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The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley, Southampton

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
38 Earls Road
SO14 6SF
Phone: 02380225642

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

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Guide Dog

A small street corner pub in a rather run down part of Southampton,this is a real ale mecca.The front tap room is square with the bar to the right,some traditional furniture,a terrestrial flatscreen on mute and two large boards describing the ale range.There is a smaller,cosy back room which also leads to a veranda external seating area for about 10.
It was busy due to the Saints v Palace match and some of the 10 lines had run out leaving on my trip Dark Star APA,Burning Sky Plateau,Red Car Mr M's Porter,Steam Town Stoke Extra Pale and Flower Pots Bitter and Goodens Gold (Sessionable even at 4.8%,NBSS 4.5).Good to see a dark beer and some higher ABV's in the reduced range.
It's a friendly place and both sets of fans mixed well,all very calm.There are lots of crappy sports bar nearby if you want to be leery,and the fact the Guide Dog is tucked away helps.
I really must revisit and spend more time here,from what I could tell this is the must visit ale house in Southampton.It's a true gem.

On 2nd May 2022 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2384 recommendations about 2384 pubs]

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Guide Dog

The Guide Dog is a fairly small backstreet alehouse with friendly staff and a decent selection of beers.

This was another Southampton pub that I hadn't been to for several years. Back in 2014, I noted down 9 different real ales. These days they are down to 4. Flowerpots Goodens Gold & Pots Bitter & Steam Town Stoke Extra Pale are the regular beers. The guest beer was Red Cat Mr M's Porter.

A sign near the door requested that people without reserved tables order their beer from a hatch at the bar. It wasn't immediately clear where exactly this was. I managed to grab a seat at the bar and enjoyed both the porter and the pale.

Another pub where the ale range has diminished and also where it seems much quieter than it used to be on matchdays, where I recall customers spilling out onto the pavement at the front. But I still like this pub. The staff are really friendly and are quick to serve thirsty customers.

On 20th February 2022 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1376 recommendations about 1376 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Guide Dog

A proper traditional back street boozer, with a choice of 9 ales on handpump on our visit. The other customers on our visit were all enjoying their beers and the pub had a very nice and relaxed atmosphere. After a little wonder around the pub, we discovered a small back room with a sign above the door as you enter " You are in the Dog House". This was what can only be described as a man cave. The walls in here were all painted in orange, with a few tea lights around the ceiling. Beer wise, we went for the Steam Town Pale at £3.40 a pint and it was in excellent condition.

On 5th April 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Guide Dog

I cant add much to the discriptions below but I did note a small seperate room, not mentioned in previous reviews, to the rear of the pub with more seating.I have to endorse the fact that The Guide dog is a no nonsense back street boozer up there with the best of it's kind I have ever visited.
The beers noted on my visit were Darkstar Hophead and APA(both had two pumps apiece), Gyle 141,Flowerpotts Fully Peeled and Perridge Pale,London Pride,Redcat Prowler Pale With Red Cat Mr C's Porter coming on while we were there.Our timing was good as half an hour earlier the place was rammed with a pre match crowd so the landlord informed us, as it was there was the four of us plus another four customers in allowing for a relaxing vist.
A must do pub when in town.

On 14th August 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1586 recommendations about 1567 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Guide Dog

This pub can be a bit difficult to find without a map but it is certainly well worth the effort to do so, this is a proper destination pub. This is all the more remarkable considering the side street location in a residential area off the main routes. The unusual name is in tribute to a former landlady who was a passionate fundraiser for the guide dogs for the blind charity. Inside it is a fairly simple no frills single room as are many of the best, carpeted, stone fireplace, papers in a rack and proper old school seating at normal tables. There are shelves of reference books including back issues of the GBG and pleasingly a back issue of the Non-League Football Directory....good stuff. A framed photo shows one of The Saints' finest hours as Bobby Stokes scores the winning goal v Man Utd in the cup final. Lots of gig posters on the walls, there are newspapers available to read.
No less than eleven handpumps, ten were on, Dark Star Hophead and APA, Red Cat Prowler, Gyle120 and Best Bitter, Flowerpots Cheriton Porter and Gooden's Gold, Tiny Rebel Cwtch, Stonehenge Sign of Spring, and Fullers London Pride. Thirds and two-thirds are available as well as the standard pint and half measures. Prices are sensible.
The TV was off, low key music played at just audible volume; There is no food currently but this is not where you go for a meal.
It is a friendly, convivial spot for like minded beer loving people, I enjoyed listening to a group of blokes nostalgically discussing the pub over the years and inevitably ended up chatting away with them. This should be the first pub on anyone's list on visiting this city.

