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Other Pub News

City Centre

Ranelagh's Tavern is now selling locales. Beers from Rock the Boat and Burscough were available during November. Phil, the landlord, reports local beers will be regularly available.

The White Star on Rainford Gardens, is offering a selected real ale for £2.50 on Mondays to Thursdays, although the sign outside infers all the cask beer might be on offer.

The L1 Bridewell is due to reopen in December as a cocktail bar called Furnival’s Well.

Jean has reported that she enjoyed a few pints of Purity Gold in the Cornmarket recently.

The Pen Factory on Hope Street is now open on Sundays, from 2.00 to 8.00pm.


The Kensington, at 189 Kensington, has reopened after a refurbishment and is reported to be selling real ale.


The Grove on Breckfield Road North was a regular stop for Liverpool supporting CAMRA members going to and from the match when it was a Higsons pub. Happily the pub is selling real ale again, with one handpump in use. I enjoyed a pint of Hobgoblin on the way to a game at Anfield recently. Beers from Moorhouses have also been available.

Not too far away, the Gregson’s Well at the start of West Derby Road, which had been derelict for some time, has finally been demolished. When this was a Higson’s pub, it was a popular stop for people attending wedding ceremonies at nearby Brougham Terrace. The Tetley’s Gregson’s Well that was opposite it, has long since been demolished.


Bryn, the manager of the Willow Bank on Smithdown Road, reports he will usually have a locale on. On my recent visit White Star Seafarers, brewed by George Wright, along with Liverpool Craft IPA, were on tap. There will be also brews from slightly further away available. There are a total of twelve handpulls, with most normally in use at weekends. A good time to visit is Tuesday evening when all real ales are currently sold at £2.25 a pint. A 10% CAMRA member discount is available at other times.

A bit further up the road a planning application has been made to covert the previous Handymans shop at 461 Smithdown Road into a public house with food offer. The building, originally the Sefton Park Picturedrome, is bigger than you might expect. The plans include setting up a ‘Nano Brewery’. These premises will only be yards away from Wavertree’s last brewery at the Finch & Firkin that has long since reverted to the Brook House.

Old Swan

Lee owner of the Alehouse on Prescot Road is organising a small beer festival, Swanfest, at a nearby church hall early in December. All the tickets sold out quickly. I congratulate Lee for his work in promoting real ale in the area, both in his pub and with this festival. It is not too long ago that I wrote a piece for MerseyAle titled ‘Old Swan Beer Desert’.


There is a new licensee at the Derby Arms on the corner of Allerton Road and Vale Road, near Menlove Avenue. On my recent visit Sharps Doombar was available, but it has been reported that this alternates with Jennings Cumberland.


The Toby Carvery Aintree, previously the Rocking Horse, outside the entrance to the racecourse, is reported to be selling real ale.


The final day trading at Merton in Bootle as a Wetherspoon pub will be 11th December. This is part of the company’s policy not to have nearby pubs in their chain competing with other. The pub is expected to open under a new operator a few days later and hopefully will continue to sell real ale.


The handpump at the Bar du Fay was not in use when I visited in November. The landlord told me people chose not to drink the real ale when the weather was warmer. It is a pity the pump is not now back in use now the colder days are with us.


The Old Bank on South Road has introduced a loyalty card for their real ale. Obtain six stamps when buying a pint, to get a seventh pint free. Stamps will only be given and free pints redeemed from 12.00-8.00pm Monday to Thursday and 12.00-6.00pm on Friday.

The Trap & Hatch further along South Road has had problems installing their kitchen. Without food the pub has not been opening until 6.00pm. Hopefully all will be sorted soon and the menu will be available, so the pub will start opening at 11.00am.

Sam, the landlord at the Volunteer Canteen, reports he can have a couple or real ales at a time, free of tie. I enjoyed a pint of Heavy Industry Smoked Porter here during November.


The George, the large Stonegate pub at the start of Moor Lane in Crosby Village is currently closed for refurbishment by Stonegate Pubs. It is due to reopen at 5pm on 7th December.

Further down the lane news of the Crosby Village Social Club is that the building lease sold to a development company, Plans are to redevelop the suite of shops the club is above into a new retail space. Currently there is no cask beer here, but it appears ocassionally.

Nearby, the Crosby Hotel on Liverpool Road was again closed for a period recently. Perhaps the pub would do better if real ale in good condition was served here.

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The Bridewell

Closing time finally called at one of Liverpool’s iconic pubs.
Saturday April 9th was a sad day indeed for those who have enjoyed drinking in the quirky Bridewell pub and savouring not only its ales but its history as a jailhouse and police station, its food and the many events that have taken place in the upstairs function room, ranging from whisky tastings to book launches, and including lots of live music. But that night the doors were closed on it all for good.
Such closures must be a wake-up call for us all – ‘use it or lose it’. ’In recent months the Bridewell had branched out in its beer range, to encompass primarily local ales from microbreweries, including the newly established Red Star, Neptune and Rock the Boat breweries – though they didn’t forget their loyalty to Titanic Plum Porter! For those who don’t know, these could be enjoyed in one of the original prison cells, more comfortably furnished now, of course, or, for those who prefer to people-watch, in the open bar area or attractive outside courtyard.
Though very close to Liverpool One, the Bridewell was somewhat hidden away. But tourists seemed to manage to find it! And it did, of course, have its regulars. But it seems there are many local people who don’t even go those few extra yards off their familiar routes. Why not take a copy of CAMRA’s Liverpool Pub Map out with you (available free in most real ale pubs) and choose at least one pub when you’re out and about that you’ve never been to before and give it a try? You’re likely to be pleasantly surprised, and you’ll be doing your bit to help preserve the rich range of pubs we have here in Liverpool. Too late for the much lamented Bridewell though.

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