In my quest to visit all the pubs in the Good Beer Guide, I’ve managed to mention very few of the Norwich award winners, so I’ll try and resolve that minor problem in 2020….
The Ribs of Beef has a marvellous riverside location and parts of the building date back to the fourteenth century, although it was badly damaged during a fire in the city in 1507. In 2017, a fragment of the original medieval wall was discovered during renovations, a section which has been left uncovered.
The building was originally used primarily as a residential property and it was in use as a pub by 1743 when it was first known as the Ribs of Beef. The frontage was knocked about a bit in 1898 to allow for road widening for the city trams and the now smaller building was re-opened as a pub in 1904. It was decided in 1928 by the landlord, Alfred James Kendrick, to rename the pub as the Fye Bridge Tavern. It closed entirely in 1959, so was nearly permanently lost as a licensed premises, but it was re-opened in August 1985.
Anyway, back to the present. When we entered there was a pub quiz taking place, which I must admit isn’t something that I particularly engage with. However, it’s clear that many people do as the pub was busy and there was a relaxed and informal atmosphere to the premises.
My drink was half a pint of the Railway Porter from Five Points Brewing, a brewery based in Hackney, London. The beer has been designed to be true to the original style of London porter and there was a richness of taste to the drink, with chocolate and coffee flavours evident. The choice of beers in the pub was also extensive, although the busy nature of the pub made it a little difficult to see the range of beers on the bar or on the boards. But, the range of beers was well curated and there are also plenty of other alcoholic drinks to choose from.
The pub seems to be something of a success recently (and indeed for many years) and so its entry into the Good Beer Guide seems a worthy one. It’s not really a pub for me as it’s too sports orientated and I like peaceful and calm, but it’s always excellent to see a pub doing well. Very lovely.