Working on my list of Good Beer Guide pubs that I’ve visited, I have been to the Coach and Horses in Bethel Street (not to be confused with the one on Thorpe Road which is also in the Good Beer Guide) many times before but for the purposes of this post I thought I’d visit again. It’s important to be professional with these things…. As a pre-warning, it is a Greene King pub, but as a spoiler, I’d say that it’s as good as a Greene King pub is going to be.
Seven real ales available, which is impressive by any measure and there was a wide choice of different beer styles.
The selection of real ales required two photos and as evidenced here, there was a real cider available as well. One problem with many Greene King pubs is that they sell one or two beers from their own brewery, including Greene King IPA, which don’t exactly surprise and delight. However, here there is an effort to source beers from local breweries with only two Greene King beers.
Given the pouring rain outside at the time, I went for a darker option which was half a pint of the Winter Porter from the Panther Brewery from Reepham. It was well-kept, at the appropriate chilled temperature and it had some chocolate notes which I approved of.
The service was personable and engaging, this felt a well-run pub with an inviting and warm atmosphere. It was surprisingly busy for a rainy afternoon, with perhaps six or so of the tables being occupied. They offer a tapas menu, which I’ve eaten from before and has been of a decent quality in the past and the prices for food and drink are moderate. It’s a very busy pub for pre-theatre drinks as the Theatre Royal is just around the corner, with plenty of lunchtime customers as well. The reviews on-line for the pub are excellent with few negativity from visitors.
I’ve sometimes seen Greene King pubs listed in the Good Beer Guide and I’ve struggled a little to wonder why. The situation at this pub is different given the wide range of ales and I also trust the CAMRA members in Norwich not to let any venues into the book which aren’t of a decent standard. There are some other little highlights in this pub as well, not least the bar billiards table which is always a positive in any venue. For those who need them there is also wi-fi and there are plenty of plug sockets to ensure devices can be kept fully charged. I can happily comment that this seems a well deserved entry into the Good Beer Guide.