Category Archives: Cities

Derby is a winner!

Prior to our recent trip to Derby we wondered whether the Real Ale capital measured up. The answer is yes! A good range of ales, craft beer and tripping over the odd Pub-based beer festival provided a good beerweekend. The winner for us was The Furnace. Ok it was holding a small scale beer festival but it had a good range at the bar and in the fridges.

The bar at The Furnace
The bar at The Furnace

A knowledgeable and friendly group of staff welcomed us to the bar. In fact we felt so welcome we went back again to finish off the weekend and it was well worth it!

Dark vs Light Beer Festival at The Furnace

If you are judging a city on it’s welcome and range of beer then you’ll not go far wrong to start here on your visit to Derby.

We have more to report back on our visit with a full pub list, ale trail, more pics…

Derby, Real Ale Capital?

Really? Have those who proclaim this never been to Norwich! Norwich, the City of Ale is the beerweekenders benchmark, our spiritual home with more pubs than days of the year. Can Derby outperform Norwich? We are about to find out as we prepare for our Beerweekend away…

The plan…a man-plan! Get off the train and start walking. Of course that would be sheer madness so we have on the back of a fag packet a list…

The Brunswick

The Alexandra Hotel

The Furnace Inn

The Olde Bell

The Golden Eagle

The Smithfield

The Five Lamps


The New Zealand

The Silk Mill Tap

The Flowerpot

Exeter Arms

The Tap

Ye Olde Dolphin

The Greyhound

It’s a start. If you can recommend any then please let us know.  Let’s see how you measure up Derby…watch this space…




A typical Autumnal day but then again it could have been summer according to the British weather. Off we set for Norwich. Our destination of choice was proposed by Ian who had studied there in the dark ages and convinced us that every corner had a pub and the streets were awash with ale… we were not disappointed.

Our first stop was the Adam and Eve,  a 17th Century building with a small bar.  A good place to start just for the quaint, albeit small interior serving great pub food. Essential lining for the day ahead.  Without describing each stop, every pub had real ales and offered something for everyone.

Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve

The Fat Cat and Canary and the Coach and Horses are further out from the rest of the pubs listed so you might want to figure this in to your route. Perhaps as you arrive or leave via the main rail station. For us, the walk to The Fat Cat and Canary allowed a mid-trail break just to catch our breath…and let’s face it…empty the bladder too! None of us are getting any younger!!

Norwich Tap House
Norwich Tap House

Our list of pubs which we recommend are:

Adam and Eve: Quaint 17th Century building serving hearty food.

Wig and Pen: Another 17th century building with half a dozen ales

Ribs of Beef: On the river with a range of up to a dozen ales

Norwich Tap House: 20 taps!! Watch out for the higher strengths!

St Andrews Brew House: Five house brews should keep you busy!

The Belgian Monk: Yes, a menu of Belgian beers…and food!

Vine Tavern: Quirky café style with small offering. Serve Thai food!

The Sir Garnet: Interesting multi level building.

Murderers: Happened to have a beer festival on our visit.

Kings Head:  Half a dozen beers here.

Golden Star: Conveniently next to the hotel. One more for the road!

Micawbers Tavern: At least five ales…watched the rugby here!

Fat Cat and Canary: Mouth wide open at the choice of kegs!!

Coach and Horses: Own brews which don’t disappoint.

Our list is by no means definitive but it will give you somewhere reliable to head for. Apologies for the brief description and to those pubs not mentioned. Norwich is full of them!!

Here’s a couple of suggested routes:

Norwich Ale Trail #1

Norwich Ale Trail #2