The Volunteer Tavern
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For first-timers, finding The Volunteer Tavern – tucked away on a back street behind Cabot Circus, and a stone’s throw from the Trinity Centre – can be a little tricky. It’s worth seeking out, though, because its’ historic nature, homely feel, high quality food and revolving real ale range add up to something rather special.
The 17th century building and roomy walled garden are both hugely welcoming, as are the enthusiastic staff and friendly “pub dog” (a frequent feature of dedicated real ale establishments that get the CAMRA seal of approval). The food offering is a cut above the norm, too, meaning that booking is essential if you want to sample one of their popular Sunday roasts.
Their craft beer range is small but perfectly formed, with local suppliers – think Wiper & True, Wye Valley, Wickwar, Cotswold Spring, and Arbor Ales – taking precedence. They also run regular beer festivals, with a wide range of weird and wonderful, small-run beers being dispensed from casks in the back yard. It all adds up to a hidden gem that should be on any Bristol beer enthusiast’s radar.