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The Merchants Inn, Rugby Central, Rugby

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
5 Little Church Street
Rugby
CV21 3AN
Phone: 01788571119

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 9 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Ian Mapp left this review about The Merchants Inn

Proper pub that I felt instantly at home in.

Walls covered in brew paraphernalia. Large central area with big screen showing the Rugby, even when football is on. A smaller snug section, with a magnificent chesterfield arm chair.

9 real ale handpulls on - North Cotswold Winter Solstice was chosen, but unfortunately the only gravity fed barrel, fetched from around the back. Would have preferred to have been warned on this.

Cracking pub, nonetheless - possibly the 2nd best found in Rugby.

On 11th December 2018 - rating: 9
[User has posted 513 recommendations about 508 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Al Bundy left this review about The Merchants Inn

This is a cracking pub. Hidden down the church lane this is a large, olde worlde kind of place. The its mainly open plan with the bar being central. Lots of beer related signs adorn the walls and the ceiling is covered with approximately a billion pump clips. The pub is basically split into 4 areas; a small area to your left on entering, the main nar area up a couple of steps and then 2 areas to the rear of the pub. 9 handpumps on the bar in a bank of 8 for ales and a handpump at the side of the bar for cider. Beers today were from Bright side, North Yorkshire, Oakham, Purity, Nethergate and Hook Norton. An excellent place.

On 16th February 2017 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3269 recommendations about 3187 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about The Merchants Inn

This is another of Rugby's top ale houses, set in a large Brewer's Tudor building in the historic centre of town. You enter into the lower, front part of the pub which has limited seating and several glass cabinets full of books as well as a collection of pump clips on the ceiling and a few bits of breweriana. A raised area to the right has a dartboard and a signed England rugby shirt on display. Moving further into the pub, you reach the main bar area, with the servery on the right hand side and a large open space opposite broken up with chunky pillars surrounded by drinking ledges. The area is lit from above where a couple of skylights can be found, but the rest of the ceiling is notable for the vast collection of pumps clips, stuck to a series of rails. The room has been decorated with all sorts of breweriana including some great brewery mirrors and enamel signs that are well worth exploring. There are also hundreds of bottles lined up on a high shelf that runs around the room. Seating is a mix of benches and standard chairs which extends into a rear carpeted section full of more breweriana and a TV screen. There is a second rear seating area to the right which has a high gabbled roof, hop lined walls and a huge screen on the back wall which was showing cricket during our visit. Pews have been arranged into booth formations and there are display cabinets full of beer bottles and shelves stacked with jugs and books. There is a lot more beer memorabilia here too including an illuminated Tetley's sign. A side door leads out to a small beer garden, situated on the other side of the road that runs past the pub.
On the bar, another strong ale line up awaited us, with the options of Titanic Lifeboat, Burton Bridge Top Dog Stout and Stairway to Heaven, Oakham Bishops Farewell, Tring Tea Kettle Stout and Cassowary, RCH Firefox, Portobello Market Porter, Purity Mad Goose and Batemans XB. The Lifeboat was in great shape and possibly the best beer I had during our long day out around town.
This is a great pub that demands repeat visits. There is plenty to keep you entertained here, not least the fantastic ale selection and for my money, this was the best pub visited all day. A must when in Rugby.

On 18th July 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2269 recommendations about 2269 pubs]


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ROB Camra left this review about The Merchants Inn

Very interesting pub with flagstone floors, lots of wooden seating and several distinct areas. Lots of breweriana around the walls with old signs and mirrors. 9 real ales available alongside several real ciders and a perry all served by a friendly barmaid. They were even willing to take a JDW voucher against a pint. I tried 3 of the beers and all were excellent. I even had an extra half as the rest of the crew went to the nearby Lawrence Sheriff. Quite rightly in the CAMRA GBG2014 and my favourite pub of quite a few visited in Rugby.

On 15th July 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2650 recommendations about 2581 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Alan Winfield left this review about The Merchants Inn

The Merchants Inn is a black and white pub that is situated just off the main shopping area.
I arrived at this pub just before 12am and followed two other blokes through a side door,there were already quite a few other people in the pub waiting for them to start serving at 12.

