What Makes A Good Pub? (Eagle) Market Research In Derby

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In our quest to find the X-Factor that makes pubs successful I think us pub bloggers can sometimes over analyse and discus what makes a good boozer.

Good beer is nearly always cited as a major factor but what is the definition of a good pint?   It was a question that both me and my pal asked as we celebrated his impending marriage (well, it’s still three months away but that’s close enough).

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Having already blogged about The White Horse in Derby then I’m going to hazard a guess I might be the first ever blogger to review the 192 Castle And Falcon DE1 2AU.  It’s a good twenty metres from The White Horse but was almost as busy and bearing in mind it was not long after midday on a Thursday, that’s a good effort.

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I think you could describe this as a market pub as it is situated at the back of Derby’s Eagle Market and the term no frills springs to mind.

However, one thing it wasn’t lacking was an atmosphere and there were a gaggle of punters outside having a fag and it was already warming up inside with a few loud ‘pub style’ conversations taking place. Looking at the billboard there is the promise of karaoke and discos on a regular basis so this place clearly isn’t for shy and retiring types.

It’s got a pool table too and has taken a different route to many of those around it as it doesn’t stock any ale.  But, the place was far more full than many of the other boozers we visited with an array of good beer on so, what is a good pint?

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The choice was Foster’s, Guinness, John Smith’s or a cider (I can’t recall which one) so to most members of the PUB (Pub Union of Bloggers) it was a limited choice.

I thought I’d roll back the years to my youth and had a lager (Foster’s) dash – a Brummie staple – whilst my mate had a Guinness as we were served by a barmaid in fully khaki army uniform.

The price was cheap and cheerful and the place was clean and clearly surviving in a congested market near to Derby Bus station, so there was plenty to like and I reckon it gets raucous as the day unfolds.

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In a similar vein 193 – The Standing Order DE1 3GL was our final pit stop around 6pm and, like all branches of Wetherspoons, it was pretty full, which is no mean feat given the size of it.

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It’s a fantastic building and on the site of the former Nat West Bank in the Iron Gate area of town.  It is a Grade II listed building and dates back to the 1870’s as the Crompton and Evans Union Bank, hence its current moniker.

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It’s a rare ‘spoons as it always has beermats…

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but the clientele are much the same as everywhere else and that is a positive with pretty much all walks of pub society here arguably admiring the impressive architecture…

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…or maybe the beer selection…

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I had a decent pint of this…

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…which hit the spot.

There are still a few more pubs to appear in this crawl that wasn’t quite of Alan Winfield proportions but a good effort. ..

However, whatever the relative merits of each boozer then The White Horse, Castle and Falcon and The Standing Order were easily the most populated and atmospheric of all the boozers visited

And I bet not many of these are on Derby Ale Trails but are all worth a visit for their own reasons.

14 thoughts on “What Makes A Good Pub? (Eagle) Market Research In Derby

  1. Ok, here goes:

    “However, one thing it wasn’t lacking was an atmosphere”

    That’s one; atmosphere.

    “with a few loud ‘pub style’ conversations taking place.”

    That’s two; loud pub style conversations.

    “what is a good pint?”

    For me, something that you’re quite happy to quaff.

    “arguably admiring the impressive architecture…”

    That’s nice but not a primary reason for a good pub.*

    “And I bet not many of these are on Derby Ale Trails but are all worth a visit for their own reasons.”

    And that is the essence. A good pub is one that is worth a visit, the reasons for which could be as various as the stars in the sky (ok, waxing a bit too lyrical there). 🙂

    It boils down to what each person likes, and even that can change with each person depending on how they feel. 🙂


    PS – “There are still a few more pubs to appear in this crawl that wasn’t quite of Alan Winfield proportions but a good effort. ..”


    * – Pete Brown has a coffee table style book called “The Pub”. I leaf through it once in a while. In there he basically states there is no one “great” style of pub. The 300 he has chosen are not the very best, but represent the essence and personality of a certain style. To whit: historic, architectural, eccentric, great beer, great food, country, coastal, railway, community and live entertainment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post. What makes a good pub? I know what ‘I’ think makes a good pub, but that doesn’t make me right. You’d never see me dead in a pub that does karaoke. You can call me snobby and you might be right. That would extend to beer too. I like good cask ales, good keg beer and good bottled and canned beer. I wouldn’t, by choice, go into a pub that only has John’s Smooth,Fosters, Doom Bar and Guinness (If I really have to it’s Guinness). I don’t out of choice go into Marston’s PLC pubs neither. A lot of people do, and if they enjoy it then that’s cool. It’s a bit like supermarkets, some will only got to Waitrose, Booth’s and M & S. Others prefer Sainsburys, some stick to Aldi and Lidl or Iceland. They are all different and have their own loyal followers (for various reasons). Me, I stick to Morrisons. It’s all down to individual choice so ‘Vive la diffference’.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It’s an age-old question that we’ll never completely answer, but we’ll have fun trying!

    My starting premise is that there is no such thing as a bad pub; its just that there are some pubs I prefer over others, but your choice will almost certainly be different.

    The type of drink available shouldn’t define the pub, but it does go some way towards it. As a lager drinker (in the main) there are few pubs that don’t cater for me.

    The main thing that makes a good pub is good people – being with good friends, a good group of customers and good staff. On those odd occasions when all three come together a memorable time will be had by all.

    We all have our own preferences for our favourite style of pub – as per Alan Winfield’s recent blog -http://neverendingpubcrawl.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/different-types-of-pubs.html – but I do think that this is of secondary importance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been in the Castle & Falcon quite a few times, my last visit was about 3 years ago after a large pub crawl round Bristol,i had to wait for a bus so nipped in for a half of John Smiths smooth.
    You were correct in saying that it may liven up later on, the pub was packed on my Saturday night visit at about 9.30 there was a disco blasting out and lots of people my age dancing, i propped the bar up.
    Take a look at some of the reviews on Pubs Galore it is not some stuck up knobs type of pub.
    Also have a look at the City Bar round the corner, similar crap from the same person.
    I have never liked the Standing Order that much and why do Wetherspoons in Derby charge so much for their guest ales.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. White horse Neptune castle and falcon are all top boozers. I prefer these types of pubs but I agree with petr…theres t no such thing as a bad pub 👍🍺 I can’t believe you weren’t throethr some shapes on the dance floor Alan! I don’t mind the standing order and the beer prices aren’t too bad at £2.75 a throw 👍


  6. Great Spoons there – they are the ones (Sir) Tim should be sticking with – not the department store cafeteria type that I seem to keep coming across – but that’s what variety and choice is all about…:)

    Was the Fosters good?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Variety and choice is good but some of the Spoons buildings are magnificent…With a dash it was very bearable. That’s the trick as I spent quite a few of my younger days knocking back a lager dash (or top). It just takes the edge off it !

      Liked by 1 person

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