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Beer of the Week (w/e 26th June 2022) with aleandhearty on the Pub Forum

The Dove Street Inn, Ipswich

76 St Helens Street
Phone: 01473211270

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

Quinno _ left this review about The Dove Street Inn

Much-lauded freehouse and one I was rather looking forward to. A basic wood main bar with some fabric banquette seating, with a large conservatory off the side. Fairly quiet at 5pm on a sunny Saturday with only 7 or 8 others in and a bit of a subdued cliquey atmosphere. Beers seemingly everywhere on entering, with 12 on cask; far too many it felt to me and inevitably my Adnams Break Point was a warm and flabby disappointment (NBSS 2) whilst my companion's beer wasn't much better. Stuffed with COVID frighteners it was still operating the full farce of Track & Trace, masking and table service, to the extent where one particular member of staff took it upon herself to loudly screech (I do not exaggerate here) at any incoming patrons who dared to enter without a mask on, as if they were tramping in from a nuclear accident. Honestly – even if you’re still petrified enough of the thing (but not petrified enough that you’re willing to open) at least be polite and reasonable, it really did reinforce the cliqueness of the place, that outsiders are not welcome. I really took against the pub and so did my pal; we ditched our substandard beers, covered our ears from the screeching harridan’s tongue-lashings and made our exit. Dire, but almost funny. Almost.
Visited early August.

On 12th September 2021 - rating: 4
[User has posted 4401 recommendations about 4387 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Dove Street Inn

I'd originally planned to visit Ipswich the previous week, but luckily I delayed my trip to this week, as the Dove Street Inn only re-opened this Thursday.

I'm not sure of the reason for the extended closure, but the pub benefits from a large outdoor area, with many of the available tables undercover. This was just as well, as the rain started during my visit and I at least managed to stay dry for this one.

Blackboards display the available real ales and ciders. Greene King Abbot & Adnams Broadside appear to make regular appearances. In addition, there was Adnams Southwold Bitter, Oakham Inferno, Shorts Farm Blonde, Hopback Summer Lightning, Rudgate Ruby Mild & Dancing Duck Dark Drake. Ciders were Taunton Cider Company Dry & Medium, Celtic Marches Clementine Perry, Lilley's Chocolate Apple Cider & Seacider Cherry Bakewell.

Food was being served from an outdoor grill, with burgers and other barbecued food available.

With pleasant service and a nice, quiet drinking environment, this was my favourite pub in Ipswich and I was glad to finally get here after seeing it advertised for many years in the London Drinker magazine.

On 1st May 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1317 recommendations about 1317 pubs]

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Graham Coombs left this review about The Dove Street Inn

A truly excellent pub, with an assortment of drinking areas including some nice historic rooms, a glazed-over yard and a German-style beer garden. It is difficult to convey the rather splendid overall impression, so just go there and enjoy the great range of beers.

On 4th March 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2605 recommendations about 2549 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Dove Street Inn

Famous alehouse with a traditional-looking bar with a more modern covered yard area behind this and a patio beer garden at the back. With 12 real ales on handpump, and three more direct from the tap room, it was difficult to know what to choose, but I went for the St Peter's Mild (£3.30) in the end. Plenty of ciders available too, so it's not hard to see how this has become a destination pub and regular award winner. However, I didn't feel made particularly welcome here by the regulars or the barmaid, so perhaps I caught it on a bad day?

On 28th October 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 7001 recommendations about 7001 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Dove Street Inn

Nice open bar but on busy main road. Feels large inside, central bar wood flooring. 9 real ales

On 1st October 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1347 recommendations about 1324 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about The Dove Street Inn

This is a pub with a reputation as illustrated by the bank of GBG stickers on the window going back to the mid 2000s. It's been more than well described below. The bar now has twelve hand pumps of which I managed to note ten of the beers served. Starting with the more mainstream there was Adnam's Bitter, London Pride, Elgood's Black Dog Mild, Crouch Vale Brewer's Gold, Bank Top Rollin' On, Dove Street Prima Donna, Colchester Red Diesel, Black Hill Mine's a Dark Un', Grain Winter Ash and North Blyth Bucking Fastard (I'm sure that name rings a bell!). I went for the Grain Winter Ash (£3.30) which was in excellent condition. As noted below this is one not to be missed.

