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18 real ale pubs you need to visit in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 16:16 31 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:11 01 September 2016

Dan Tentler, Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Dan Tentler, Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Whether it’s bitter, stout or pale ale that you enjoy, we have 18 perfect pubs in Hertfordshire that serve well kept real ales for true beer lovers

The Rose & Crown, Ashwell

With as many as 11 real ales on tap to try out, The Rose & Crown on Ashwell High Street is a hit with lovers of cask ales. The interiors are a mix of old and new with bursts of contemporary pastel colour contrasted with dark wooden beams and an open fireplace. With a sprawling beer garden that traps the sun in the warmer months, you can bask in the warmth with real ale in hand.

The Half Moon, Hitchin

The historic Half Moon in Hitchin dates way back to 1748 and has retained much of its cosy charm. With an abundance of awards, including CAMRA’s Hertfordshire Pub of the Year 2016, you will want to try out one of the eight real ales that change constantly (see here for a list of upcoming ales This pub also has an annual beer festival that features over 80 real ales, ciders and perries.

The Grandison, Hertford

The contemporary interiors coupled with the rolling hills outside make The Grandison in the village of Bramfield a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Delicious and refreshing real ales are ever changing and favour local breweries.

The Two Brewers, Potters Bar

With exposed wooden beams and a roaring log fire to give you comfort in the winter months and a gorgeous beer garden with a view of St Thomas a Becket Church, this is a tranquil spot to enjoy a cask ale. With fantastic ales on tap and weekly guest ales too, why not put The Two Brewers in Northaw, Potters Bar on your list of pubs to visit?

The Jolly Sailor, St Albans

With an extensive beer list, The Jolly Sailor on Stonecross in St Albans stocks well-kept real ales too. This lively pub is a social spot so get ready to enjoy some sports or music along with your real ale.

Hare & Hounds, St Albans

Steeped in history and known as one of the oldest pubs in St Albans, the Hare & Hounds on Sopwell Lane is a family and dog-friendly tavern that has old world charm and serves beautifully kept real ales. There is always something to do including a ukulele group and a knitting club that meet regularly.

The Six Bells, St Albans

St Michaels Street in St Albans is home to The Six Bells Freehouse that has real ale on tap to quench your thirst such as JHB with deep hops and citrus notes, or the award-winning strong pale ale Timothy Taylor’s Landlord. With two guest ales to choose from too, you can while the evening away relaxing by the roaring open fire flanked with dark wooden beams, historic photographs and comfortable seating.

The Round Bush, Aldenham

Framed by large trees, The Round Bush in Aldenham is a peaceful spot in the stunning Hertfordshire countryside that serves real ales on draught. This is a traditional pub with a welcoming atmosphere that makes it a superb spot to relax with friends and enjoy good conversation over great beer.

The White Lion, St Albans

Enjoy a glass of real ale by candlelight at The White Lion in St Albans. The interior is stylish with a rustic twist creating an unassuming ambiance that fosters conversation and relaxation. So drink up and forget your worries!

The Alford Arms, Frithsden

The multi award-winning Alford Arms in the small hamlet of Frithsden serves local real ales in a chic interior. Proclaiming “dogs, children and muddy boots welcome”, this pub is a welcoming place that prides itself on locally sourced food and drink.

The Garibaldi, St Albans

The Garibaldi on Albert Street in St Albans is a gorgeous red-bricked pub with Victorian charm that is a real hit with ale lovers. There are guest ales on frequent rotation meaning each visit should be an opportunity to try something new or to revisit an old favourite. Pick a cosy corner and relax.

The Mermaid, St Albans

Currently holding the South Hertfordshire Cider Pub of the Year, The Mermaid on Hatfield Road in St Albans also has six fantastic real ales. With charity quizzes, music nights and festivals, this is a community pub with a welcoming atmosphere that’s perfect to sip some traditional ale.

The White Hart, Welwyn

The White Hart on Prospect Place in Welwyn is recently refurbished with a sophisticated décor while continuing to serve delicious food and real ale seven days a week. Enjoy well kept real ale in the bright, open bar and if you feel peckish, you’ll have a wide variety of dishes to choose from including pub classics and seasonal fare.

The Cross Keys, Harpenden

The garden at The Cross Keys on Harpenden High Street is bursting with flora in the summer, trapping the sun and creating a peaceful oasis of nature to enjoy a drink. In the colder months, head into the traditional 16th century bar to warm up and try one of the real ales on offer.

The Horns, Watford

The Horns on Hempstead Road in Watford with Cask Marques on all the pumps – ensuring a delicious, refreshing glass of real ale – is also one of the top music venues in town. Hosting music acts for over 15 years, this is the place to catch great bands while you indulge in some real ale too.

The Chequers Beer House, Stevenage

Located in Stevenage, The Chequers is a tranquil pub on the Old Town High Street offering 10 excellent real ales along with craft beers and ciders which are great to enjoy as a pre-theatre tipple with your friends. Or indulge in a little “me time” and grab a peaceful pint by yourself.

The Coach & Horses, Bishop’s Stortford

The colourful, eclectic décor at the Coach & Horses on Thorley Street in Bishop’s Stortford creates a stimulating environment to engage in an evening of conversation over a real ale. You can enjoy your ale at the weekly “Quirky Quiz” or alongside your delicious seasonal meal.

The Swan, Wheathampstead

The Swan is nestled in the heart of the pretty village of Wheathampstead. This 15th century pub is the perfect stop off point after a long walk in the Herts countryside. Select one of the high quality cask ales straight from the tap before picking a cosy spot to take a load off.


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