Keeping it real … Real Ale
Stratford Upon Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, home to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, The Alehouse Micropub and the location for my friend’s wedding. The missus and I travelled up the day before the wedding so it meant we could have a nice relaxing evening before the big day. The Thursday night was a lovely chilled evening, we settled for a no thrills Wetherspoons dinner and a few drinks. Unlike the Saturday morning after the wedding, which in complete contrast was pure tourist hell! Huge groups of tourists flooded down Stratford Upon Avon high street in search of the house Shakespeare grew up in. Even though the breakfast in Boston Tea Party was lovely (it even had draught beer including Meantime and Bristol Beer Factory) it was difficult to relax being next to a red London phone box and post box as dozens of tourists climbed over it for a photo.
Stratford Upon Avon is a perfect destination for a micropub and The Alehouse Micropub didn’t disappoint. In classic micropub fashion the first thing that attracts your eyes as you walk in is the hundreds of pump clips decorating the walls and ceiling. Running down each side of the rectangular room were high tables and chairs for visitors to sit down at, and being able to accommodate quite a good number for a micropub. At the far end of the room was cask beers on gravity, including Pig & Porter and local brewery Stratford Upon Avon Brewery. One thing that did stand out in The Alehouse was the television on the wall, usually something not seen in a micropub, however this may have been only up at the time due to the Olympics being on. Either way everyone seemed to enjoy watching team GB. There were a few bottled beers at the back of the room, but if I am to be honest nothing too exciting other than some cider and some Brewdog beers, I would have liked to seen a few more local bottled beers on offer. With live music on a Wednesday nights and free dog treats for the more than welcome furry friends, it is easy to see why The Alehouse is popular among locals. After opening recently, it didn’t take long for it to be awarded with a CAMRA award and to be the #1 rated Stratford Upon Avon nightlife venue on TripAdvisor. Although a short visit, it was a very enjoyable one and well worth popping in.
Luckily for me I accidentally stumbled into Vinology wine store and after a little look I found that they had a couple of Straford Upon Avon bottles available for me to take home. Stratford Upon Avon’s only brewery Stratford Upon Avon Brewery are eco-friendly, with their own well, growing their own hops on site and being run by solar power. I bought a bottle of Malty Pig Bitter and Stratford Gold. The Stratford Gold poured a glowing yellow with a slight haze, citrus fruits on the nose and a light, refreshing malty golden ale with hints of citrus fruit from the Citra hops used in the brew. Malty Pig Bitter pours a glowing orange copper brown, with aromas of banana and hints of bread. Again, a very easy drinking well-made beer. With eye catching artwork on the bottles and pump clips their beers jump off the bar and it will be interesting to see if their beers make their way down south any time soon.
One bottle of beer I had while in Stratford Upon Avon (much to my surprise!) was Fullers Imperial Stout. There was a couple of nice pubs owned by Fullers in the town, we went to The White Swan for a nightcap. The White Swan has a stunning interior and doubles up as a hotel, if I ever have to spend time in Stratford Upon Avon again I will be looking into staying. It was the perfect beer, in the perfect surrounding, and at 10.7% it set me up for a good night’s sleep before the big wedding day nicely.
The Alehouse Micropub Website – www.thestratfordalehouse.com
Stratford Upon Avon Brewery Website – www.sua-brewery.co.uk
Stratford Upon Avon Brewery Twitter – @suabrewery
Disclaimer – Everything mentioned in this blog post was paid by myself.