Reading – Allied Arms

There are more Good Beer Guide listed pubs in Reading than I had expected, over ten in the centre (or within easy walking distance of it) and I’ll try to get to as many as possible. This is the Allied Arms, one of the few pubs that doesn’t serve food (other than bar snacks) and it has some history to it, which I might as well quote from their web-site:

“The Allied Arms has been a pub since 1828 but the building dates back to the 16th Century. Over the years it has been used as a butchers and brewery as well as a pub. The inside decor is warm and cosy and includes old beams which likely came from the ruins of Reading Abbey after the dissolution by Henry VIII.”

I liked a building with some heritage to it and it’d be good to think that the old beams theory is true.

Unfortunately, the stout I ordered ran out as it was being poured, so I switched to the Loddon Hullabaloo which was adequate and at the appropriate temperature. I had hoped for something darker and the pub will usually have that offer available, I was just slightly unfortunate today that the barrel ran out. Nonetheless, there were a range of beer styles, and although nothing exceptional, it was entirely adequate. Pricing here, which I knew about in advance from reviews, is a little expensive and I suspect that might cost them some custom, although it’s not unreasonable.

The interior of the pub, all bright and feeling historic. There’s a front and back room, both served by the same bar, as well as a large outdoors garden. I can imagine that on most weekends the seating gets taken quickly, so the extensive external area must be quite handy.

The Loddon Hullabaloo, which is the pub’s house ale, produced by the Loddon Brewery who are based on Dunsden in Oxfordshire (I thought that sounded quite a long way away, but I’ve realised how near Reading us to the border of Berkshire and Oxfordshire).

It’s a nice enough little pub, with the staff member being friendly and welcoming, so there was an inviting and quite cosy atmosphere. They’re still requiring masks to be worn, which I’m happy with that their being choice and I had one ready, so all was well. Given the building’s heritage and the range of real ales, I can see why it’s in the Good Beer Guide.