Every single drink changes every week, giving you an excuse to always drink.

Like all good ideas, Hard Times & Misery was started on the back of a beer mat by married couple Greig and Jen. Greig’s story isn’t too dissimilar to what we’ve heard before. He once had a promising career in sales and marketing for years but eventually, instead of hitting those targets he ended up hitting a wall. He was burnt out, chasing a salary rather than doing something he enjoyed. After drinking around Hope Street one evening, they walked past the vacant building and after a few emails, decided to give up his career and start a new craft. The name came later after meeting a guy at a gin fair that had a similar story to Greig and compared his situation to “hard times and misery”, something that resonated with Greig so much it is now the namesake.

The doors a few years ago in August. There was no press release, no opening party or no sign put outside to even signify its very existence. For the first year and a half  it was an industry hideout, an escape from the humdrum of society and a hops headquarters for those in the know. They stay away from wholesalers, everything is small batch and most of it is British. The rise in the gin micro-distillery revolution and people’s thirst for craft beer can be seen behind the bar as drinks from all over the UK stand side by side. Greig and Jen built the bar with themselves in mind. They wanted to create a place they want to drink and couldn’t understand why places offered either a really good beer selection or a really good gin selection. Why not both? On an average weekend the bar will boast 23 gins on the back wall. Is it the biggest selection? No, it’s not but they’ll tell you it’s the best.

An alcoholic beverage at the end of the week to wash away all the hard work. An ice-cold beer, a strong gin or a big glass of wine – we’ve all been there. We all have our favourite haunts and it’s that familiarity that we always return to. Our favourite seat, the familiar faces and the pint of the usual. There’s nothing wrong with comfortable but there’s everything exciting about new. Due to the size of the bar, on a weekend they’re full to the brim and this is the exact scenario where the line between strangers and friends is lost. We’ll cheers to that. We’d recommend a drink but due to the fact they change them weekly, it might not be any use but if you can, grab yourself a seat and get yourself a Peach Melba by Mad Hatter Brewery and thank us later.

This write up is bittersweet. Currently, Hard Times & Misery is a secret only known to a few. And that’s how they like it. Half of us want to keep the bar a secret (mainly so we can get a seat) but the other half, the half that won today, is the duty to let you know of this hidden gem. Two seconds inside Hard Times & Misery and it reminded us why we started this website. Whether you’ve lived in Liverpool your whole life or you’re visiting for a weekend, our mission has always been to make everyone feel like a tourist. It’s rare, within that little microcosm, we feel like one ourselves. But in the half an hour we spent inside the bar, probably smaller than the average living room, it reminded us how much this city still has to offer and how much we’re yet to discover.

photo by ElectroKemist

Address: 2 Maryland St, Liverpool L1 9DE