we cope at away matches before the mobile phone became portable and cheap enough for popular use? Anyway, he and his entourage had caught a cab from the station (lazy gits) and the cab driver had asked if they were sure they wanted the Pineapple, Dave said "yes", so where were we?
Of course, WE were in the correct Pineapple Inn in Heaton Lane, so I directed him to come and meet us. Meanwhile we'd drunk a few pints of Robinsons' Hatters and Unicorn before they reached us, and also started eating lunch. I think I enjoyed eating a meat pie and fresh vegetables, I can't really remember that much about it as many pints have flown under the bridge since then, but I know I enjoyed the meal! I also remember we took the mick out of them when they finally turned up.
The Pineapple Inn is certainly a friendly hospitable pub to visit, with 3 separate rooms and walls adorned by china plates, though, unsurprisingly, not near the dartboard. I felt very comfortable drinking here, even when 10 Sheffield United fans walked through the door to join the dozen or so of us already there who were not Blades, but Rangers fans. The landlord's face was a picture, I just wish I'd had a camera in my hand at the precise moment the door opened to admit them.
However, he didn't need to worry, as we had arranged to meet up, not for any 'bovver', but to enjoy friendly banter, but, more importantly, the beer! I used to live in Sheffield, in fact I lived there for 15 years until recently, so I do know a significant number of Blades and Owls fans, I'm even friendly with most of the ones I know. Anyway, we had a good session, and the landlord's face perked up as his cash till chimed with the addition of extra takings.

Stockport, Crown Inn

Some of the Blades had already left for the station and Stoke before we left the Pineapple Inn, but the remainder and ourselves soon followed them out of the door, upsetting the landlord now, but we wandered along the road to the Crown Inn, nestling under the viaduct. After a couple of drinks at the Crown, the remaining Blades rushed off to catch their train to Stoke, but what a delight for us. This feels like a larger 'arier' pub, with 4 separate rooms and a 'beer garden', and an even more diverse set of regulars, certainly younger bar staff, and female too. It wasn't as busy as we thought it would be, but that wouldn't have mattered anyway, as all the staff were very friendly, very efficient and very knowledgeable about the beers they were selling.

There were 16 ales on offer, another continuous 'beer festival' in a pub, as all their ales regularly change, but they do have at least one Copper Dragon ale on sale, and I do like that particular West Yorkshire brewery's beers. To my great delight they had Copper Dragon's Golden Pippin that day, which is one of my favourite session beers, so you can guess what I drank. So we stayed there and rushed off to the match just to catch the teams coming out onto the pitch and, subsequently, enjoyed watching a 2-1 victory.
But our day didn't end when we left Edgeley Park after the final whistle blew, as we returned to be warmed up further by a wood-burning fire back at the Crown Inn, being later joined by a few of our Blades pals on their return from Stoke. The only concern now was, not to forget to leave on time to catch our respective trains home.

Thursday 22 September 2011

The Beer-Meister's Pub of the Day #2 - The Bricklayer's Arms, Putney, SW15

Owing to the fact we were literally "all at sea" yesterday, there will be 2 pubs of the day today. Aren't you lucky things? The Beer-Meister just keeps on giving, it really does.

The Bricklayer's Arms

A warm and welcoming, family run pub, The Bricklayer's Arms is an absolute treat of an away day pub for anyone visiting Fulham or Chelsea (Stamford Bridge is just a short hop on the tube away).

 Putney's Finest?
I visited this pub back in January 2008 before QPR's FA Cup 3rd Round tie at Stamford Bridge. At the time, we had just been taken over by Flavio Briatore and his consortium of billionaires. This was an ideal place to meet with friends and discuss how bright the club's future would be. There was a revolutionary air about the place. As it was, we lost the game that Saturday afternoon but were by no means disgraced by our near neighbours Chelsea and the pub holds happy memories for me.

"London's Permanent Beer Festival"

Fast forward a few years and although Flavio and Bernie are no more associated with my beloved Superhoops, I am looking forward to visiting this pub when we visit local-rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage (just over the river) in the not too distant future. Premiership football and the ticket prices that go with it may mean that I only stay for the one or two!

Predictably busy for Fulham home games but certainly one to visit if you keep your colours covered up and are respectful and friendly to the locals. Why would you be anything else eh?

"London's Permanent Beer Festival" always has a selection of beers and hand pumps available. This is a lovely pub which certainly warmed the cockles on that fresh January afternoon.

I won't try to do the pub's rich history justice and would instead lazilly prompt you to click the link to London Drinker's review. 

There are plenty of options for anyone visiting London for an away game, but give this little gem a look next time you're in Putney.

We're Not The Good Beer Guide . . .

First rule of Beer-Meister is not that nobody talks about Beer-Meister.

Our first rule, or perhaps thing you'll need to be aware of, is that although we are keen on "Real Ale," we are not CAMRA, and this is not the Good Beer Guide.

