Chester & South Clwyd

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Pints and Social Bubbles Part 2

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Our second excursion starts in Northgate Street at the Pied Bull. An oak-beamed city centre pub which is the oldest continuously licensed premises in Chester, also reputed to be haunted. A high tech welcome at the desk is where you scan the QR code for track and trace by using the camera of your mobile phone. Unfortunately mine didn’t work so plan B was the analogue version of a paper form.

A quick look at the beer choice before being seated revealed three of their own beers Adorabull, Sensibull, Taurus and a Broad Oak cider. The Pied Bull is the only microbrewery within the city walls with the brewery located underneath the bar in the cellar. The pub also has accommodation and there were a number of guests checking in and also enjoying late lunches. Indeed our table was reserved for an evening booking later so we assumed on our leaving that a spray and clean would be done, though nothing personal of course.

Next in Northgate Street would have been the Bull & Stirrup but as there was quite a queue outside we decided to have a walk to Brook Street and visit the Olde Cottage. This welcoming traditional community hostelry benefits from a range of pub games with two dart boards, pool and bagatelle though all games off at the moment. With a reduced number of tables and contact details collected we were directed to a table. It was good timing as well as the pub has introduced a special offer of all real ales at £2.50 a pint Sunday to Thursday and £3.00 a pint on Friday and Saturdays. With Butcombe Original, Weetwood Oregan Pale, and Merlin the Wizard proved exceptional good value for each round. No sign of the cat though there was a message on the bar saying “How do you know the cat’s on a diet?” Sat in a corner with light streaming through the window it was a chance for us to admire the engraving of the words Olde Cottage Inn Real Ales on the smoked glass. A quick walk further along Brook Street towards the railway station brings you to the Deva Tap. A one way system was in operation and we entered by a side entrance which we’d not used before.

The interior is fairly open plan but still has the feel of three separate rooms - a small area by the front door, larger seating area in the middle and the bar at the far end. The small courtyard outside with picnic tables was busy. A quick look at the bar revealed three beers instead of the usual five available, which were their regular Rat White Rat, Thornbridge Jaipur and Dark Arts from Magic Rock. No prizes for guessing my choice, the Jaipur, but the other two were on top form as well. To finish off the evening handmade pizzas were ordered and were good value.

Three great pubs to visit and all beers were in good form despite a reduced range though as they say less is more.

Another enjoyable evening had by all.