St George’s Road
THIRD VISIT: THURSDAY 4 DECEMBER 2014
SECOND VISIT: FRIDAY 18 JULY 2014
It was a hot day so I decided I should have a refreshment stop at the Tuns before heading round the corner to the Nails.
A few folk occupied the outside tables – I didn’t know the Tuns did outside tables – but the inside was devoid of life except for the barman. I ordered a pint of Petit Grand, which was billed as a Saison with Elderflower. Hmmm… it tasted like a pale ale that had been dryhopped with some elderflowers. Don’t get me wrong, I did like it but it wasn’t the kind of beer I’ve come to expect when I see the words Arbor and Saison on the same pump clip. With the pseudo-saison gone I decided to score a half of the Bravo, which is a single hop 7.2% IPA. And damn fine it is too. I used to watch Juliet Bravo when I was kid but I don’t think that fact contributed to my appreciation of the Bravo IPA.
Time to go check out the beer festival at the Bag O’ Nails…
FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 18 JANUARY 2014
The Tuns has been serving excellent beers to Bristol denizens long before BrewDog and the King Street triumvirate rocked into town. And it still easily holds its own. Being the Arbor tap house you will always find several of their finest on sale – from both keg and cask. Other breweries known to make appearances include Kernel, Summer Wine, Bristol Beer Factory, Art Brew and Moor. It’s a small place but it manages to use its space well so even when its busy it still feels nice and airy. The covered outside terrace pretty much doubles the available space. The Gents are grotty as fuck but I suspect I would be a bit pissed off if they were ever done up.
We were in town for a Half Man Half Biscuit gig, which meant we had a damn good reason to visit some of Bristol’s finest hostelries. No Bristol beer trip is complete without a beer or six in the Tuns so I figured that would be the perfect starting point. When I arrived my mate was already approaching the end of his first pint. I was playing catch-up. I kicked off with a pint of Arbor’s ¡Ay, Columbus! It’s a pretty solid tasting 5.8% BIPA and it went down super quick. My next beer was an Axial-Tilt from Hardknott. It was good but had I took the time to realise it was a saison before ordering I would’ve opted for a half and got a half chaser of something dark and moody. Nevermind. When the saison was gone the decision was made that we should get going. We were leaving the Tuns far sooner than I wanted to but we had another 4 drinking establishments to visit before the gig and when you’ve got such a punishing itinerary there’s no time to get sentimental.