The Real Ale Classroom, Allandale Road

There’s been a lot of beer on the blog this month. But then it is #Tryanuary, where we should all be out trying our local independent breweries, bottle shops and beers. So it would have been rude of me not to pop along to Allandale Road and learn a lesson at The Real Ale Classroom.

Steve and Ian have brought a dose of pint-sized pleasure to Clarendon Park by opening its first micropub, just at the beginning of December 2015. Aimed to serve good, local beer with no frills, as the name suggests they want to help educate us all about great brews. And with a regularly changing beer offering, as well as locally produced wines, spirits and ciders they are off to a flying start.

With robust wood decor and a generally uncomplicated feel, the pub is simple and comfortable. Beer is served straight from the cask and the Classroom theme runs throughout with desks and chairs you may remember from your own school days. I like the light hearted and rustic feel of it all.

It is satisfyingly dark and atmospheric so that you can engage in some mild collusion with your co-drinkers, and the wood fire in the back room gives a warm and cosy environment in which to kick back and enjoy a refreshing beverage away from the wintry weather we are experiencing at the moment. Out the back there is also a small yard with a sheltered terrace suitable for smokers and any others who experience occasional urges to stand in the freezing cold for no good reason.

The menu board is dynamic and regularly updated. I have no doubt that this photograph I took of the board not two weeks ago is now entirely out of date. Indeed, it was out of date by the time we left the pub as I noticed a finished cask was taken off and a new one added in. So you’re unlikely to get bored by going here, even if you’re a regular visitor.

They offer a selection of pub snacks in case the munchies strike, locally produced pork pies and cheese to match the regional booze on offer. I went down specifically to have a try of South Derbyshire vineyard Sealwood Cottage’s wares, so it’s nice to see some English wine on offer as well as a more conventional (but very nicely crafted) wine selection.

As you would expect, they are also putting on a range of events to help us all learn a bit more about the best quality artisan products we can get our local-produce loving mitts on. Indeed, you can come along on 22nd February for a very special English wine tasting event with yours truly! More information on that event coming soon… And if that doesn’t take your fancy, how about popping along for the Public House of Verse variety performance on the afternoon of 31st January 2016?

Welcome to Leicester, Real Ale Classroom – I think we’re all looking forward to seeing what we can experience and learn from such passionate advocates for Real Ale!


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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