Great beer cities: BristolA beer-drinker's journey through England's greatest beer cities
I was once told that when it came to drinking, Bristol used to be all about flat Bass poured straight from the barrel or raucous pints of cloudy cider.
Despite this generalisation, the city also had plenty of breweries, including Georges (whose logo was a carthorse, leading to bar-top jokers suggesting that the beer tasted like it came through one), Courage (who bought Georges in the 1960s) and Smiles, part of the first wave of microbreweries in the 1980s. All are now gone. In the case of Georges, though, part of the brewery is now flats alongside the River Avon.
So, let’s quickly speed to the present where Bristol’s beer is definitely more than a handled glass of tepid pale ale or farmhouse cider.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol
It is now estimated that the city has up to 15 breweries, and who knows how many more will emerge. Some of these breweries, including Moor, Left-handed Giant, Bristol Beer Factory, Wiper & True and Lost & Grounded are some of the most accomplished in the country, never mind the city.
You could argue that the beer scene mirrors the city’s brash and independent sense of its own being. This is a place where artisanal producers of food and drink prosper; a spirited city that invites both the beer drinker and food lover to immerse themselves in richness.
"This is a place where artisanal producers of food and drink prosper"