Chelmsford – Hop Beer Shop

This is another listing from the Good Beer Guide and is apparently, according to CAMRA, the first micro-pub which opened in Essex. I like micro-pubs as they usually have an informal and welcoming atmosphere, although these are challenging times for them as they’re often quite small in terms of their size. Hence the name…. Also today, the Government has confirmed that Essex is going into a different tier, which means that as from next week, this pub’s trade will be even more adversely affected.

The welcome was friendly and immediate, with the staff member finding me a suitable place to sit, which was about the last seat going. There were some interesting options for beers and ciders, with plenty of cans and bottles as well offering a wider choice. The environment in the pub was welcoming, even though all of the customers seemed to know each other. I suspect that someone new to the area would soon feel part of the crowd here.

I went for the Al Capone from Mighty Oak Brewing (which isn’t on the board as it had just become available) which is relatively local as it’s brewed in Maldon. The beer had a flavour of gooseberry, which isn’t necessarily something that sounds delicious, but it was an agreeable taste. The beer was well-kept, at the appropriate temperature and was something a little different.

The selection of cans and bottles that are available to take away. All told, I liked this pub, there was a laid-back environment, decent selection of beers and I can see why it’s in the Good Beer Guide.