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Cricketers Arms, St. Helens

64-68 Peter Street
West Park
Postal town: St. Helens
WA10 2EB

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about Cricketers Arms

A previous winner of Camra's pub of the year award, but it would be hard to tell if it weren't for the celebratory mural (see photo) and the landlord's story of how they nearly won it again the next year. To be fair, there's a lot to like about this pub; mostly the beer. On entering, as the first customers of the day, we were greeted by quite a strong smell of bleach, which is better than a smell of the drains, but doesn't help the appreciation of the beer.

There were 13 hand pumps on the go, with seven spread along one part of the counter and the other six round the corner. Three or four of these were from the on-site Howzat brewery, with cricket themed names that were lost on my drinking companion, though he did enjoy both the Nightwatchman Porter and especially the "5 fer 47"(Ken Shuttleworth's Finest), named in honour of the only Test match bowler to have been born in St Helens. I went for Elland Dobson's, Hawkshead Brodie's Prime and Ossett Yorkshire Brunette, all in good condition, though the latter was a bit underwhelming tastewise.

I probably let the bleach and the lack of modesty about the POTY to get up my nose, both literally and metaphorically, and I have to admit the pub did grow on me a little - maybe my mark of 7 might seem a little stingy. If so, I'll maybe be more generous after my next visit.

On 27th January 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2760 recommendations about 2599 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Cricketers Arms

Probably the most well-known pub in St Helens following its award of CAMRA National Pub of the Year for 2017, this is a smashing back street boozer that has been turned into a genuine destination ale house. The pub has a fairly opened out interior with light coloured floorboards throughout and the servery along the back wall. The bar has a long, angular tongue and groove counter with matching pot shelves and bar back, whilst the traditional bell used to call time has been replaced by a large car horn. Pump clips liberally line the beam above the bar and the pillar that breaks the counter part way along its length – a hint of the pub’s previous two-bar layout. The left side of the room comprises a comfy looking lounge area, hidden a little behind the porch entrance, therefore making it a peaceful retreat from the busier bar area. Long banquettes skirt the perimeter and there is a creative display of various beer bottles and cans on the back wall. Another long, padded banquette runs along the pub’s front wall, opposite the bar, where some nice etched glass windows bearing the pub’s name can be found. Beer trays fill the window sills, various bottles and jugs are stacked up on the back of the banquettes, hops line the ceiling beams and lots of blackboards detail various drink options, all combining to give an authentic ale house feel to the room. To the right of the bar there is an open space with a drinking ledge and high stools down the end wall and a view out to the small, green beer garden. A side area in what may once have been a separate room, is dominated by a pool table, with some more comfy seating around the perimeter and an interesting collection of breweriana on the walls. A couple of TV screens dotted around the pub were inexplicably showing muted Celebrity X-Factor, which seemed highly incongruous and totally pointless.
The entrance porch rather unusually contains the pub’s beer board, so I spent a considerably longer than I usually would in a porch, trying to decide from a selection comprising Bollington Eastern Nights, North Riding Tiramisu Porter and Enigma, Listers Special Ale, Elland Lucky Dip, Beartown Crème Bearlee, Pictish Mounthood and Minstrel, Howzat Sightscreen, Castle Rock Preservation, Brightside Oktoberfest and a Best Bitter, from a brewery whose name was obscured. Unbeknownst to me, the Howzat beer is brewed in the pub’s own on-site microbrewery, but it was lost in this long list and I ended up instead taking a chance on the Tiramisu Porter, which was in excellent condition and tasted like very sweet coffee. At least nine boxed ciders could be seen in the fridges behind the bar as well, so most bases seem to be covered here.
It’s clear to see how this pub appealed to CAMRA and I would suggest it probably deserves its recognition for helping to promote good beer in a town few would consider a cask ale hub. There was a nice, convivial atmosphere here on my Sunday afternoon visit and whilst it perhaps lacks the comfort and warmth of other local ale houses like The Turk’s Head, it is definitely a pub worth venturing out of you way to check out.

On 18th December 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2673 recommendations about 2673 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Brainy Pool left this review about Cricketers Arms

now serving its own beers from their own ‘Howzat brewery’ - i tried the Nightwatchman stout which was fine. the pub continues to keep first rate ale but I still don’t find it to be a place I want to stay for a while so it remains an 8/10.

On 8th December 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 853 recommendations about 828 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about Cricketers Arms

This is an award winning free house situated on what appears to be the edge of St Helens near a roundabout hosting a branch of Aldi. Although the pub has been opened out from what must have been separate rooms it still retains different areas spread around the central bar. There were a few in on my Thursday afternoon visit but there was plenty of room.
I counted 10 hand pumps but then kept spotting extra ones. There may be as many as 14 all in use and also a chill cabinet crammed full of boxes of cider. It would be quite easy to come here for a whole day and not have a repeat pint. I tried three of the beers , Oakham Citra (£2.60), North Riding Amaretto Porter (£2.70) and Phoenix Double Gold (£2.70). Prices include CAMRA discount and all were in excellent condition.
My only gripe with this place was that on a cool day there were several old blokes wearing shorts. When it won the CAMRA gong it was up against Wigan Central which I marginally prefer. It gets a strong 9. I did notice a sign outside stating that they would be starting their own brewery later in the year. That provides a great excuse to return and if they can get that right it would probably merit a 10.

On 21st June 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Brainy Pool left this review about Cricketers Arms

finally came back here after a few years. although i can't really fault it I still do feel like it's more CAMRA club hangout than pub. average time spent studying the handpumps must be over a minute in here. it's probably okay for a pint at quieter times but the nearby Turks Head and Talbot feel more authentic for me.

On 16th September 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 853 recommendations about 828 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Al Bundy left this review about Cricketers Arms

Recently voted Camra National POTY and I have to admit that its a very good pub. Open plan inside with various areas to sit surrounding the bar. A very traditional style pub and it was chocker on this Wednesday afternoon due to being presented with the award. A pool table is to the right of the bar if you like that sort of thing. 13 handpumps on the bar with beers from Bank Top, Ossett, Ellamd, Salopian, Cross Bay, Fyne, Bristol Beer, Melwood, Oakham and Wily Fox today. 10 real ciders and perries available plus 100 gins. Definitely worth a visit.

On 28th February 2018 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3436 recommendations about 3346 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about Cricketers Arms

A good ale pub and should not be missed out when on a visit to St Helens. The pub consists of a small central bar. As you enter the pub, there is a small seated area near a coal fire. There was a comfortable lounge from this towards the rear. The bar side hosted a blackboard with a choice of eight ales and five ciders, plus a list of the beers settling in the cellar.
We went for the locale ale initially, which was from Connoisseur Brewery, named Lucem, a decent session beer at 4.3%. Our next beers tried were Abbeydale Absolution and Fernandes Swift. Staff and the locals were friendly and chatty. This was a difficult pub to leave.

On 31st December 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3036 recommendations about 3036 pubs]