When Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer are in or near Reading town center, and in the mood for a really nice pint of Real Ale from a local brewery, four CAMRA LocAle accredited pubs are at the top our list…
If only the Alehouse could talk, what a story it would tell about Reading and all its changes over the years. A pub has existed continuously at this site since at least 1827. Back then it was called the Cock then in 1864 it became the London Tavern.
This is the name a youthful Mr Fueled by Beer knew it by at the time he left the UK: it was the preferred last watering hole due to its close proximity to where he could stumble onto the last bus home.
During the 1990s the pub changed names yet again: to the Hobgoblin, and it most recently changed again to the Alehouse. This last change was forced when Wychwood Brewery was bought out by Marstons. Even though Wychwood never had a problem with the Reading pub named after one of its beers, when Marston acquired the rights to the name they decided to get greedy.
Among Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer’s four favorite CAMRA LocAle pubs the Alehouse’s greatest strength is arguably its location: which in a word is simply fantastic!
The pub sits at the eastern end of now-pedestrianized Broad Street catacorner from the historic George Hotel, and close to the Broad Street entrance to The Oracle.
Inside is a small intimate space: a stand-up bar in front with eight constantly rotating real ales on the hand pumps. Behind the main bar area is a winding passageway leading to the outside loos behind the pub. As you work your way back, there are little nooks and crannies providing intimate 2, 3 and 4 seater booths on both sides.
Mr Fueled by Beer doesn’t remember any of this interior layout during his London Tavern days – he recalls a pretty boring typical town center Courage-tied boozer pouring cheap keg bitters and lager (why did we bother? We didn’t know better). Anyway, it seems the pub might have been remodeled for its transition to the Hobgoblin. Regardless, today its a very comfortable place to have a pint or two of some of Reading’s finest cask ale in the company of like-minded people.