Herefordshire CAMRA


Beer in Hand, Hereford


City micro-pub, Beer in Hand voted Herefordshire CAMRA Pub of the Year

When CAMRA first learned about plans for the county’s first micro-pub we were privately concerned how it might work: outside the city’s ‘ring road’ and in a converted launderette, it didn’t sound like an obvious blueprint for great beer success. How wrong we turned out to be! For a start, we hadn’t allowed for the effort and business skills of owners Mitchell and Alison Evans.

Hereford had long been calling out for a pub that offered a good range of beers from different small breweries from around the UK. The Beer in Hand has now filled that gap many times over, as is evidenced by its runaway success. The customers have just kept coming across the threshold ever since it first opened back in August 2013. Not stopping there, the operation has gone on to provide the largest selection of real ciders and perries in the county - typically as many as a dozen being available. And just to top this lot off is an eclectic selection of bottled beers and ciders.

At the end of 2013 the pub was awarded the accolade of Herefordshire CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year. Now, only twelve months later, it has won the BIG prize - and thoroughly deserved it is too.

The Beer in Hand isn’t your run-of-the-mill pub, thus the moniker ‘micro’ being applied to the Eign Street premises. Besides the enormous range of real ales (plus ciders and perries), the most notable feature is the large enclosed racking unit. Holding up to sixteen barrels behind individually-sealed glass fronts, it is a neat way of efficiently chilling the beers without the need for a traditional pub cellar. This brings the added bonus that the customer can see their beer served straight from the barrel every time.

Otherwise, the Beer in Hand might be best described as basic-cum-minimalist modernist in decor, with comfortable furnishings towards the front and a seated alcove area off to one side towards the rear. Whilst it’s nothing like a spit and sawdust boozer, it still seems to engender a good locals’ pub atmosphere. Conversation will always hold sway in a place like this. The owners appear to have the Midas touch for the pub trade. Whatever they do at the Beer in Hand seems to land the right way up every time: such as the introduction of food nights and Sunday lunches, live music and quizzes - all admirably supported by an ever-building number of loyal locals. We’ve even forgiven them for running a ‘Beer on the Eign’ festival concurrent with our Beer on the Wye festival back in July! Obviously, that was a success too.

Simon Crowther, Herefordshire CAMRA Chairman, explains:

“The Beer in Hand is a very welcome addition to the city’s pub scene. It gives Hereford’s beer drinkers a chance to try a number of different beers from various UK small breweries, an opportunity they otherwise only get at a beer festival. For visitors to the city, it represents a stellar showcase for local Herefordshire ciders and perries.

“Getting the Beer in Hand established was a big commitment and a massive leap of faith - one that has very much paid off for the owners. Well done and thanks go to Mitchell and Alison for taking the risk and then making it work so well.”

A presentation of the Pub of the Year certificate will take place at the Beer in Hand in February.

 Beer in Hand, Eignbrook House, 136 Eign Street, Hereford, HR4 0AP. 12 (4 Tue & Wed)-11; 11-10.30 Sun; fully accessible; 10p/pint discount for CAMRA members website:; twitter: @bihhereford



Bridge Inn at Kentchurch is voted Herefordshire CAMRA’s Country Pub of the Year

Bridge Inn, Kentchurch

The Bridge Inn Kentchurch is a pub not so much in the centre of the village as in the ‘Heart of the Community’. Taking the B4347 eastwards from Pontrilas, one wonders just how the tiny parish of Kentchurch village with so few visible signs of habitation can sustain a pub. Yet since taking over the pub, Nick Phillips and his wife Andi have taken it from strength to strength.

Once part of a mill complex dating back some 400 years, the pub still retains much of its historic character, while the garden, set beside the River Monnow, offers stunning views towards the Black Mountains.

Nick and Andi are committed to offering excellent beers, with three real ales availablle in winter, increasing to four - plus a real cider - in the summer. The á-la-carte menu includes traditional "pub grub", plus a range of specials which vary from night to night - all freshly prepared on the premises. Sunday lunches and regular themed nights are very popular and booking is recommended. Andi's homemade puddings are always popular - particularly the cheesecakes!

The pub is surrounded by delightful countryside offering some fine walking, providing a handy refreshment stop along the Herefordshire Trail or the Bagwyllydiart and Pontrilas walk described in the ‘Garway Bus’ leaflet. Download here and follow links leisure, then walking.

Bridge Inn, Kentchurch, Hereford HR2 0BY. Tel (01981) 240408. Opening Hours Mondays 6pm to 10pm Tuesday Closed Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 12pm to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 11pm Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 11pm


Red Lion, Stiffords Bridge


Autumn 2015 Pub of the Season is the Red Lion, Stiffords Bridge.

The Red Lion Inn at Stiffords Bridge near Cradley has had an unfortunate recent past. Many will remember the terrible floods that afflicted the pub when, in July 2007, the normally docile neighbouring Cradley Brook turned into a raging torrent - and there were further setbacks that seemed to make running the pub more than a challenge.

Since Kim and Andy Lannie moved from a successful stint at the Chase Inn at Upper Colwall to take on the tenancy at the Red Lion just over three years ago, things have very much been on an upward trajectory – hopefully, putting pay once and for all to any talk of there being a jinx on the property.

The Red Lion has always been a food venue first and foremost – being especially popular with pub-diners venturing out from Malvern. Often you would see the car park full on a Sunday lunchtime. The good news is that those times have returned to the Red Lion, but definitely not at the expense of the beer or, for that matter, the beer-drinker. Calling in for a casual pint, as either a local or passing visitor, is positively encouraged and is very much on Andy and Kim’s agenda.

Recently, the beer offer at the pub has stepped up a level. No longer do local beers from the likes of Wye Valley and Malvern Hills breweries have to jostle for attention on the bar with less-exciting national staples from Greene King. It is the local brews that are now king at the Red Lion. Joining the regular house beer brewed by Malvern Hills (appropriately called Lannie’s Quaffing Ale) have been the likes of Hafren from the new Worcester Brewery. And if this wasn’t enough, some of the beers are now sold direct from the barrel – with two casks to be regularly found perched on the bar. How often do you see that these days?

The Red Lion’s beer credentials now appear to be complete. The beer offer is as genuinely good as the food and welcome. And this is no accident – it is down to the vision and hard work of Andy, Kim and their family team.

Red Lion, Inn Stiffords Bridge, Malvern, WR13 5NN. Telephone (01886) 880318. Opening Times: 12-3, 5.30-11; 12-11 Sat; 12-10.30 Sun. Meals: 12-2, 6.30-9; 12-2.30, 6.30-9 Sat; 12-3, 6-8 Sun

Recent Pubs of the Season

Carpenters Arms
Summer 2015: Carpenters Arms, Walterstone
Spring 2015: New Inn, Fownhope
Xmas 2014: Chase Inn, Upper Colwall
Autumn 2014: Red Lion, Peterstow
Summer 2014: Baron’s Cross, Leominster
Spring 2014: Green Dragon, Bishops Frome
Autumn 2013: Bridge Inn, Kentchurch
Summer 2013: Royal George, Lingen
Spring 2013: Wheelwrights, Pencombe