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The Rising Sun, Berkhamsted

George Street
Berkhamsted
HP4 2EG
Phone: 01442864913

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Ian Mapp left this review about The Rising Sun

Good Beer Guide Entry 2019.

Popular canal side location with very scruffy tables outside. Could do with a good clean.

Inside, its wooden interior with a central bar and rather small. The bar is fiercely guarded by bar hoggers who obviously lost their space once, as they won't give up an inch.

Meant it was tricky for me to fully review the beers on handpull. I didn't recognise any of the pump clips but always prepared to try - if only I could have seen what was on offer.

Instead, and as it was a red hot day - I went for a Camden Hells Lager - served in a unique glass from the brewery.

Would certainly revisit....

On 26th May 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 641 recommendations about 635 pubs]


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Gill Smith left this review about The Rising Sun

Called into this fantastic 2018 Good Beer Guide pub while on a CAMRA coach trip of the area, and enjoyed it's sunny canalside location and it's choice of beers with CAMRA discount offered. It hosts all sorts of event from beer festivals to quiz nights, and has a cheese club. As well as around 5 real ales there can be up to 20 ciders. Our beers of choice were Tring Drop Bar and Stamps Bondi Blonde, both in good condition.

On 17th October 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1306 recommendations about 1196 pubs]


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Aqualung . left this review about Rising Sun

I had heard of this pub on many occasions before I darkened it's door.
It was originally an Allied Brewery pub, probably Benskin's or ABC. I'm not sure if it has an entrance in George Street as I approached it from the patio of the Boat a few yards away and left via a passageway that runs between the canal and George Street.
It's hard to imagine that this peaceful canal side location is only a short walk from Berkhampstead Station. The inside is small and well described below and was fairly quiet on my Friday afternoon visit. The five beers consisted of the house Riser bitter brewed by Tring, two by the XT brewery XPA and One, RCH Pitchfork and a new beer from a St Alban's brewery that I can't pin down from my scrawled note.
I went for the XT XPA (£3.60) which was a superb American Pale Ale. That doesn't sound cheap but this was a 5.9% beer and the 20p CAMRA discount reduced it to £3.40. The cider choice was overwhelming including alarmingly one of an unknown ABV.
This pub was a real antidote to having visited all four Milton Keynes Spoons earlier in the day.
It is more than just the best pub in Berkhampstead but one of the top pubs in Southern England and beats just about everything I've seen in London.

On 5th October 2014 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]


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Steve of N21 left this review about Rising Sun

Update: And also in the opinion of the Mid Chilterns CAMRA branch , who have just made it their POTY again for 2014 as well as Cider Pub of the Year for 2014.
15th May 2014: Another visit to this fine canal side pub whose charms have been well described by previous reviewers.
For me one of the key charms is the focus on smaller regional brewery ales and the Rising Sun did not disappoint on this visit. All five pumps on the go with Tring Brewery Riser Bitter, Brightside Odin Blonde Ale, JR Best Bitter from the Raw Brewing Co, Nelson Brewery Colossus and Newport in a Storm from the Verulum Micro Brewery from the Farmers Boy in St Albans.
A nice touch I haven’t noticed before is that they have a sample of the beer in old Jam Jars by the pumps so that you can see the colour and style of the beer before you purchase.
The Rising Sun was our destination pub when walking this section of the Grand Union and for us also it did not disappoint and still remains, in our opinion, the best pub in Berkhamsted.

On 22nd September 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1699 recommendations about 1648 pubs]


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Pub SignMan left this review about The Rising Sun

The cover star of the 2012 edition of the Good Beer Guide, and rightly so, for not only is it a source of fine ale, it is also a wonderfully picturesque little pub with its idyllic canal side setting. You enter up a short flight of steps into the main bar – a small, compact bare boarded room with half paneled walls. There’s not a great deal of room for seating here, with a single table in the front bay window and a row of bar stools being the most you can squeeze in. A doorway takes you through into a similarly styled second room with a lot more space for seating, mainly in the form of pews and low stools. There is all manner of stuff on display here, including a cabinet full of interesting brewerania, a display of knots, old posters and adverts for all sorts of things, a tankard rack and the day’s papers. I initially thought this was the full extent of the interior, but further investigation uncovered a cosy rear room with padded benches, large button backed chairs and some standard seating. This room has a fireplace on the back wall, more old adverts on display, including an impressive Anheuser Busch mirror, and a collection of board games. There was also a small TV set in the room, but it’s not clear if it gets much use. A few benches can be found outside and I imagine it would be very nice to take your pint outside in warmer weather, given the pleasant surroundings.
There were five ales on the bar when I arrived – Tring Up ‘n’ Under and Riser Bitter, York Centurion’s Ghost, Scottish Borders Holy Cow and Allendale North Sheep. I tried the last two and found them both in good condition, with the North Sheep being a very pleasant pint. Weston’s Cider and Perry were on hand pull and a board listed a total of twelve ciders and perries, which should cover most tastes. At the right hand end of the servery there was a display case full of tobacco type products, including cigars and snuff I believe.
This is a classic canalside pub with a wonderfully preserved traditional interior that makes it well worth a look in its own right. Factor in a great range of beers and ciders and you’ve got a destination pub in a fine location. This pub was both the reason for, and the end to, my pub crawl in Berkhamsted and it didn’t let me down.

