Hot Lists Monday, July 3rd Words by: CAMRA/Herefordshire Live

Beer on the Wye XIII: 13 pubs for 13 years

Hot Lists Monday, July 3rd

Beer on the Wye XIII: 13 pubs for 13 years

Remember the heady days of 2005? Duncan from Blue went solo, The Ugg boot was a strong look, and some guy called Zuckerberg just invented some thing called the Facebook. 

Well, 2005 was also the year Beer on the Wye was first held in Hereford. So happy 13th birthday, Beer on the Wye. You're officially a teenager.

To help mark the milestone, we asked the festival founders (and self-proclaimed CAMRA geeks) to recommend their favourite beer-stops in Hereford city.

Thirteen pubs for thirteen years...


1. The Barrels

69 St Owen Street, HR1 2JQ.

No visit to the city should be considered complete without a visit. This four-room, no frills boozer has an almost cult following both near and far. It’s the tap for Wye Valley Brewery Brewery - stocking their full range, plus Olivers Cider. The rear courtyard is home to a major charity beer and music festival each August bank holiday. No food, but good times and bag loads of real character.

2. Beer in Hand

136 Eign Street, HR4 0AP

Hereford’s first micro-pub set up in 2013. A narrow single-room pub, it’s the tap for Odyssey Brew Co and recently Herefordshire CAMRA’s Cider Pub of the Year. You’d normally expect 8-10 ciders to be on and a similar number of real beers. This weekend they’re having their own beer festival called Beer on the Eign. Now where did they get that name from?!

13for13 BIH

Beer in Hand, home of Odyssey Brew Co | pic: @bihhereford/Instagram

3. The Booth Hall

East Street, HR1 2LW.

Re-opened only last year as a venue for live music and entertainment. You’re just as likely to find contemporary circus or a comedy night as you are a live band in action. Some great architecture upstairs (if that’s your bag), matched by beers from micros on the bar downstairs. No food.

4. Britannia

7 Cotterell Street, HR4 0HH.

One of three Wye Valley pubs in the city. A refurbished, stone-faced pub that is a real living community hub. Friendly in spades, there is always something going on in either the pub or the paved back garden. Wye Valley’s Bitter HPA and Butty Bach are stocked.

5. Firefly

16 King Street, HR4 9BX

It has just passed it’s first birthday after opening in May 2016. Mix of olde and new, with original wood panelling and tiled floors mixing juxtaposed with moody dark décor and some rococo flourishes. Living proof that trendier pubs can still be inclusive and appeal to all, with three real beers (including always one from Tiny Rebel Brewery); two real ciders, and numerous imported cans and bottles. 

6. Hereford Beer House

65 West Street, HR4 0BX.

A bottle shop-cum-micro-pub based in a converted shop. It sells craft beer on draught, in bottles and in cans, and has an impressive range real ciders. Mostly local ciders include those from Once Upon a Tree; Olivers; Gwatkins; Dunkertons; Newton Court, and Skyborry. Sometimes does light snacks.

13for13 HfdBeerHouse

pic: @herefordbeerhouse/Instagram

7. Imperial

31 Widemarsh Street, HR4 9EA.

Large, nicely-modernised, venue with extensive covered patio to the rear that is pitched primarily towards affordable family dining. Ten beer pumps line the bar (includes duplicates), with a house beer brewed by Brecon Brewing.

8. Kings Fee

49-53 Commercial Road, HR1 2BJ.

Hereford’s very own branch of J D Wetherspoon is a conversion from an old supermarket, and won a design award. Interesting murals and a nice backyard feature. Otherwise, it’s what you expect - good value beer and food, but with the added surprise offering of up to five real ciders.

9. Lichfield Vaults

11 Church Street, HR1 2LR.

Well-run 18th Century city-centre venue tucked away in a cobbled alley near the Cathedral. Great for a pint before Matins. A large opened-out bar has much nice wood-panelling. Food (including speciality Greek). At least five real ales, including one from Caledonian Brewery.

13for13 Lich

pic: @ourvillalife/Instagram

10. Merton Hotel

28 Commercial Road, HR1 2BD.

A more genteel call as you get closer to the railway station. Bar in a hotel with meals all day, it manages to sell Hobsons Mild and three guests from other independents. 11-11 daily

11. Saracen’s Head

1 St Martin Street, HR2 7RD.

One we thought we had lost until it re-opened in 2015. Located on the ramparts of the city’s 14th Century Wye Bridge, it is the only riverside pub in Hereford. A single-room pub with al fresco riverside terrace, it’s been refurbished to a high standard with clean lines and a cosy atmosphere to match.

12. Victory

88 St Owen Street, HR1 2QD.

With an interior fitted out as a galleon, this is also the home to Hereford Brewery. It offers beers from the Hereford range and up to four real ciders.

13. Gordon Bennetts

8 St Peters Street, Hereford, HR1 2LE

A re-incarnation of what was once Watercress Harry’s and before that, the Garrick. Opened in 2016 this city-centre bar has been fitted out to a very high standard. It has many similarities to the Barrels, so it is only apt that it stocks (amongst others) Wye Valley beers, some being served from a chilled stillage device. Meals including Sunday roasts.



Can't make your mind up? Try one of our beer's like a pick n mix! #gordonbennetts #hereford #realale #beer

A post shared by Gordon Bennetts (@gordonbennetts) on



Read More: Beer on the Wye 2017: The What, Where and When

Read More: Meet the Team Behind Beer on the Wye

Beer on the Wye runs from Friday July 7 to Sunday July 9. Weekend and day tickets are available on the gate.

Over the weekend festival goers are expected to get through 21,000 pints of beer and cider, sampling 120+ cask beers, bottles from the dedicated Foreign Beer Bar, and more than 120 ciders and perry. You'll find the beer list here. | #beeronthewye

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