On 26th January 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Dove Street Inn

This former Tolly Cobbald pub, situated just outside the town centre, is now an enterprising free house with its own micro brewery. The pub has a street corner location, with a home brewing store and B&B on the opposite side of Dove Street. You enter through a corner door into a bare boarded front room with high tables and stools under the front windows and some nice bench and standard chair options arranged down the left hand side. The servery stands opposite these tables and has a canopy covered with blackboards which detail the full ale range, as does a TV screen in the front right corner. A few old beams give the room a bit of a traditional feel, as do some barrel ends which hang on the back wall with adverts for Adnams beers on them. There are a few hints towards a more modern, commercial side of things, such as a range of Dove Street merchandise such as T-shirts, displayed at the end of the bar. These were hung in front of a window which looks out into a nice, large conservatory, with a tiled floor and TV screens showing muted football coverage and the aforementioned beer list. A large moose head provides an unlikely focal point and there was a bicycle hung on one wall which could be won by entering a competition the pub was running. The seating in here was almost entirely of the high stool variety, either serving barrels in the centre of the room or drinking ledges around the perimeter. Beyond is a tidy garden with a BBQ area, marquee full of comfy furniture and an old pub sign from the pub's Tap and Spile days. There is one final room, hidden away somewhat, but accessible from the corridor between bar and conservatory, or from another door in the garden. This room is a narrow space running down the right hand side of the building. There are bare floorboards and a mix of pew and standard seating, plus a few chairs made by halving barrels. The room has a very traditional, almost rural pub, feel to it with its low dark wood beam ceiling, two brick fireplaces and walls covered in old black and white photos. However, as before, there are modern concessions within, including a table top arcade machine, several TV screens (all off except for one with the beer list) and a collection of board games. I ended up settling down in this room, which I found nice and cosy and although most people in there seemed to be eating, there was no suggestion that this was a dining room.
There were two Dove Street beers available - Underwood Mild and the annoyingly named 'Can I Try Real Ale (CITRA)', which set me back £3.00 and was pretty a decent zesty session ale. Also available were Crouch Vale Brewers Gold and Yakima Gold, Adnams Southwold Bitter and Broadside, Fullers London Pride, Hop Back Summer Lightning, Greene King Abbot Ale, Mauldons Blackberry Porter, Oakham Scarlet Macaw, Milestone Fletcher's Ale, Woodfordes Wherry and Great Eastern, Teignworthy Harvey's Special Brew, Cottage On the Nose and Julian Church Jonah and The Ale. There were also at least two real ciders that I could see available. The staff were friendly enough and offered me a taster before I committed to my choice of ale.
I thought this was an excellent, enterprising pub with just about something for everyone. The ale range and promise of finding their own beers is obviously a big attraction, but I also thought there was a good mix of different areas within that suit different purposes and the good service was also a bonus. For me, this was the best pub from a day crawling around town and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a visit.

On 23rd May 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2795 recommendations about 2795 pubs]

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Old Boots left this review about The Dove

One of two well run beer exhibition type pubs in Ipswich, a shortish walk east of the Tower Ramparts bus station. 12 handpumps on the bar counter dispening mainly national and regional ales, there are racked barrels out of sight which serve a further 7 or so beers from smaller breweries. These are indicated by small blackboards above the bar. In addition there are a few interesting European beers and some standard UK kegs. Beer is seved in lined glasses. There is a largish bar with the counter and a small siting room to the side plus a small lounge and what is best described as a beer hall at the back. Traditional furnishings of settles, tables and chairs, bland décor but of course it's the beer that counts. For the regular customers, who are a mix of locals and CAMRA types, there is a loyalty scheme with plastic cards. The staff are a bit lackadasical but do offer tasters of less well known beers. Obviously it's listed in the GBG2010.

On 24th March 2010 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2592 recommendations about 2360 pubs]

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Nigel Sheppard left this review about The Dove

Very good pub with a wide, ever changing selection of beers. There are around 10 or so on pumps at the bar and a further 10 or so in the tap room on gravity feed. We went during the beer festival on May 20th 2009 and that meant there were a further 30 beers in a marquee at the rear. The pub itself is a fabulous old building with a large bar area, separate restaurant and a nice conservatory area at the back. For choice and quality of beer this is a superb pub, but it did seem a little soulless and not as welcoming as I would expect. The staff were all very young and were only focussed on serving and did not seem to engage with anyone or welcome anyone in, however it’s all about the beer isn't it?
PS: Don't miss the Fat Cat nearby.

On 22nd May 2009 - rating: 10
[User has posted 192 recommendations about 192 pubs]

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train man left this review about The Dove Street Inn

Exceptional. Yesterday offered 12 handpumps, 10 in action, plus 12 on stillage in the ‘tap-room'. Not only does this represent the largest non-festival beer choice I've ever seen, but the selection was also sourced from no fewer than 17 different breweries. I sampled many and the quality was consistently excellent. Plain but comfortable décor, friendly staff & customers - happily gave directions to the Fat Cat (number 2 bus across road). Top notch drinking venue.

On 18th January 2008 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 411 recommendations about 410 pubs]

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