A Couple Of Classics In Derby & Burton

I know that Martin often feels the weight of expectation when visiting a ‘classic’ boozer as you’re never quite sure you can do it justice.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (6).jpg

If you visit a pub fairly regularly by blogging standards (i.e. more than twice a year) then you can get a flavour for a boozer so, I’m taking the plunge and ticking off a couple of ‘classics,’ albeit with a lot of pictures as padding!

Brunswick 23.10.18  (3).jpg

One of the ‘station’ pubs in all of Britain must be Derby’s 393 – The Brunswick Inn DE1 2RU.  One of the Everards’s Project William boozers since 2001 that’s proved a real success and a boon for a company that, for whatever reason, doesn’t always get a good press in the blogging world (or it might just be Rich, I’m not sure!)

Brunswick 23.10.18  (36).jpg

Colston Crawford, Derby Telegraph beer guru is a fan of the project and, whisper it quietly, it appears that breweries are working collaboratively together to make it a success.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (18).jpg

Brunswick Brewing Company are currently brewing for Everards until their refurbished brewery is finished later this year (see here) and the history of the place is magnificent.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (10).jpg

If you come out of the front of the station in Derby and walk for about three minutes you can see the Brunswick, which was built in 1841 by the  North Midland Railway Company,

Brunswick 23.10.18  (32).jpg

In 1974 it was in disrepair, and marked for demolition but the Derby Historic Buildings Trust convinced the local council to sell the buildings to the Trust for renovation.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (34).jpg

The HBT ran out of funding and the work on the interior could not be completed despite initial work in 1982 and it looked dodgy again until a local businessman bought it from the Trust and it reopened as a boozer in October of that year.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (42).jpg

It now has Grade II listed status along with the nearby cottages and Alan Pickersgill is the man at the helm along with his most recent purchase The Dead Poet’s Inn in Holbrook.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (14).jpg

Anyway, enough of the history lesson but I’ve been there just after midday twice in the past couple of months and, on both occasions, there were quite a few in.

There is a MASSIVE election of beer and they brew their own range but,

Brunswick 23.10.18  (41).jpg

such is the footfall and turnover, I reckon it works well.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (16).jpg

There is a good mix of young and old and it is definitely a Derby County boozer on matchday as the chatter between the gaffer and his staff was around how many fans would be coming in on a Saturday.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (38).jpg

I love the layout as it is a series of rooms that, unsurprisingly feels like a line of narrow railway carriages and there are quieter or louder options.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (40).jpg

People eat here, play darts but, mostly they drink good quality beer and lots of it.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (9).jpg

I had a terrific pint of Scarlet Macaw (Oakham) and was with my drinking/walking buddy John and we both agreed we could have stopped here for far longer.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (26).jpg

I can’t recommend this highly enough to anyone going for a drink in Derby and it still figures in Derby CAMRA despatches every year, which is no mean feat given its competition.

Brunswick 23.10.18  (21).jpg

If you travel a distance of 13.3 miles down the A38 you move into a different county, Staffordshire and the home of Brewing, Burton on Trent

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (23).jpg

and you find another classic pub, 394 – The Coopers Tavern DE14 1EG.

Canal Coopers 20.02.19  (5).jpg

(Rod distraught as it’s not 5pm)

Canal Coopers 20.02.19  (8).jpg

This is another terrific Joule’s boozer and ironically sits in the shadows of the brewing behemoth Molson Coors building.

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (48).jpg


Apparently, it was built in the early 19th-century for the Bass ‘Brewer-in-Charge’, but later became a store for special malts…

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (53).jpg

and then in 1826 a store for Bass’s Imperial Stout and became the Bass Brewery Tap House

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (52).jpg

until sold to Hardy & Hansons in 1991 before eventually ending up in Joule’s hands in 2008.

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (14).jpg

So, for Bass drinkers, this has the history of being the Mecca for the iconic red triangle…

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (11).jpg

…and, to make matters even better, you can now take your drinks next door into the Indian restaurant, Apne!

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (13).jpg

It’s a warren of rooms named Snug/Tap/William Bass etc…

(blurry picture – I blame Brexit)

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (19).jpg

and has a terrific atmosphere

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (33).jpg

with something for everyone really.

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (44).jpg

Now, on my most recent visit, it was the end of the line for Rod and I after our abortive attempt to cycle from Willington to Alrewas on the towpath…

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (25).jpg

…that ended with punctures and crankshafts in Burton.

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (38).jpg

We liked the pub but, on this occasion, the Bass was below par.

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (43).jpg

Of course, I had been out for a quite some while by this time and, having just left The Devvie,

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (27).jpg

my view of the pint may be somewhat skewered….

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (40).jpg

Nonetheless, I’ve been to this place many times and have great pints of both Joule’s beer

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (31).jpg

and Bass to give it the benefit of the doubt and, we were one of the first punters in at around 5pm.

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (21).jpg

Dick, Dave, Russ, Paul and any other overseas readers, such as Duncan if the SNP get their way, you really need to visit these boozers if you come to England…

canal Coopers 20.02.19  (24).jpg

as they should be on everyone’s bucket list.


31 thoughts on “A Couple Of Classics In Derby & Burton

  1. The Brunswick is such an old favourite, pretty-much ‘the’ reason to stump up the £2.90 rtn from Leicester back in the early 90’s. I still remember the taste of the pale, Midlands style 1st Brew and Porter, far better than just about anything you could get in Leicester at the time (Hoskins houses with their Ma Pardoes excepted).

    There have been times when it was a pub to walk past on the way to groovier new openings in Derby, but I’m pleased to say we generally either start with one, or finish with one in the Brunswick these days. Alan & Philippe are sorely missed in Uppingham though, their old pub The Crown has gone to shit recently.

    Similarly, the Coopers is a favourite, but in common with so many pubs and micros in particular, it’ll have to remain a distant favourite with those weekday opening hours. Wouldn’t touch the Bass anyway, Derby pour 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oi you can’t hammer the Bass 🔺😀😀 I’m glad it’s back on your radar as a great place and good gaffers make all the difference…not been to that boozer in Uppingham but sorry to hear it’s going down the pan 😮 on this occasion I wish I’d had the Joule’s pale ale in the Cooper’s as a great pint


  2. Top pubs, affectionately written about. Derby Summer League is underway- one of very few in England (loads in Scotland, mostly in north). Time for a revisit to a top drinking area.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dick and I have visited Coopers twice together and Brunswick once. I love both pubs. Apne was standout on a trip where we visited some great curry houses. I would love to visit Derby again. We did not do it justice.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s a funny thing, but, while it has many of the features that tick my boxes, for some reason the Brunswick never quite “clicks” with me. I tend to prefer the Alexandra next door.

    I have to admit I have never been to the Coopers Tavern, possibly due to the lack of a direct train service between Stockport and Burton. Hopefully at some time in the future that can be remedied with a Beer & Pubs Forum day out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The locals in the Alex are definitely more likely to engage you in conversation, but that conversation is highly likely to be about locomotives. Something about the Brunswick, the locals have always seemed a bit scowly to me…

      The Alex is a good place to be on an afternoon when the football crowd are in, but the rabbit in the lounge could put people off.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The rabbit in the lounge is bizarre! I remember taking my Mrs there once and the barmaid was having her head shaved and the rabbit was in the room and I got that look!! Like both of them to be fair and had no hassle in either but Brunswick building does it for me 🍻


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s