Friday, 27 January 2012


I spent three nights in Bournemouth last week. It was a mixture of business and watching Tranmere Rovers which certainly wasn't pleasurable. Of course, I spent plenty of time in pubs but I found the drinking experience a little disappointing. I visited six GBG pubs, three in Bournemouth and three in Poole which adjoins its neighbour seamlessly. I also tried two Wetherspoons. I'm pretty brave you know.

Beer quality was good apart from the 'Spoons in Boscombe, with the Bermuda Triangle in Lower Parkstone setting an excellent standard. It wasn't the quality but the beer styles that I had trouble with.

Ringwood and Wadworth dominated, two breweries producing old fashioned malty beers, particularly Ringwood whose beers I always find too sweet. There was a distinct lack of  hops and beers from micros. Nottingham, Orkney, Tirrell, even Robinson's Build a Rocket Boys! could be found but nothing resembling a hoppy bitter or IPA. The only beer I found from a small brewery was from the Dorset Brewing Co., Dorchester which didn't impress me this time or previously.

There was no vibrant pub selling craft beers and unusually for such a large population centre there seems to be a lack of good cask beer venues.

Nice scenery, but don't expect great beer.


  1. When I was there a few years back, the only distinctly good pub was the Goat and Tricycle, but even then, the choice of brewers and beer styles was rather unadventurous.

  2. The Goat & Tricycle was a five minute walk from my hotel. A nice pub with ten handpumps but all the beers seemed to be Wadworth 6X/Ringwood Old Thumper/Bishop's Tipple or clones therof.

  3. I'm a homebrewer in Bournemouth and I couldn't agree more! A few pubs dotted around that know how to keep a cask, but nothing exciting. Ringwood Brewery is OK, and Sunny Republic, and Corfe Castle, but no decent venues. I'd love to open a craft bottle shop in Bournemouth, but I honestly don't think there'd be a market for it!

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