Beer? Oh, go on then.
To the clock-watching office workers who practically ran when the clock struck 5.30pm, the fresh-faced students itching for their first pint and to the ones already four pints deep by the time the rest arrive – this one is for you. Here before you we present a craft compendium, a beer bible of sorts that will navigate you through the labyrinth of Liverpool’s bolstering boozer scene. Along the way you won’t only drink some great beers in some fine establishments but you’ll stumble past some of Liverpool’s most beautiful architecture and end up befriending all walks of life.
photo by www.theguideliverpool.co.uk
Off the back of our incredibly popular ‘Ultimate Georgian Quarter Pub Crawl’ we thought we’d turn this into a little series. Different areas, same great pubs and pints upon pints of golden nectar. This time we’re focusing on the business district – a place where people work hard and play harder. Well known for solicitors, lawyers, judges and more the area also houses a wealth of boozers with incredible history. In a time where pubs are closing at rapid pace, we cheers to the ones that are still here and cheers again to the ones we’ve lost.
Dead Crafty Beer Co
When people think about craft beer they think of a hirsute male, with a twirly moustache sipping on some sort of Pumpkin IPA announcing notes of flavours in some tremendously over the top fashion. That simply isn’t the case and especially at Dead Crafty Beer Co. It has quickly become the hop headquarters of the year with an ever-changing and incredibly exciting range of beers and meet the brewers events. Pull up a chair at the bar, tell the barman to surprise you and drink just enough of it until texting your ex starts to sound like a good idea.
Dale St, Liverpool L2 5TF
Shenanigans by name, shenanigans by nature. The Shenanigans building is understated in its beauty, a mix of wonderful colourful tiles in the unusually shaped building makes it stand out but revellers of the night don’t return for that, it’s for the craic. Guinness and live music go hand in hand so expect lots of singing and dancing (literally) and above all, a bloody good time. You don’t need the luck of the Irish to have a good time here.
photo by Garstonian
77 Tithebarn St, Liverpool L2 2EN
This multi-roomed, Grade ll listed building, bearing the name of wine and spirit dealer Thomas Rigby now supplies an extensive world beer range on draft and in bottles. Regular beers on offer on the hand pumps come from the pub’s owners Okells, the other four are regularly changing guests. Good value food is on offer until early evening, including specials, with one room offering a friendly and efficient table service. As the sun comes out, there is also a beautiful courtyard for outdoor drinking worth listening. Don’t end up blaming us if you end up spending the day there.
photo by Jay Chow
23-25 Dale St, Liverpool L2 2EZ
The Ship & Mitre
The Ship & Mitre gets its name from a combination of the pub’s two previous names – The Flagship and The Mitre. Having undergone a few makeovers during its time, (the most notable of which was in the 1970s) the downstairs bar reflects the inside of a ship. Whilst the upstairs function room has had refurbishments over the years, the impressive Art Deco features and feel of the room remain. You’ll struggle to find a much better boozer in Liverpool than Ship & Mitre. The staff are self-professed beer boffins and will be happy to find you a pint-sized delight for your taste buds amid the hundreds of beers on offer.
photo by Jay Chow
133 Dale St, Liverpool L2 2JH
The Railway is a nicely appointed pub, with many older features, opposite the now defunct Exchange Station. It’s old fashioned – but in a nice way. It has an admirable inn of quiet nooks, comfy chairs, elegant arches and walls so white they reflect the daylight pouring through the windows to make the place seem perpetually summery. Curry evening Tuesdays, Grill evening Wednesday and Sunday roasts keep the hungry punters coming back for more and provide the perfect lining on the stomach to keep the beers flowing unit the early hours.
photo by Jay Chow
18 Tithebarn St, Liverpool L2 2DT
Before it took a brief sabbatical, the Lion Tavern on Tithebarn Street was the city’s longest continuously-open pub in history. They were shut for a few months but re-opened last November to much applause from the local drinkers. One of the biggest compliments we can give the “new” Lion Tavern is that it feels like nothing has changed. In a world where we feel we must, it’s a bold statement from a great boozer.
