The Alehouse, 2 Broad St, Reading RG1 2BH.
The only drinkery on Broad Street (we’re not counting that bloody Artigiano place, alright?), The Alehouse is a welcome little boozy blight on the landscape of town’s main thoroughfare. Formerly known as The Hobgoblin of course, there’s been a pub on the site of this place for 300 years, apparently. But this isn’t bloody Time Team, so bollocks to all this history lark. Let’s see what The Alehouse is all about now, shall we?
Drink Selection: Real ale twats – you’ll be in boozy heaven. For such a dinky little sized place, there really is a daft amount of ales and beers available. Most – if not all – are from microbrewery-type affairs too. If that interests you. Not to mention bottles, perries, ciders and real ciders that taste a bit like cheese and make you want to weep after three. The selection and sheer number of drinks that come through the pipes really is pretty impressive. They even had a mead on the go when we visited. Yeah. A bloody mead.
Location: Opposite the old Jackson’s Corner (RIP) and the main entrance to The Oracle, it’s slap-bang in the middle of Reading, on Broad Street. Making it perfect for a post/mid-shopping pint or to put into the mix during a pub crawl that you plot through town.
Food: It’s The Alehouse, not the bloody… Not the bloody, er, Kalehouse. Jesus. Well, you get what we mean. They don’t do food.
Punterwatch: Lively. Drunk. 45. Male. Pony-tailed. Wearing a decade-old t-shirt they got free from a brewery tour down in Dorset.
Beer Garden/Smoking Area: Out front on Broad Street. There’s nowhere out back to smoke, so you’ll have to hoy your fag ends out front by the Virgin Media shop or something, you filthy little urchin.
Toilets: Very Victorian. Outhouse-type affairs. Which we’re always a fan of.
Sports? Nah, bruv.
Price: It’s not cheap, but you’re central and the drinks on offer are wide ranging and decent. That’s not to say that they’re expensive, but, er… Look. We’ll level with you. We were pissed when we went in. We’ve no fucking idea whatsoever. Pints could be a tenner a pop for all we remember. They’re probably fine, though.
Decor: Cosy, wooden, pubby. The beer pump clips on the walls and ceiling really remind you of the booze heritage and legacy of the place. Lovely, it is. *sniff*
Seating: Limited. If you’ve got a seat to park your arse in, you’ve done well. Or you’ve broken in at 5am, in which case you’ve done bad. Your next drink might be in ‘The Jailhouse’. *cough*
Pub Games: The ‘Drink Six Pints of Strong Local Ale and Bang On About Linux and Tolkien Game’ usually goes down well with locals.
The Alehouse is a great little pub. With the emphasis on ‘little’. It’s almost always busy, so you really can struggle for a seat sometimes. And with the bar area being small it only takes a few people standing about to block things up quite a bit. That said, it’s only busy because it’s a good little boozer that’s well worth a visit. It’s definitely not ‘The Failhouse’… Ha ha ha!
What? Piss off.