Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter – full of rows of beautiful terraces – hosts some of Liverpool’s best pubs. This is the ‘go to’ area for lovers of real ale, and the Merseyside region has a growing number of excellent microbreweries, including Liverpool One, Liverpool Organic, Peerless and Liverpool Craft. The pubs below are among the best in the city to sample these malty, hoppy delights.
Should you be visiting Liverpool – or if you fancy a day of sampling the city’s best – try the following pub crawl around some of the Georgian Quarter’s alehouses. From the tiny, stripped-back Belvedere to the house-clearance ambiance of Peter Kavanagh’s; the late-night appeal of The Grapes to the epitome of the bustling Liverpool pub in Ye Cracke, these are the places where you’ll find Liverpool’s finest ales, and finest local characters.
Start at the farthest reaches of the Georgian Quarter, a good mile out of the city centre. Your reward for the small journey is the enigmatic Peter Kavanagh’s, a quaint pub that serves up real ale and character in the bucketfuls.
Imagine the most bonkers house clearance shop, or a secret attic room at the top of an ancient relative’s house. Then imagine that attic room sold brilliant beers.
Landlady Laura King has done a grand job of turning the Caledonia from a sad, tired old boozer to a thriving community pub. There are always new ales on at the Cale, but there’s also pub food and great, well-attended music nights featuring some of Liverpool’s best bands.
When threatened with being assimilated into a large nearby development, Liverpool took a stand and too up arms to defend the Cali. Well, it signed a lot of petitions. The result was an excellent local pub was saved. Everyone celebrated with a beer.
22 Caledonia St, Liverpool L7 7DX
The Belvedere Arms
Situated at the end of a cul-de-sac off Falkner Street, the Grade-II-listed Belvedere Arms has one rather small lounge and a small bar area. It always feels busy because you can only get about 30 people inside it in relative comfort. Alongside a good selection of ales from local breweries, there’s a wide-ranging choice of bottled beers and a superb array of gins from around the country.
In the summer people spill onto the pavement outside; in winter the open fire is lovely to behold. Expect a wide selection of real ales and ciders – but don’t expect televisions, jukeboxes or other fripperies.
5 Sugnall St, Liverpool L7 7EB
A regular stop on pub crawls in the Georgian Quarter and a default choice in the city centre for its good ales and lovely beer garden. It’s one of the pubs The Beatles spent a lot of time in; the extraordinary mural in the back room being painted by one of John Lennon’s art school tutors 50 years ago.
Ye Cracke is curiously laid out, with the peculiar War Office snug forming a room within a room. It’s big enough to house half a dozen people around the single table and was created to house Boer War bores who could swap tales of derring-do and dysentery without offending passing drinkers.
There’s always a good selection of unusual guest ales and the pub really fills up at night with theatre-goers, students and locals alike seeking a good pint and a chinwag.
13 Rice Street, Liverpool L1 9BB
The Grapes is another typically small city-centre pub, with patrons arranging themselves around the horseshoe-shaped bar as best they can. It boasts a lovely beer garden and generally has quite a range of beers and spirits. It’s usually noisy, busy, characterful and has a set of garrulous regulars.
It’s well worth a visit as part of a pub crawl, but keep it in mind for later – The Grapes is open later than most pubs in the area.
60 Roscoe Street Liverpool, Merseyside L1 9DW
The Roscoe Head
One of the oldest pubs in the city – and the most decorated in terms of national awards – the Roscoe Head is also one of the smaller public houses Liverpool has to offer; hole up in the tiny snug by the front door, if you’re physically able.
There are lots of quiz night and assorted activities, the pub screens football matches too, but this is a pub that made its reputation on beer – and simply being a really good pub.
24 Roscoe Street, Liverpool
Arguably The Dispensary isn’t really within the Georgian Quarter, but it’s close enough and – crucially – at the bottom of the hill, so it should be easy to get to by this point. It’s also a great launching pad for a trip into the city centre’s late-night drinking spots, the culinary delights of Chinatown and one of several Indian restaurants on Renshaw Street.
The pub offers half a dozen real ales, always a warm welcome from busy landlord Dave and is a welcoming, warm haven in cold weather thanks to its open hearth.
87 Renshaw Street, Liverpool, L1 2SP.
If you’re determined to try more pubs in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter, consider The Pilgrim, The Cambridge, The Fly In The Loaf, or The Philharmonic Dining Rooms. All have their unique charms and are within easy walking distance.