A sad fact of the UK beer scene is the impact large Pubco chains have on the availability of real ale from local breweries. Too often the Pubco will ‘tie’ their managers and tenants to national megabrewers like Greene King and local breweries are effectively shut out. JD Wetherspoon however is a notable exception…
The Monks’ Retreat is one of four Wetherspoon pubs in Reading and the one Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer have visited several times. There’s a lot to like here, which is why we keep coming back.
Ten hand pumps provide a broad selection of constantly rotating real ales and although the pub is not CAMRA LocAle accredited there is usually at least one local cask ale included. This is a standard ‘spoons: value priced food and ale, with efficient friendly service.
The pub, although large, never feels crowded, it has two bars, plenty of seating, and an outdoor patio. When we want a nice pint of local ale, with some cheap & cheerful pub grub, The Monks’ Retreat (or sister pub the Hope Tap) is our go-to place in Reading town centre.
So far during our visits we have enjoyed microbrews from all around the UK. And among them have been local brews from Loddon, Binghams, Wild Weather, to name just three.
The cellar is clearly well managed because the condition of everything we’ve had there has been first class. The pub is Cask Marque accredited.
The Monks’ Retreat is located on Friar Street at the Old Town Hall end next to the rear entrance to Marks & Sparks.