67 Moorfields, Liverpool L2 2BP
Roscoe Head is the very definition of a hidden gem and the only pub in North West to feature in every edition of the Good Beer Guide, since first published in 1974. Given the attritional rate of pub closures, that’s no mean feat and deserves a visit if you ask us. Every now and then a pub becomes so much more than just four walls to drink beer in and Roscoe Head is one of those fine establishments that have become an institution since opening. The building started life as a private house in the 1870s and is rumoured to be haunted but nothing could keep us from coming back.
24 Roscoe St, Liverpool L1 2SX
One of Liverpool’s most historic pubs. Built in 1869, Ma Egerton’s is named after the pub’s longest-serving landlady, Mary Egerton. As well as running various pubs in Liverpool, Mrs Egerton was a registered theatrical agent and entertained many of the visiting performers who were working in the city including; Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jr, Tom Jones, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy and Harry Houdini. Indeed Ma’s is still a favourite haunt of performers from stage and screen.
9 Pudsey St, Liverpool L1 1JA
Any real ale crawl worth doing ends up in The Excelsior. It’s a large corner pub adjacent to what were Higson’s 1962 Brewery offices. Despite its popularity it still feels like a secret to many of us. A tastefully decorated and comfortable pub, appealing to both business and leisure clientele. Three sided bar in main room, with attractive area at rear that can be used for meetings and functions. Six hand pumps with four changing beers from different regional breweries.
You can find the Cross Keys on Earle Street, a lovely pub in the heart of the merchant district. It closed last year with similar timing as the nearby Lion pub on the corner of Moorfields and Tithebarn Street. Like a phoenix out of the ashes Cross Keys is back and is a real gem of a place. They’ll greet you with a big smile, an even bigger drink and a promise you’ll return.
13 Earle St, Liverpool L3 9NS
Lady of Mann
The Lady of Mann adjoins Thomas Rigby’s with which it shares a courtyard for open air drinking. Named after the eponymous Manx ferry this is an open plan pub where exposed beams and woodwork lend an almost rustic feel. Owned by the Isle of Man brewery O’Kells three hand pumps dispense Okells Bitter and 2 guests. We’ve found it’s also the kind of place where the line between strangers and friends is lost on a hot summers day.
picture by Catflier001
19 Dale St, Liverpool L2 2EZ
Hole In Ye Wall
Ye Hole In Ye Wall on Hackins Hey is a bit of a jigger off Dale Street opposite North John Street. This is more than just a back street boozer – it’s Liverpool’s oldest public house dating back to the start of Liverpool’s maritime heyday in 1726. Having been built on the site of an old quaker graveyard the beer cellar is unusually on the first floor above to bar. Terrific food, great beer and famous Liverpool hospitality.
photo by Steve Wassell
4 Hackins Hey, Liverpool L2 2AW
Vernon Arms is a free house situated close to the business district, the Vernon retains the feel of a street-corner local. The single long-roomed bar serves three drinking areas including a back room with frosted glass windows advertising the Liverpool Brewing Company which used to serve the pub. The main bar has wood panelling, several large columns and a small snug area.
69 Dale St, Liverpool L2 2HJ
The Corn Market
Once the watering hole of merchants from the nearby Corn Exchange, hence the name. This Victorian pub is in the business district, situated behind a block of shops on Fenwick Street. Don’t judge a book by its cover, it may look small from the outside but the inside is absolutely beautiful. It’s an age-old institution that you just have to visit.
Fancy a year’s worth of discounts and deals at some of Liverpool’s best independents? We are doing a special Independent Liverpool Membership Card deal for just one week. For just £10 for one (usually £15) or £15 for two (usually £20) you can eat, drink and shop at some of the city’s best independents and save some money a long the way. Save money, shop local – what’s not to like? Grab yours here.
Special thanks to Dave Wood for the featured image.