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Fuggles Beer Cafe, Tunbridge Wells

Pub added by . Wittenden
28 Grosvenor Road
Tunbridge Wells

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Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Fuggles Beer Cafe

This is a rather smart, well appointed modern ale house that feels a little like a micropub, but is perhaps better described, as its name suggests, as a beer cafe. The pub has a single, long and narrow room with exposed floorboards throughout. The front part of the room is a pleasant seating area with grey walls, a row of tables and chairs down the left hand side and a mix of stools, chairs and sofas to the right. Lots of framed pictures cover the walls and there is a shelving unit midway along full of beer themed books and various bottles and cans. Halfway down the right hand wall, the servery appears with a long tile-fronted bar counter and a modern shelving unit bar back which incorporates the beer taps and some very detailed and extremely useful beer boards. There’s only enough room opposite the bar for a series of small drinking ledges, all without stools, making this a bit of a pinch point on my busy Friday evening visit. The wall here has a very large clock as its centrepiece, along with more blackboards and some nice old enamel advertisement signs. The rear part of the room beyond the end of the bar, roughly mirrors the front section, with rows of seating down either side, plenty of breweriana on the walls and a couple of impressive large-scale paintings adding a splash of colour. A large ventilation unit runs across the entire length of the ceiling from front to back, but it has been brightened up a little by the addition of fairy lights. Jazzy tunes played quietly under the hubbub of a good evening crowd and I noticed a good number of people were eating from a menu that seemed to comprise mainly of sandwiches and meat or cheese platters.
The pub offers a good cask ale selection with options on this occasion comprising Tonbridge Copperknob, Burning Sky Plateau, Downlands Best and Bedlam Golden Ale, plus two real ciders. The Plateau, a personal favourite, was £3.90 a pint and in terrific shape. No less than sixteen craft keg brews were listed on the board behind the bar and these included UK micros as well as a number of beers from European breweries.
I really liked this place and thought it was a very well thought out venture offering a great selection of cask and keg beers in very comfortable surrounds. The place seems to appeal to a good cross-section of society, with a right mix of customers apparent on this visit, suggesting that this place is definitely doing something right. This was the highlight of my crawl around Tunbridge Wells and would be the first place I’d return to the next time I’m in town.

On 15th March 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2512 recommendations about 2512 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Fuggles Beer Cafe

Shop conversion that is nothing like as dull as it looks... Narrow, elongated bar with little natural light apart from the first few tables by the front windows, and plainly furnished with decor largely comprising a selection of breweriana. However, as a 'beer cafe', the focus is rightly on the bar area about half-way to the back. Six handpumps on the counter, reliably dispensing a selection of interesting beers in a variety of styles plus cider, and on this visit I went for the 360° New Zealand pale (£3.80). Along the bar back, there is an array of about a dozen keg taps and a line of fridges - both offering a very good selection of craft beers from the UK and overseas. Well worth seeking out.

On 11th March 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6175 recommendations about 6175 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about Fuggles Beer Cafe

Do not be put off by the rather boring shop frontage - behind is a surprisingly long although fairly narrow room with a bar down one side. Accurately describing itself as a "craft beer café", it has a large range of beers from UK and further afield, including half a dozen on handpump, with the extensive list behind the bar helpfully showing method of dispense. Furnished in a typical, slightly trendy way but not unpleasant and well worth visiting to try some unusual beers. It also features a large selection of gins, and although not offering hot food, an interesting selection of cold meats and cheeses is available.

On 7th September 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2265 recommendations about 2213 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about Fuggles Beer Cafe

As noted below this is a long narrow shop conversion with a wooden floor and fairly basic decor. There are assorted tables and chairs plus a few sofas.
It comes close to meeting the criteria for a micropub but on my visit the piped music was a deal breaker. They do some food but it's not really hot pub grub. I didn't spot any TV screens. It was quiet on my Thursday lunchtime visit.
Like micropubs the main attraction here is the beer. The bar now has six hand pumps with one serving a cider that I didn't recognise and another the permanent Coppernob from Tonbridge brewery. The other four beers had a mainly Northern slant with Hardknott Lux Borealis & Dark Energy, Moor Smokey Horyzon and Bad Seed India Pale Ale. There is also a row of keg taps at the back of the bar which I didn't check out but doubt if there was anything mainstream there.
I tried the Dark Energy and Bad Seed IPA both in excellent condition but not that cheap at £4.00 a pint. The Bad Seed beer was reasonable value with an ABV of 7.0% and it was dangerously drinkable.
I liked this place and would definitely return if I found myself in Tunbridge Wells again.

On 22nd December 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

. Wittenden left this review about Fuggles Beer Cafe

A new venture in an unprepossessing part of town : a former shop converted, in minimalist style, into a craft beer bar. Long and narrow, the tiled bar lies partway down to the right, with comfy sofas and tables and chairs arranged about.
Four handpumps, one serving draught cider-Pig Philosopher from somewhere down West, and a bank of unmarked keg fonts. Blackboards showing the day’s beers-the house beer being Coppernob from Tonbridge, a beer hopped with, appropriately Fuggles hops from Alsace.Some interesting looking wines and spirits, and a selection of locally sourced charcuterie, together with sandwiches from Kett’s Kitchen.
I had a couple of beers:Redwillow’s Wreckless, a new style, tropical pale ale, together with Coppernob of fond memory. Also available were a golden ale from Windsor and Eton, and Cobnut from the Kent Brewery. I’m fairly old fashioned, and haven’t “got” Craft Keg, but I was tempted by a heavyweight from the new Burning sky Brewery.Not guilty m’lud!However the cask beers were in fine condition.
Our visit was early on a wet and windy Saturday lunchtime, few punters were about, and we were perhaps a few years older than the target clientele, but I imagine that it gets busy later in the day:it certainly gets good reports on the local beer media.

On 9th February 2014 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 244 recommendations about 243 pubs]