The room is fairly large and iregular shaped,there are lots of different drinking areas,the ceiling is beamed with loads of pump clips attatched to them,there is a nice stone floor throughout.
There was a vast array of pumps on the bar,i had a drink of Purity Mad Goose which went down very well,the other beers i noted were Three Castles Summer Daze,Batemans XB and Griffin Yeti IPA,there were too many real ales on note.
There was a large TV screen to the rear showing the cricket.
This is a very pleasant pub with a great choice of real ales.

Pub visited 12/7/2014

On 12th July 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


moby duck left this review about The Merchants Inn

A very good real ale pub if you like your beers to be a bit different, nine or ten ales were available and the Tring Tea Kettle Stout was particularly good as was the Portobello VPA. Recommended.

On 2nd July 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1186 recommendations about 1175 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Quinno _ left this review about The Merchants Inn

The exterior is painted a strange vomit yellow colour with some (presumably fake) tudor-esque exterior beams. However the interior is much nicer; multi-area’d and flagstone floored with a plethora of breweriana/old pump clips and perhaps reminiscent of the Fat Cat in Norwich. Cricket showing on a big screen in a rear area that was nicely unobtrusive. Unusually, the outside seating area is over the street. Plenty of ales. Mixed bag for me – the Tring Tea Kettle Stout was in good nick but the RCH Firebox rather less so, warm and a bit iffy (it was a daft ABV and I suspect mine was the first out for quite some time). I did like this one as a pub very much; I’d happily pop back and hope the Firebox was a one-off.

On 29th June 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3794 recommendations about 3782 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Real Ale Ray left this review about The Merchants Inn

A real ale haven, plus a good choice of ciders and continental bottled beers. We called in early doors mid week, so we had a good chance to look round and chat away to the friendly and helpful owner and bar staff. Even the chef was helpful pointing us in the right direction to good refreshment houses. We also noticed the hundreds of pumpclips adorning the ceilings. There were nine ales to choose from on our visit. I went for the Box Steam Whistler Blower and Forge Brewery Hawkers. This pub is a must when in Rugby.

On 10th November 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2737 recommendations about 2737 pubs]


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Soup Dragon left this review about The Merchants Inn

This is a somewhat large pub and eatery, which has only been a pub since 2002. The innsign is 'The Merchant of Venice', which goes well with what looks like the main body of the pub, which is in yellow rendered brick and black beam - the Jacobean look. The interior is a large irregular open plan room around the central serving bar, with nooks and side areas in all directions. This room is in yellow with stone floor and an impressive pump clip collection on the ceiling beams. There is a darts area and more beer mirrors, bottles and bits of ephemera than you can shake a stick at. There is a small side room, down a couple of stairs. This is in green and wood panel, with a red tile floor. The same pump clip collection extends into here, as too does the signs and memorabilia - including a bicycle. TVs were everywhere, showing the rugby final. There was no music of course. They do food, but we didn't eat so can't comment on that. The service was fine and the place full of rugby fans watching the game (hence we retreated to the only haven away from the match). Beer; well, i couldn't see too much due to the crowds, but they had the usual tap stuff with at least the following handpulls; Bateman's XB, Purity Mad Goose and Gold, Oakham Bishop's Farewell and a decent Tring Mansion MILD. There is a continental beer menu too. I liked the pub and the fun ephemera, it was just that it was rammed out - i would like to return when quieter - i don't like to see people having fun!

On 26th May 2013 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 3053 recommendations about 3048 pubs]


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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Merchants Inn

This is the leading real ale pub in Rugby,and should be first choice for any beer tourist to the town.Situated in a quiet back street close to the famous school,the front door opens into a small lounge area while the central bar is up a few steps.To the right of the bar there is a darts board while the interior opens out to the left with many wooden settles under a skylight while at the rear there is a drop down screen with much seating where only rugby is screened,footie fans need to go elsewhere.There is also a flat screen opposite the bar.There is a flag stoned floor around the bar and wood flooring elsewhere.The collection of breweriana around the walls in very impressive as is the range of real ales from up to nine handpumps with the excellent Oakham Bishop's Farewell on permanently with regularly changing guests across various beer styles on the other pumps.Wetherspoons CAMRA vouchers are accepted on the usual terms,which is generous by the owners. Ciders,perry,single malts etc are also well catered for,this really is a drinking emporium.
The regular beer festivals ,often themed,are worth attending so keep an eye on the website.This is an outstanding real ale pub for discerning drinkers.

On 25th April 2012 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1908 recommendations about 1908 pubs]

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