Some cities are full of non GBG boozers as they are in between ‘gentrification’ and I reckon Derby fits this bill perfectly.
It’s got plenty of character and history and, as a football city; I reckon it is up there with the likes of Stoke and Newcastle in terms of local interest in just one team (sorry Port Vale fans).
There are plenty of party pubs and nightlife into the early hours but there is still a cracking selection of “Pre Premier League pubs.” The fact that they all have a DE1 postcode gives you some idea of just how many old school boozers there still are in Derby.
Here are six of the best that are unlikely to appear on any ale trail…
Karaoke, Bass and a boozer that was packed to the rafters at 5pm on a Sunday. Within spitting distance of Derby Bus station this pub knows its audience and is a must visit – especially on a Sunday!
This pub is opposite Derby train station and often overlooked in favour of the better known Alexandra Hotel or Brunswick Inn, which are both cracking pubs.
This is definitely a locals boozer with a pool table and conversations raging about which suburb of Derby is the worst to live in…Chaddesden won! So full I could barely get to the bar and not sure if it sold any cask ale – but it didn’t matter as a great atmosphere.
Any pub with a Derby County turnstile from The Baseball Ground in its smoking area that had been carried back by regulars clearly knows how to have a sense of fun. Rams memorabilia everywhere, Sky Sports on and a real market feel to this boozer even though it’s not near to one!
I sat here and watched Stuart Broad blow Australia away in 2015 on the box and it becomes far livelier on the night. Even the late great Alan Winfield had a story about this place.
Blokes having pints whilst pushing babies in their prams, sky and BT Sports, live ska and mod music, pool and darts, lots of ale, open all hours and next door to the Noah’s Ark. A top pub.
A genuine market pub as traders use the toilets whilst there were two mobility scooters outside along with some proper professional drinkers inside. Oh yes, it sells Bass too.
Bass from the jug, pumping tunes, sport on the TV, pool tables and the feel of a real local pub on the walk in to the train station. It was shut for a length of time and has reopened but how long for, who knows? Worth a visit!
There are plenty more in Derby and, as well as the excellent CAMRA boozers, these six are essential on the alternative Derby beer trail.