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UK’s Best Cities for Beer Lovers

Travel famously broadens the mind. It lengthens the soul. It thins the blood. However what people don’t mention, is that the mind-broadening process is also incredibly thirsty work. So have a peruse of our Beavertown collection and read our handy ‘Beer’ and ‘Travel’ Venn diagram of the best cities for beer lovers…


Congratulations, you’ve arrived in the city! You set down your suitcase, you scour the map, your eyes flit past the Roman settlements, the art galleries, the museums, searching for one thing: Beer.


Norwich is known as the City of Ale. Which is a good sign. It’s so called because it grows some of the best malting barley in the world. It hosts a city-wide beer festival from the 23rd May – 23rd June, and during the 19th Century boasted that it had one pub for every day of the year. A claim that we’ll almost certainly hear from other cities. The 1904 Licensing Act and the Second World War saw the number fall to around 130 pubs with King Street hit hardest, going from 58 pubs to 1, known as The Last Pub Standing. You can also visit the oldest pub in the city, The Adam and Eve, which dates back to the 13th Century and is so called because clothes and eating apples are both frowned upon. Also why not try mixing some local mustard in your pint like all the locals do? NB. Don’t do this, the locals don’t do this, we’re lying.


York boasts that it has a pub for every day of the year [see, we told you] – and is one of Britain’s most vibrant beer scenes, with gems lying in wait down every nook and alley. Pubs such as The Blue Bell on Fossgate are one of its smallest and best, and then there’s the Duke of York which serves excellent food and Beavertown beers. What’s not to like? York is also officially one of the world’s most haunted cities, so pull up a pew, order a Neck Oil and have a chat with an 17th Century pirate captain.


Described as a ‘beer lover’s paradise’. There are almost 20 breweries in the shadow of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and throughout the city. Plus there’s a Craft Beer Festival from the 7th – 8th June. For good pubs look no further than the Beermuda Triangle on King Street and The Old Bookshop pub on North Street. Alternatively have a pint by Harbourside, where The Ostritch boasts a huge beer garden, perfect for a beer when the sun’s out and watching the boats go by.  


One of the UK’s most popular and historic cities, it’s also one of the smallest capitals in Europe. Plus it’s widely regarded as being the city with the most castles in the world. So there’s your bar chat sorted, now you just need to decide between the atmospheric mayhem of the Brewery Quarter or the quieter, picturesque beer gardens of Lisvane. In any case, why not start off at The Blue Bell, one of the oldest and best-loved pubs in the City. Or there’s The Pen and Wig, with its large courtyard garden, good selection of beers, just a short walk from the city centre.


A city swimming in history, Belfast is experiencing a real surge in craft beer and microbreweries. With its emphasis on late-night music and Northern Irish hospitality, a night out in Belfast is usually a memorable one. Check out the award-winning Northern Whig in the Cathedral Quarter, there’s the Duke of York nestled along a narrow cobbled alleyway in the historic Half Bap Area. Otherwise Craft beer hunters might want to sound out the brilliantly authentic Garrick on Chichester Street.


Unofficially referred to as the real ale capital of the world, with 58 breweries in the surrounding South Yorkshire area. Think of Sheffield and naturally words like ‘lively’ and ‘vibrant’ spring up. Whether you’re looking for a quiet watering hole, an indie bar or a late-night hangout, Sheffield has got you covered. Or maybe you want to try your hand at axe throwing? If so head to the Boom Battle Bar, where you can have a pint of Neck Oil and throw an axe, possibly not at the same time. There’s Cheap Dates, a dive bar, open til 2am. Or for a bit of everything, head to Cutlery Works, the largest food hall in the North of England, where 2 floors of independent bars and restaurants await.


A city famous for its architectural style, industrial prowess and unique charm. A UNESCO City of Music, with the 3rd oldest railway system in the world. But when it comes to drinking Glasgow really comes into its own. It’s brimming with traditional candlelit pubs, secluded cellars and brilliant bars. Head to Brel on Ashton Lane for a swift one in the beer garden, otherwise there’s the very cool Stereo, which combines shabby-chic décor and great food and drink. And no trip to Glasgow is complete without a visit to Nice ‘N ‘Sleazy, with its club in the basement. A fixture of Glasgow nightlife. And finally, for an unexpected gem, head to the Laurieston Bar on Bridge Street. 


No self-respecting best cities for beer lovers list could be complete without a passing mention for London, El Capital, The Big Smoky Apple. From mead to porter to Neck Oil, Londoners have long had a soft spot for their beer. In the 13th Century, monks at St Paul’s brewed more than 67,000 gallons of beer a year to cater for thirsty Londoners. Henry VIII’s Hampton Court drank 13,000 pints a day, responsibly. London now has more breweries than New York. It’s been quite a journey, so celebrate by visiting some of the capital’s best loved pubs, starting with the Bermondsey Beer Mile – a mile long stretch of craft beer bars, taprooms and breweries. And why not take a journey to where it all began and have a pint of Neck Oil at Corner Pin taproom in Tottenham, a portal into the Beavertown Universe.


If this list has done its job, you should be just about ready for a pint. Find your nearest Neck Oil with the help of this handy Neck Oil Finder.

Happy travels!