Bristol might be located deep in cider country, but the craft beer revolution hasn't passed us by. In fact, our city now boasts some of the best small-scale independent breweries in the UK. Reducing the many brilliant craft beer options available in Bristol down to just five was, then, a near impossible task. But we did our best - so argue among yourselves if you like, but think of these as a selection of what Bristol's local breweries, bars and pubs have to offer, rather than a definitive top five.
RECOMMENDED: Time Out's full guide to the best craft beer from around the UK
Five of the best craft beers in Bristol
New Bristol Brewery - Flame
If you’re looking for beers with character and flavour, you can’t go wrong with any of New Bristol Brewery’s core range. There’s a decidedly vibrant feel to their bold fusions of sweet, bitter and aromatic flavours, resulting in thrillingly off-kilter takes on traditional ales. Flame – an “India Red Ale” (a kind of mix of an IPA and a ruby beer) – is one of their most intriguing and satisfying brews. It offers a perfect balance between malty, citrus and floral flavours, with a distinctive hit of cascade hops.
Wiper & True - Triptych 10
Wiper & True has been one of Bristol’s most intriguing microbreweries over the last few years, with a pleasing obsession with both innovation and unusual taste combinations. This penchant for improvisation and invention makes keeping track of their various beers – most brewed in small quantities – an almost full-time occupation. Trptych 10 is one of a trio of pale ales currently on offer, and combines a trio of hops to deliver a strong and tasty brew that boasts both clear citrus flavours and a classic bitter finish.
Moor Beer Company - Revival
For some reason, the Moor Beer Company is often a little overlooked when it comes to Bristol microbreweries. Then again, they have only been in Bristol since January 2015, having spent the previous two decades brewing fine craft ales from a farm in Somerset. Revival, which is available in 330ml cans, rather than bottles, has been a mainstay of their range since 2006. It’s a hugely refreshing, drinkable and hoppy pale ale, and at only 3.8% ABV makes an excellent session beer.
Arbor Ales - Oz Bomb
Arbor Ales’ surprisingly expansive range, full of small-run beers, quirky collaborations and experimental ales, tends towards the hoppy. Each of their ales utilizes a different variety of hops, or a combination of a number. Oz Bomb is an excellent example. While brewed to resemble a classic American pale ale, their use of Australian hops ensures a zingy combination of bitterness and the kind of exotic, tropical notes that guarantees a decidedly intoxicating finish.
Bristol Beer Factory - Bristol Hefe
Bristol Beer Factory’s tried-and-tested range includes a number of staples – the dynamite pale ale Southville Hop, the classically malty best bitter of Seven, and so on – as well as brews that touch on more international styles of beer. Bristol Hefe falls into the latter category, delivering a West Country take on German style wheat beer. It’s rich and flavoursome in the extreme – the kind of pint you should savour, rather than knock-back as part of an extended drinking session. Handled with care, it’s a delicious drink.