Craft beer continues to make inroads into Bath. When I last reported on the craft beer scene in the city, back in November, there were three bars serving craft beer, all relative newcomers – the Bath Brew House, the Porter and Graze. Since then the Greene King owned Westgate in Westgate Street has had the latest in what seems like a never-ending series of makeovers, acquiring five craft beer taps in the process. One or two of them serve craft beer from Greene King, Brewdog Punk IPA is a regular fixture on another, but local breweries such as Glastonbury and the Wild Beer Company also feature.
Another brewery making its presence felt in the city is Fullers, who have taken and refurbished the Crystal Palace, the Huntsman and the Boater – all traditional pubs in prime sites, with high tourist footfall. The Boater – the latest to reopen – was serving Beerd from Bath Ales on a recent visit, and also had a good range of bottled beers – although being served a bottle from Kernel in a half-pint mug, with sediment poured out (against the advice on the label) suggests that presentation needs a little tweaking.
Finally comes Culture & Cure. This, until recently, was the Grappa bar, a pizza, wine and cocktail joint which opened in 2002 in the former Beehive pub on Belvedere. The new name reflects the food on offer – high-quality cheese and charcuterie, primarily sourced from local producers. It also has an excellent wine list, a tempting range of gins – and ten craft beer taps serving brews from the likes of Wiper & True, Moor, Kernel, Bristol Beer Factory, Thornbridge and the Wild Beer Company. There is also an excellent selection of bottle beers and a refreshing refusal to play it safe, with some challenging beers featuring alongside the more popular beer styles. It is open from 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, is closed Sunday and Monday, and, although out of the city centre, is only about five minutes walk up Lansdown Road from the top of George Street, and about three minutes walk up Guinea Lane from the Star. Well worth a visit.