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Picture of The Barrels Ale House
Image posted by Will Larter
Submitted on Tuesday, 20th May 2014
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The Barrels Ale House, Berwick-Upon-Tweed Town, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

59 Bridge Street
TD15 1ES
Phone: 01289308013
Correct details

Reviews of The Barrels Ale House (Average Rating: 9 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Barrels Ale House

A good traditional pub, that attracts likewise ale drinkers. Five ales on handpump on our visit. We found a good couple of beers in here, one of which was First Chop Brewing Hop, which was a good session ale at 4.1%. The pub consisted of two rooms, the main bar area and an equally sized lounge leading off this, over on the left hand side of the bar. The pub had a good atmosphere and I noticed they have live Jazz at weekends in the basement, which can be found from a staircase near the front entrance.

On 10th July 2015 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2915 recommendations about 2915 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about The Barrels Ale House

The pub was surrounded by scaffolding and swathed in the sort of blue mesh fabric that responsible builders put up these days - fortunately whatever work was going on was confined to the exterior. Once inside there's a relatively peaceful scene, but then the oddness hits you: as well as being a pub with good beer, plenty of character and a friendly atmosphere, this is a pub that relishes eccentricity.

Looking around, I could see one or two items of normal furniture, but most of the stools were based on small barrels, there were shelves made from sections of barrel attached to the bar (for leaning on, or for depositing your beer while expostulating), two stools by the bar seemed to be home-made, to a Heath Robinson design, and then there's the dentist's chair...

On the walls, clocks compete for space with equally ancient radio sets, a pair of skis and a telephone; a puppet rides across the ceiling astride a marlin, in the company of a trout and a pike; obscure and irrelevant notices, some in French; photos of artists and others of yesteryear, including Mohammed Ali with Elvis Presley in the same photograph; an optician's sign, consisting of an over-large pair of cartoon spectacles with bulbous eyes in place, which had been adapted to show the way to the cellar space which is used for live music. Obscure blues music from a CD player provided the aural background as I made my way to the bar, which was partially obscured by a small crowd of enthusiastic drinkers.

On the bar are five hand pumps - on my visit these included Orkney Dark Island from the far north of Scotland, a Shepherd Neame beer from the other end of the country, and offerings from three rather more local brewers: Hadrian Borders, Jarrow and Tempest of Kelso. In addition, there was a BrewDog keg font and another from Williams Brothers of Alloa, one of my favourite breweries. I tried the Dark Island, which was very good, before leaving to visit a couple of other pubs in the town. On my return an hour or so later the same rather repetitious blues legend (or someone sounding very like him) was still playing - this is probably the only reason I could find for not awarding a 10 to this excellent pub.

A change of music, to some lesser-known tracks of the Rolling Stones, was very welcome, and I indulged in a Williams Bros lager/IPA crossover called Caesar Augustus, which was up to their usual standard - interesting without being in-your-face about it - once it stopped being too cold to drink, and finished off the evening with the Hadrian Borders Flodden 500. This pub is not just recommended - it's essential. I'm already trying to think of an excuse for another visit to Berwick.

On 12th May 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2455 recommendations about 2318 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Barrels Ale House

Compact but comfortable ale house, with lots of memorabilia on the walls. Limited seating in the bar, but there is also a side room and steps down to a basement space (not open). Some excellent beers available from the five handpumps, including High House Farm's Matfen Magic (£1.50 half) and Anarchy Brew's 7.2% Sublime Chaos Breakfast Stout (£1.80 half), plus Williams Bros lager on tap. Overall, this was just what I was looking for on my brief visit to Berwick, and is thoroughly recommended.

On 3rd February 2013 - rating: 9
[User has posted 5831 recommendations about 5831 pubs]

View more reviews of The Barrels Ale House (5)
External web links for The Barrels Ale House

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by William Purnell
Berwick-upon-Tweed, 0.52 miles, 9 min walk (show)
Chathill, 22.63 miles, 7 hr 16 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Barrels Ale House, Berwick-Upon-Tweed
24th Nov 2019, 16:29
Picture submitted by Will Larter approved
24th Nov 2019, 16:28
Picture submitted by Will Larter approved

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Live Music : Yes last updated 22 January 2018 by Will Larter
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 12 May 2013 by hondo .
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