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Bristol Day Out, Saturday 18th April 2009

North Cotswold Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale


North Cotswold members were joined by friends from Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cirencester and London for a day out in Bristol. 19 met in the Knights Templar (Photo 1) next to Temple Meads station. After a drink everyone walked the short distance to the ferry stop (Photo 2) to take a river trip via the city centre to the Pump House at Hotwells. The ferry stopped near the Ostrich pub but members of the party ignored the chance of some early refreshment to enjoy the sights as we passed the Matthew and SS Great Britain on our way to our first port of call at Hotwells.


Disembarking we walked around the corner to the Merchants Arms (Photo 3), a Bath Ales pub with four beers on offer, after a pleasant drink we walked back down Hotwells Road to the Grain Barge (Photo 4), a Bristol Beer Factory outlet. They had on a full range of their beers brewed at nearby Ashton across the river. Most of the party took their drinks onto the top deck to enjoy the sunshine whilst the others enjoyed a fine meal.


From there it was a short walk to the Bag o Nails (Photo 5), a free house offering a great range of beers which were well appreciated by all as well as some tasty pies to soak up some of the alcohol.


Leaving the Bag was the longest walk of the day through to the centre, under Park Street and past the famous Hatchet pub to the Colston Yard. (Photo 6) This was formerly the Smiles Brewery Tap before their demise, but it has been developed by Butcombe into a very smart pub/restaurant offering four of their beers plus two guests. The party gathered in one of the side rooms, some displaying natty head gear, and spent an enjoyable time sampling the beers on offer.


Time was running out for some so it was a walk back towards Temple Meads via a burger for some who had missed out on earlier food opportunities, and at this point the group fractured with the pace setters going to the Cornubia to sample some Hidden beers whilst others returned to the Knights Templar for a quick drink before catching their train home.

Thanks to Martyn Herbert and Peter Rowe for an excellent day out and to Nicky Harvey who organised an alternative outing to the Ebrington Arms for their Wine and Cheese tasting for 6 Ladies not travelling to Bristol.


Report by Roger Price. Photos by Roger & Peter Rowe