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Beer of the Week (w/e 24th October 2021) with Tris39 on the Pub Forum

Kings Head, Norwich

42 Magdalen Street

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Moby Duck left this review about Kings Head

A two room traditional pub, very basically furnished with wooden tables, chairs and benches. My notes say "proper alehouse" and on reflection it's very much that with seven beers on, I had three beers over two visits here, Humpty Dumpty Little Sharpie, S&P First Light and a rather impressive Starwing Stain Glass Blue Porter. This was one of several highlights of my stay in Norwich.

On 10th July 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1430 recommendations about 1415 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blue Scrumpy left this review about Kings Head

Similar to the last reviewer, my only previous visit to the Kings Head was in 2010, at the end of a crawl. I remember it fondly. Unlike some of the other places I visited on that day, this one was not quite as good as I remember it.

It's still a decent pub and is quite central. But there are better options in the city. Entrance during these strange times is from the side courtyard. This takes you into the larger rear room, where all customers were sat. For once, we decided to be anti-social and sit in the smaller front bar, which was the room I remembered from last time. Service is to the table. But there are blackboards and a paper beer list is also provided. The barman was friendly.

6 real ales were Humpty Dumpty Broadland Sunrise, Beeston The Dry Road, Shortts Hunky Dory & Darkside, Tydd Steam Cashmere Pale Ale & Green Jack Trawler Boys. The cider was Village Green Classical Dry.

On 18th September 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 782 recommendations about 782 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about Kings Head

One of Norwich's highlight pubs, but with the atmosphere of a friendly backstreet local rather than a tourist honeypot. With 11 beers on at the time of our visit, plus a real cider, there's plenty to encourage a beer tourist, with most of the beers being from local microbreweries. Not my first visit here - my previous was at the end of a long crawl, so my memory was understandably hazy - and hopefully not my last either.

Date of visit: 21st February 2018

On 1st November 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2727 recommendations about 2567 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Thuck Phat left this review about Kings Head

A traditional city boozer just to the north of the city centre.
The pub consists of two bars, front and back. The front bar is basically furnished with a large are for upright drinking and beers listed on a blackboard behind the bar. To the back feels more comfortable with more furniture, better light and most of the handpumps.
The barman was a friendly fellow but somehow the place felt cold and lacked atmosphere. It was a chilly lunchtime and there weren't many in but perhaps a lit fire may have helped.
Beers on were: Winters KHB and Stormforce, Newby Wyke Orsino, Hop Monster Rakau and Banshee Porter, Buffy's Hopleaf, Humpty Dumpty Little Sharpie, Shorts Farm Two Tone Mild and Woodforde's Nelson's Revenge. A wide selection and the Banshee Porter was in fine condition.
There are plenty of pubs worth visiting in Norwich and this is one of them.

On 22nd November 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 670 recommendations about 669 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about Kings Head

Date of visit - April 2013

Close to the City Centre, and in a long street full of independent music and record shops – Magdalen Street – is The Kings Head, a classic, but basic drinkers pub. It’s a well known award winning pub that proclaims itself as keg free.

A front bar features wooden settles, tiled floors and is decorated with a number of old photos of Norwich. Of particular interest is a map above the fireplace showing Norwich city centre pubs in 1883/5 when, incredibly, there appeared to be even more than there are today. An old photo shows Magdalen Street flooded.

A small corridor leads through to a larger rear room which has subdued lighting and features a bar billiards table. There’s no music, TV or food available – just a good range of real ales in a traditional, welcoming, pubby atmosphere.

The friendly barman, Charlie, explained to me that there’s normally 9 real ales on, but that this increases to 11 or 12 at weekends. There’s also a lengthy bottled beer menu, specialising in German and Belgian offerings.

On my April visit, and as appears to be always the case, mainly Norfolk beers were on which included Winters Mild and Woodfordes Nelson. Beers were priced between £ 2.90p and £ 3.40p. Unusually, oversized glasses are used. It’s another CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular.

It’s central location makes this one a good bet, particularly if time is limited.

On 22nd October 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about Kings Head

This really is a real ale paradise, 13 ales in total, 11 on handpump and 2 on gravity. The pub was busy on our visit and the sevice was fast and friendly. The staff are both knowledgable and welcoming. I went for the Green Jack Orange Wheat, Brandon Rusty Bucket and Tipples Longshore. Looking forward to a revisit.

On 11th November 2012 - rating: 10
[User has posted 3012 recommendations about 3012 pubs]

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Gill Smith left this review about Kings Head

Really enjoyed our visit to this friendly 2013 Good Beer Guide pub with a superb choice of ales. The ales are split between bars in a front and back room, but are detailed on a board. Enthusiastic about real ales, there is no keg. We enjoyed Brandon Grumpy Bastard and Fat Cat India Pale Ale.

On 15th September 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1324 recommendations about 1207 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Kings Head

Old-fashioned (in a very good way), with a splendid choice of rare or unusal ales from mostly local breweries (e.g. Green Jack’s Orange Wheat Beer) on the 12+ handpumps divided between the two bars. Both rooms have basic furniture and plain decor - the front one being quite compact and usually with regulars sitting or standing at the bar, but there is much more space at the back. Bar billairds. Closer to the city centre than most of the other top real ale pubs in the Norwich suburbs, so probably the one to go for if on a quick visit. (NB - Review dates from March 2012.)

On 17th June 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6546 recommendations about 6546 pubs]

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Alan Winfield left this review about Kings Head

The Kings Head is a proper unaltered pub that is fairly close to the city centre.
I went in the room at the front of the pub and this was fairly basic i am not sure if there was another room behind the bar.
There was a good choice of micro brewery beers on the bar with six real ales on i had a drink of Buffeys bitter and this was a very nice drink there was also Woodfords Wherry and four more micro beers.

On 7th February 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]