Great British Beer Festival, Earl's Court, 2011

We admire and respect everything they do, but this blog and Beer-Meister's main site is more to do with pubs and pub experience, particularly matchday pub experience. The Good Beer Guide is a source of constant inspiration to us; as is word of mouth recommendation,

We drink "fizzy tasteless stuff" as well as ale, and really do enjoy a pint of the black stuff. In fact, "mass produced" cider served over ice is ok too if a thirst needs quenching.

We're about the drinker as much as the drink, and supporting the pubs we drink in.


Tuesday 20 September 2011

The Beer-Meister's Pub of the Day #1 - The Cayo Arms, Cathedral Rd, Cardiff

Welcome to the first of what we hope will be a regular, if not daily feature on this blog, The Beer-Meister's Pub of the Day.


Picture the scene.

It's Good Friday in Cardiff. Tomorrow is St George's Day. More importantly, tomorrow afternoon will see table-topping Queens Park Rangers travel to the Welsh capital to take on fellow Championship promotion chasers Cardiff City. I'm in need of a recommendation. A safe and friendly pub please Mr Beer-Meister?

Now my previous visit to Cardiff to watch my beloved Superhoops had ended in heart-breaking cicumstances. Defeat to the Bluebirds at the Millennium Stadium in the Play-Off Final. A whole season coming down to "Big" Danny Shittu's failure to flatten Andy Campbell in extra-time. Oh yeah, that and Tommy Williams' refusal to "SQUARE IT" to Paul Furlong.

The journey away from Cardiff wasn't pleasant. A hint of good old fashioned celebratory violence hung in the air, people shook imaginary coffee beans in my direction.

So it was with some trepidation that I stepped off the train half expecting similar heart-ache again and near violent ridicule. I need not have worried. Neither about the football, or about the welcome in the Valleys.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

In the spirit of this blog, Steve Colwell aka The Beermeister, recommended that if I along with my accompanying brother and good friend Tom, should visit only one pub in Cardiff, it should be the Cayo Arms. It was never likely to be the case that the three of us would only visit one pub, but visiting this wonderful establishment became a kind of pilgrimage.

Steve's recommendations are the stuff of legend. (I hope in time you will come to appreciate this by visiting this blog again.) Often there will be a 2 mile treck away from the train station and football ground, over and under viaducts, to find a pub with knitting patterns on the wall (Stockport County away).

Named in honour of William Julian Cayo-Evans, a famous Welshman who ran the 'Free Wales Army,' this seemed to be the kind of place where football talk should be kept to a minimum with accents remaining hushed and un-assuming at the bar. As it was, we met two more QPR fans outside in the large front beer garden.

"You three from London?"


"What you here for? The football?"


"Excellent, mind if we join you?"

Whilst trying to be as covert and respectable as possible I ordered a pint of Tomos Watkins'. I couldn't pronounce anymore than that. Fish and chips too as it was Good Friday. No complaints with either the beer or the beer-battered cod.

After a couple more pints of Tomos Watkins' the now extended group headed into the city centre where I have to confess to falling asleep whilst stood in the queue for a nightclub. Time to go back to the Travelodge then?

Still, the clue in how the evening ended should suggest that the welcome afforded to us at the Cayo Arms meant that we felt more than comfortable in our surroundings and happy to enjoy time in Wales.

I have to say that that "welcome" was similarly felt right across the City. I'm told that Cardiff is a much friendlier place to visit as an away fan now that Ninian Park has been replaced by the imaginatively titled Cardiff City Stadium.

As my father would say, you'll still need to keep your "eyes and ears" about you, but Cardiff and the Cayo are certainly wonderful places to visit if you come in peace, and leave with a 2-2 draw!

Enjoy Playing Away From Home . . .

Enjoy playing away from home... 
That's our slogan, 'enjoy playing away from home', not that we're trying to entice people into neglecting their marriage vows! Indeed, Beermeister was created as the site for people who like to follow their team playing away from home, who wish to enjoy themselves, and to drink and eat away from home in relative tranquility, mixing well with the locals. 

However, don't let me put you off immediately if you are not interested in football, as this and our sister site www.beer-meister.co.uk continue to develop for all people with good taste who travel to towns and cities they are not familiar with.

So, welcome to the online home of The Beermeister.

This is a national information service that wishes to share with you our long experience of finding the best ale and food (and more) throughout the land. Places are chosen with primary reference to quality, and so that you may enjoy yourself free from worries. Please note, the views expressed are those of the editor, unless otherwise referenced. Wherever possible, links are made to our recommendations' own websites.

If you are searching for noisy pubs with cheap lager and a rowdy clientele, this is not a site for you, but, of course, there are many other websites that will provide generously for you, also, fanzines and programmes tend to suggest great places for away fans to eat and drink at, and I'm not necessarily a bad source if you contact me directly either!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the website, why not get in touch if you have any suggestions for the site, useful information, or would like to find out more about towns and cities with sports venues (or music or just visiting), or if you just wish to make a comment? Your involvement is very much valued, thank you.

Also, follow us on facebook and Steve the Beermeister on facebook.

Remember to enjoy the whole experience when your team are playing away from home...