On 2nd March 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2449 recommendations about 2449 pubs]


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Quinno _ left this review about The Rising Sun

An incredibly picturesque canal-side (Grand Union) pub that makes many a seasoned pub-goer weak at the knees. You need to climb a few steps to enter and the bar is in the first small room, which also has a couple of bay windows that afford lovely views over the lock and are ideal for watching the world go by. There are two other rooms that lead off this one but the capacity of the pub isn’t that big. Bare-board flooring throughout and plenty of character. Five ales were available during my visit (a couple from Red Squirrel, their American IPA and Mild, St Austell Trewlawny, Oakham Macaw and a house beer from Tring). The two beers I had were in fair condition. There’s a bigger emphasis on cider/perry with more available than I could count (at least 25) including a few interesting ones in bottle too, so an ideal place for those who like to grapple with the apple. As mentioned elsewhere, cigars and snuff are offered at the bar and daily papers are also available. So far, so good. Unfortunately on my visit the two lads behind the bar left a lot to be desired, one especially was painfully slow, not paying attention (too busy mooing and showing off to his cronies) and overcharging for drinks despite the CAMRA cards being waved around (they offer a discount, supposedly). I also found a number of the other punters rather irritating. It was a spectacular sunny day so perhaps it was overrun by tourists but in combination it really got under my skin. I really wanted to like it here…judging by the comments left by some of my other peers on PuG I may well have just hit the place at a very bad time. I guess I’ll be back at some point and I’ll reassess…I’ll be generous with a 7.

On 10th August 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]


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Malden man left this review about The Rising Sun

This is an excellent little pub set in an enviable location alongside the canal lock, a deserving GBG front cover winner. Up a few steps to a small wood floored bar area, where a contented group of regulars were gathered, chewing the fat over various issues. To the left is another small room with display cases of knots, jugs and jars, pewter tankards and so on. Beyond, and behind the bar is a small parlour type room with a pair of wing back armchairs, a selection of board games and for service, a small hatch to the bar. A series of signs and boards over the bar advertise beer festivals, forthcoming guest ales, the ciders, quiz night etc. Adjacent to the servery is an old 3D advert for Thomas Crapper's Flushing Closet. A case on the counter has a selection of good quality cigars for sale, and more unusually, there are a selection of jars of snuff on the bar. Seating is small stools and benches at little round tables, with window seats in the bay area. The Riser, as it is known, is a regular collector of awards, and the friendly landlord proudly informed me that his pub has recently picked up the local CAMRA POTY and Cider POTY double. Ciders are high profile here with the house "Riser in Cyder", two from Westons plus Addlestones on handpump, Riser and a Westons double clipped, as well as a number more in the cellar, plus various bottles. There are eight handpumps that I counted, the beers were the house brew, "Riser Bitter" from Tring (Brock I believe), Buntingford Partridge, Cottage Champflower Ale, Dark Star Revelation and Red Squirrel Hopfest, a pretty decent line up by any standards. I have been walking along the Grand Union from London outwards in stages, and this is easily the best pub I have had the pleasure to stop at thus far. Highly recommended.
Outdoor seating to the side as well as a couple of tables to the frontage where you can watch the canal life go by.

On 6th March 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1686 recommendations about 1662 pubs]


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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Rising Sun

ORIGINAL REVIEW April 2010.A very attractive small canalside pub with two bay windows in the front bar with great views over the lock.Traditional interior with an intimate back lounge around the side of the bar,and a good courtyard area for smokers.Judging by the collection of pump clips some interesting ale has been served here and the pub is committed to traditional cider and a wide range of bottled perry and cider.On our visit in here there was a slightly disappointing ale range,a House brew from Tring Brewery at 3.7%,Rebellion Mild 3.5% ,Rebellion IPA 3.7% ( badly named,how can an IPA be 3.7% and deep copper coloured?) and Batemans GHA Pale Ale 4.2% which by default became the object of our quaffing.I would suggest that more thought needs to be given to the beer range,with a greater range of strengths and styles possibly by dropping the House brew which probably was just rebadged Brock Bitter.However the Riser is a must visit in Berko,should be in the GBG and is the best pub in the town .Very friendly bar staff.Beware this pub is closed some midweek lunchtimes.

UPDATE Oct 2011.
A distinct upgrade to a 9,great ale selection now make this a must visit.The interior also justifies close inspection ,authentic and traditional.The pub fully deserves to be featured on the cover of the 2012 GBG,just outstanding.

On 9th October 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2054 recommendations about 2054 pubs]


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Thuck Phat left this review about The Rising Sun

The Riser is an attractive Victorian canalside boozer.
On entry up the stairs you walk straight into the cosy bar area with a wide range of snuff available on the bar. To the left is another, larger, room with assorted tables and chairs and beyond this, behind the bar area, is a small snug like area with again various tables and chairs and two large and very comfortable armchairs.
The welcome we received was friendly and the locals are chatty. This was perhaps helped by it being quiz night which takes place on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month when you can also order a fish and chip supper.
The Riser is a long time GBG entrant but the focus does seem to have been on cider historically rather than beer and the ale range used to be invariably disappointing. Not so now and while this is still very much a cider emporium, the beer range is also very good. On offer during our visit were: Vale Black Beauty Porter, Dark Star American IPA which was changed for Vale Gravitas, Rising Sun Riser, Blindmans Buff from the Blindmans Brewery and Blackfriars Mitre Gold. An unusual and well selected range with both the Gravitas and American IPA being excellent.
The place to go in Berko for both beer and cider and a very comfortable and cosy pub to enjoy both in. I'll certainly return.

On 9th October 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 670 recommendations about 669 pubs]


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Andy Ven left this review about The Rising Sun

Not a review as such but just to highlight that this pub has the honour of its photograph adorning the front cover of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2012.

On 1st September 2011 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 244 recommendations about 240 pubs]

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