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Farriers Arms, St Albans Central, St. Albans

Lower Dagnall Street
St. Albans

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Farriers Arms

I got a warm welcome upon arriving at this classic back street local’s boozer, with the crowd of blokes at the bar quickly dragging me into their conversation about the cricket, which they were avidly watching on a screen at the end of the room. I suppose in a way, it’s tricky not to get wrapped up in conversation here, as the front bar is very compact, with limited bench seating around the perimeter and most customers stood or perched on a stool at the bar. The room is bare boarded and has the servery running pretty much the full length of the back wall, with half-frosted sash windows allowing a decent amount of light in. A McMullen’s Brewery sign on one wall introduces the licensees, which struck me as a little unusual, and I also spotted a nice little burner in a fireplace to the right, a dartboard in one corner and a large plain mirror above the fire. The bar has a tongue and groove counter front and a smart, traditional bar back lined with various bank notes, pint pots and pump clips, with a few enamel drink advertisements around the door to the left. This leads through to a larger rear lounge, accessed via a notably high single step. This room has half panelled walls, exposed floorboards and a few tatty old rugs plus a selection of bench and chair seating options. Old photographs, drawings and brewery mirrors compete for attention on the walls and the room has its own, very small, bar counter in the front corner. From here you can head out to a small, colourful beer garden with just one table and a rather ‘earthy’ outdoor toilet block.
I would never have guessed this pub was in anyway affiliated with McMullen’s from the ale range, which comprised McMullen’s Country, Skinners Betty Stogs, St Austell Tribute and Oakham Citra. The latter was competitively priced compared to other pubs I’d visited that day, with a pint coming in at £3.80 and in excellent shape to boot.
This was the pick of the seven pubs I visited in St Albans on my most recent crawl and I would rank it up there as one of the best in the entire city. I found the classic local’s boozer vibe right up my street and felt very comfortable settling down in the front bar between all the locals whilst enjoying a great pint. It is perhaps a little too ‘blokey’ to appeal to everyone, but I really enjoyed the place and look forward to a return visit.

On 14th November 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2494 recommendations about 2494 pubs]

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Ian Mapp left this review about Farriers Arms

Small, locals, back street bar.

Good choice of ales.... rarely seen Betty Stogs in great condition.

Found the staff very pleasant!

Visit blogged at

On 6th July 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Farriers Arms

A pub that warrants a visit due to its historical association with the fledgling CAMRA back in the day. And as a solid enough back street traditional pub serving four ales and with a sizeable local following. But in a town full of excellent drinking houses its difficult to see myself going out of my way to utilise The Farriers over several others.

On 23rd August 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1701 recommendations about 1650 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Farriers Arms

Bit of a change here – has been sold by McMullens and is now free-of-tie, so only one McMullens ale on, the other choices were Fullers Oliver's island, St Austell Tribute and Skinners Betty Stoggs (good nick). Dart board spotted. Not the most spectacular ale range for a purported freehouse but nonetheless worth putting on the crawl list. 6.5

July 2009
A clean and cosy split-level McMullens local serving three of their ale range in good condition. It's nice, light and airy inside with a bit of history hung on the walls - apparently this was the 'birthplace' of CAMRA. Clientèle were on the greyer side and there was a nice relaxed buzz about the place, which was already quite busy for an early Sunday afternoon. There's a TV for sports/news. Some may find fault with the mid-80's refit décor but it didn't bother me - in fact I rather thought that it looked like an improvement from the previous interior judging by the photos on the pub's walls. Small but tidy rear courtyard. I'd be happy to go back again and would recommend it as a tidy place to enjoy a relaxed pint (presuming you like McMullen beer). Rated 7

On 1st August 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about Farriers Arms

A typical looking backstreet pub and to be honest was nothing too special as mentioned by my fellow pub crawlers below.The whole place seemed a little in a rut as was the ordinary beer selection, my Fullers Oliver's Island was a little tired and lacking in taste. It was OK for a quick pint but I wouldn't go out of my way again given the unadventurous beer lineup.

On 28th July 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1327 recommendations about 1313 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about Farriers Arms

Not a great pub for atmosphere on our visit. This also reflected across the beer choice across the pumps, no local microbrewery gems to be found here. The outside loos with polished brass work, were the only feature on the day.

On 26th July 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

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Blackthorn _ left this review about Farriers Arms

A traditional, street corner pub just a short stroll around the corner from the market place, it consists of an L-shape bar with a sanded wooden floor and white painted boards on the ceiling. There is some further pine wood panelling on the walls, a darts board and a couple of plasma screens, although one was turned off and the other that was showing the cricket had the volume down so these were not too intrusive. There was also a small brick fire-place in the corner. A few photos of the locals were on the walls along with a selection of beer mats suggesting a regularly changing line up.

Food wise, the menu appeared to offer a range of “pub grub” dishes such as Thai prawns, scampi & chips, fish & chips, ham egg & chips, etc., and these were mostly priced around £6 or so.

Beers on this occasion were McMullen’s County, Betty Stoggs, Tribute and Fullers Oliver’s Island. The solitary cider was a slightly disappointing Aspall’s Suffolk.

On 21st July 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about Farriers Arms

Famous as the birthplace of CAMRA, I thought the small L shaped interior was a little spartan and the window blinds seemed a bit too modern.However the outside gents did restore an authentic vibe.Quiet on a crawl visit,the guv'nor appeared tired of tourists and didn't show much enthusiasm.The real ale selection of Fullers Olivers Island,Skinners Betty Stogs,St Austell Tribute and McMullens Country was safe but unexciting and I got the impression that the GBG 2015 listing is more a nod to history that an endorsement of real ale excellence.

On 19th July 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2070 recommendations about 2070 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about Farriers Arms

Much vaunted as the birthplace of CAMRA, this is a pleasing backstreet local with a red carpeted floor, stained wainscoting and a white painted planked ceiling. Various framed cartoons, old advertisements and maps decorate the place, the bar is central with the room winding around from front to rear. Benches and blue upholstered chars at rustic tables, venetian blinds and a nice big wall clock. There was a vase of roses on the corner of the bar.
Three on, McMullen's Country Bitter, Skinner's Betty Stogs and Tribute. Food served and good value too.
A nice place, the landlord was a bit miserable however and seemed to have a slight issue with me taking photos however it's his house so I suppose he can say what he likes. Another good pub in this town full of them.

On 18th July 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

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john gray left this review about Farriers Arms

Found this to be a nice cosy pub.Nice pale wood and sun coming through a pub window is always a plus.Not sure if its still Mcmullens as they had Tribute,Betty Stoggs,Salopian -oracle (nice) and only County bitter from Mc mullens.Very nice pub

On 12th May 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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