FOR real ale drinkers, the pub scene in Portsmouth has never been so good.
We have got the Campaign for Real Ale’s Portsmouth and south east Hampshire pub of the year award again and each time we win it we are amazed by the increase in competitors we are up against it.
We have got the Brewhouse and Kitchen in Guildhall Walk. The guys there have produced some really good beer.
It’s great to see a brewery on Portsea Island again.
I know we’ve got Oakleaf in Gosport and Irving Brewery in the north of Portsmouth but it’s nice to see it happening in the centre again.
You have got your normal pubs that are doing very well at the moment, especially The Leopold Tavern in Albert Road, Southsea. Stuart Ainsworth the landlord has just put on a fantastic beer festival there. They went through 87 casks of beer in just over 10 days which is an amazing amount.
You have also got places like The Sir Loin of Beef, in Highland Road, Eastney, which is very good.
But you can count the number of exceptional real ale pubs in Portsmouth on one hand.
We’re not like places such as London and Brighton, which have lots of them.
There are lots of pubs that do ale to a good standard, but it’s nothing stand out.
People come to Portsmouth just to try out the beers we’ve got from organisations such as Camra’s east Dorset branch.
You can get beers like London Pride and Doom Bar in about 99 per cent of pubs now. That’s not going to bring people from out of town because you can get that stuff anywhere.