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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

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 2955 recommendations about 2955 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 1308 recommendations about 1295 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 1685 recommendations about 1662 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 670 recommendations about 669 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 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]

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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 2481 recommendations about 2459 pubs]

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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]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Guide Dog

Hidden away in a back street, nothing much to look at from the street, and a fairly basic single-bar layout. However, on entering, you immediately notice that this is a proper beer-drinkers pub with an excellent selection of eight real ales chalked up on a couple of blackboards. The atmosphere is also warm and welcoming, with friendly staff and good-natured chat from the locals. My pint of Knights Porter from the Three Castles Brewery was first class and very reasonably priced at £2.60. I would happily have stayed to try a few more had time permitted, and you can see how it has regularly won the local CAMRA branch pub of the year. Not the easiest place to get to, but very much worth the effort.

On 9th September 2010 - rating: 9
[User has posted 5968 recommendations about 5968 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Guide Dog

Finding myself in Southampton for the evening, I made the lengthy, but ultimately worthwhile, trek from the train station to this charming back-street local’s pub.
There were 8 hand pumps, all in use when I arrived, serving up a mixture of familiar favourites and more obscure local brewers. I tried the Bowman's Elderado and Swift One and the Flowerpots Gooden's Gold, all of which were in top condition.
The pub started to fill up from around 6pm until it was packed to bursting point in the run up to Southampton's cup game that evening. The atmosphere was excellent, helped by the friendly and efficient bar staff. Saints fans will be pleased by the interesting prints and other such memorabilia that adorns the walls.
An absolute must for visitors to Southampton; I'll certainly be back the next time I'm in town.

On 22nd February 2010 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2402 recommendations about 2402 pubs]

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