On 19th April 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1695 recommendations about 1669 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Thuck Phat left this review about The Guide Dog

The Guide Dog is very much a street corner local in a less than salubrious part of Southampton. I enjoyed my visit here very much.
The pub takes some finding but it is well worthwhile.
Inside it's a one-room affair with the bar to the right, various tables and chairs and carpeted throughout. Modern gastropub it isn't.
The walls are adorned with pictures of the Saints and Hampshire CCC and there was some footy chat between the locals and governor about the fortunes of various local league and non-league teams.
There's also a small tv screen to the left. Saturday afternoons sees a small crowd of enthusiastic racing fans around this to cheer on their backed horses but they're all prepared to switch over to any other sporting event between races.
My welcome was warm and it became clear as more people came in as lunchtime wore on that it was full of locals who knew each other. The atmosphere was friendly and comfortable though and I'd guess that it would be very easy to lose an afternoon here.
The big draw is the beer with 10 handpumps offering 9 ales and one cider. The selection on my visit was: Fullers ESB 5.5%, Flowerpots Goodens Gold 4.8%, Dark Star American Pale Ale 4.6%, Flack Manor Black Jack 4.6%, Three Castles King Alfred's Gold 4.6%, Red Cat Best 4.2%, Hopback Rhapsody 4%, XT 4 Amber 3.8%, Welton's Horsham Pale 3.8% and Red Cat Prowler Ale 3.6%. A well thought out selection of strengths and styles with plenty of local breweries represented. The beers are all displayed on a large blackboard to the left of the bar and are £2.90 except the ESB at £3.10. Very good value in this part of the world. Everything tried was in good nick and none of the pumps were going unused.
An excellent boozer, the first place I'd head to in Southampton and without any real chance of moving on.

On 25th February 2015 - rating: 9
[User has posted 674 recommendations about 673 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Guide Dog

The pub I’d been most looking forward to and, maybe unusually, one that met and exceeded my already-high expectations. Tucked away up a side-street from the main road (though visible from it) it’s an unassuming building. The interior is a comfy single room almost akin to someone’s lounge. On entering it immediately felt like a welcoming place, with a friendly and engaging barman (who looked like Frank Lampard’s brother to me) and a number of affable locals. Nine pumps with seven on (Fullers Pride/ESB, Flowerpots x2, Plain Ales, Oakleaf and Dark Star). My extended stay involved working through a few of these and every beer was in great shape, no mean feat for a hot weekday afternoon. Also some interesting bottles in the fridge eg Brew Dog. Other pub features included daily papers, loads of UK-wide CAMRA mags, darts, free Wi-Fi and large TV (with horse racing on at customers request). Filled rolls behind the bar, £1.20 a go and cheesy-topped too. The crazy, almost Magic Eye, tiling in the gents isn’t one to encounter unwittingly. Interest was taken in my crawl route at the bar, with a few suggestions thrown in and a bit of guidance as to the best route. Frank Lampard's brother even popped out of the pub to point me in the right direction of the Rockstone, nothing too much trouble it seemed. An absolutely cracking pub and I’d make a point of going back to Southampton for a day because of this one. A rare but well-deserved 10 from me.

On 24th September 2013 - rating: 10
[User has posted 4423 recommendations about 4408 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

BARRY TAYLOR left this review about The Guide Dog

Let's get the CAMRA thing over and done with "Closed in 1981, it reopened in 1984 as the Guide Dog after the previous landlady had raised £14,000 for the charity. Eight hand pumps serve a wide range of ales, mainly from small breweries. Beer can be served in four-pint carry-out containers and jugs. Within walking distance of St Mary's football stadium (1 mile), it gets busy on match days. It hosts a variety of charity events, has a weekly meat draw on Friday, and an annual autumn beer festival". This has made it into Britain's top 16 pubs and this one 'Best in Wessex'. I think this says more about CAMRA than the pub which does sell beer on average about 50p cheaper than the South Western Arms which is only 5 minutes away and inexplicably missed the good beer guide in 2009-2010 and to my mind a better pub but supposedly not rated as high as this and on value for money, the 'Dog' can not be faulted. A bit like waking into somebody's front room with book shelves that you're actually meant to read the literature on. All the ales we sampled were in fine order. You'll need your sunglasses as energy bulbs have not caught on here. Yes it's a good pub and worth taking in on a mini pub crawl of an area that is the best for Real Ale in the City.

On 16th February 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 42 recommendations about 35 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about The Guide Dog

Ten minutes from the football stadium, The Guide Dog is just off the main road, and if you didn't know it was there it would be hard to find. It's a traditional back street boozer with a well-deserved reputation for outstanding beer quality and choice. A perennial GBG entry, the pub hold regular festivals and is a target destination for ale lovers. The welcome is always friendly and the clientele is an eclectic mix of people with one common interest - real ale. There were 8 ales on this weekend, I tried the Knight's Porter (not my usual but I went on JAQPTIO's recommendation below) and the Eldorado, both in excellent condition (as expected) although the latter was more to my taste. Difficult to fit into a crawl due to its location, but it's well worth making a special effort to find and is worth spending time in if possible.

On 30th December 2010 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2912 recommendations about 2879 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Chris 87 left this review about The Guide Dog

The Guide Dog is an old fashioned back street pub, a one-room alehouse with a good range of ales that included on my visit several Christmas entries (I'm not really a fan of christmas beers - if they were any good they'd be brewed all year round) as well as Dark Star Hop Head, Flowerpots Goodens Gold and Fullers London Porter. On Christmas Eve it was still pretty busy, with families drinking and a very festive mood pervading. Southampton doesn't have too many excellent pubs so its understandable that this is a GBG regular, although I'd say the average 9.5 rating is a tad generous.

On 30th December 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 179 recommendations about 179 pubs]

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