While you’re here, why not check out the Leicester Happy Hour Directory?
There has been much consternation in Leicester’s beer-drinking social media circles over the last 24 hours. A poll in the Leicester Mercury picked 19 pubs, seemingly out of thin air, and asked which of them was the best pub in town. There were a huge number of glaring omissions from the list. The best of a bad bunch, one of the only serious options on the list so currently at number one, Tonne, is not actually a pub, but a bar. I checked all over the internet and cannot see them call themselves a pub anywhere.
I think it’s fair to say that whoever wrote the original poll is not a dyed in the wool pub-goer.
So, this being something of my specialist subject, I decided to create my own poll. It has over 50 pubs and took me about 15 minutes to pull together. I am not declaring this comprehensive – I already realise I have missed off the Dove in Evington for example, so feel free to add other pubs in the comments below.
If you want to read more about my thoughts on pubs, scroll on past the poll, but if you’re only here for the clicking, here it is… (I’ve also taken the liberty of entitling my poll ‘Which is’ rather than ‘What is’ the best pub because it feels more comfortable grammatically.)
Edit: I’ve had to take West End Brewery out of the vote as someone’s taken it upon themselves to cheat. Thanks to Josh, the owner of the West End for pointing out the discrepancy to me. WEB were on 26 before interference by my count. If your vote is for them, please now add it in the comments below with a logged in profile, not an anonymous one. We value honesty here at Extreme Housewifery, and I can see your voting times and IPs!!
EDIT 2: I deleted the poll because there was no way to close it.
View the results here
What makes a pub?
The concept of definition has been the interesting thing for me. As I mentioned, I would not have put Tonne on the list because they are a ‘craft beer bar’. Calling yourself a pub is pretty much number one on the list of how to be a good pub. For that reason I wasn’t going to put Firebug on the list either, but once Tonne were on there it only seemed fair.
The real ale crowd were up in arms (and rightly so) that many of our finest real ale pubs didn’t make the cut on the Mercury’s version. The Blue Boar, The Two Tailed Lion and The Real Ale Classroom were all notable in their absence. Well kept beer is perhaps number two on my list of things a pub should have. I’m going to stop writing that mental list now, because it is going to get complicated.
It is clear from the voting so far on the newspaper poll that a friendly environment, an affordable pint and occasionally daytime karaoke (yes, it’s an alarmingly widespread phenomenon here in Leicester) are all valued highly by the general public outside of the real ale drinkers. I have no doubt that a good selection of gins, pool table, showing Leicester City or Tigers games and a well made cob are also valued.
What makes a good pub for you? Whatever it is, recent CAMRA research showed that the Great British Pub is a vital hub for wellbeing. Regular pub goers are now shown to suffer less from loneliness from other folk. It looks good, it tastes good and by ‘eck, the pub does you good. So whichever venue you prefer, let’s all agree that pubs are a good thing and support them by stopping in for a swift half whenever we can.