Sunday 21 October 2007

Aberystwyth - Ship and Castle

Formerly known as Flannery’s (was Aber's only brewpub) 

Address: 1 High St, SY23 1JG. Tel 01970 612334 [gmap]
Last APG visit: 17+18+19/05/2012

Background: Real Ale, Real Cider. The pub dates from 1762. Used to be run by a couple called Pete and Dee along with their huge Rottweiler called Tara.* Rumour has it that they left because they forgot to renew their licence, being simply too pissed to remember… entirely untrue of course (well, the being pissed bit might be). Now run by Ian Blair AKA Blairo (who some of you may recall took over the Mill after Guy left). Whilst still selling many fine real ales, the place has modernised somewhat after an extensive (and sympathetic) refurbishment in the summer of 2009.

Student factor: Unsurprising high mix of ale-loving locals along with the students. Students are mainly ale drinker stereotypes - Interpol, Comp Sci and Geography students, Indie kids/Rockers and Rugby players. 

Atmosphere: Hot and fuggy after 8pm as the inside is small and narrow – head to the far end for a lower-level drinking area in a calmer atmosphere and an impressive sea-faring mural. Often not found by first years so many inhabitants are 2nd and 3rd years, bringing with them a more relaxed vibe than the average Aber town pub (except on Friday and Saturday evenings when it gets rammed like everywhere else). 

Drinks range: A mecca, usually has five handpulls on the go, dispensing a number of unusual brews from Wales and the Midlands (Wye Valley Brewery is a regular) in excellent condition. There's a large range of whiskies and foreign beers, as well as at least one real cider and perry, with Gwent y Ddraig bottled cider in the fridge. Yum. Voted Ceredigion CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Pub of the Year 2007 and 2009, this is a permanent fixture in the Good Beer Guide. Also made it into the last 16 of CAMRA's Pub of the Year for 2010. Read more here.

TV/Music: Digital Jukebox which has a strange aversion to playing New Order. There's now a TV for sports (mercifully not permanently switched on). I'm not sure whether the folk music nights have survived the refurb. 

Other stuff: Named after Aber's ancient trading connections with Bristol (a ship and castle features on the city's coat of arms). Holds a twice-yearly beer festival which is an absolute must-visit for any self-respecting student ale drinker; I spent many a fun hour in those. Free pool before 4pm (though given the amount of valuable floor-space the pool table takes up I'd say there's a good argument for getting shot of it, myself). The toilets are the smallest in Aber, tighter than Russell Brand’s Y-Fronts so don't turn round too suddenly. Was the scene of the infamous General Picton drinking contest before IndieSoc+10 in October 2008.

Quinno’s verdict: A must-visit for the more discerning punter or people who appreciate a good beer. Whilst the refurb has it's faults (weird amplification of background noise for example) it needed to be done and is about as good as can be expected. A fabulous place.
*- Hat-tip: Scary John for the correction
**-Most internal pics sourced from their website


Anonymous said...

Flannery's ... I loved it as a less sociable recluse it had everything to offer, great 1980's jukebox and a dart board that you could actually get a game on..

It looked better when it was Green though !

Always Friendly unless the locals were watching Grand Prix hightlights

Anonymous said...

The dog was called Tara

i know it dragged me around the place when i was lockin up enough times

Anonymous said...

The Original name of the Pub was the Ship and Castle. I remember a guy named Basil running it many yearly ago, he sold up and ran the Black Lion in Llanbadarn after the Kittles sold up.

It was taken over by Pete Livermore and Daryl? ex wife of the guy who owned the Farmers arms. The name then changed to Flannery's and became an awful theme pub for a while. It has been a bolt hole from the travesties that happened to the décor of some of the other pubs in the town (The White Horse and the Central Hotel come to mind).
Was always a serious beer drinkers haven.

SRdH said...

The Ship is now officially the 2010 Best Pub in Wales according to CAMRA which is, in my opinion, well deserved....

Anonymous said...

Very good range of real ales this autumn.
One of my fave bars in the country, nay, the world.
Titanic Wreckage in particular a revelation, as was the Wye Valley Xmas ale.
Tony, Dec 10

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Excellent pub, my favourite in Aberystwyth.
I love the range of drinks they have (always something new to try every time I go in!).

Anonymous said...

I remember it in the 1970's run by a Tony. Ver popular with the Cymry and Aber's daily drinkers

Anonymous said...

Musician friends tell me the Celtic folk music session is alive and well; Mondays, 9pm ish. All welcome!