Standing in the imposing shadow of the old Home Brewery, nestled neatly between a hairdressers and a Caribbean takeaway, is The Abdication. With an unassuming frontage, it’s another pretender to Notts’ micropub throne. The Coronation Buildings it sits within were originally built to honour King Edward VIII’s ascension, but later dedicated to King George VI after our Eddie stepped down, hence the ‘abdication’.
But despite the royal connections, there’s nothing overly fancy about this place – it’s a very traditional, one-room community micropub, decked out with comfy old wooden furniture, pub memorabilia, a proper open fire – joyful – and, of course, great beer. All of which make it a popular stopping-off point for local drinkers and dog walkers from the surrounding areas of Daybrook, Arnold, Sherwood, and further afield.
With four different hand pumps on at any one time, The Abdication always try to always have a selection of beers on to suit most tastes – from insanely popular IPAs, to something darker for the more malt-loving palate – as well as a couple of ciders and house wines. On a busy Thursday evening, we pulled up a pair of thrones by that fire to try a flight of samples...
Derby brewery Shiny’s Affinity (4.6%, £3 per pint), a multi-SIBA-award-winning, straw-coloured pale ale, was a very refreshing starting point, with a big hit of grapefruity Citra hops. While another Derby-based brew, Dancing Duck’s 22 best bitter (4.3%, £3), was a more old-school style English amber bitter, balancing malt and hops for a very drinkable pint.
Then, hailing all the way from Edinburgh, was Alechemy’s Ritual (4.1%, £3), quite a dry, bitter IPA with nice malt and fruit notes, before a drop of something from Grantham, Brewsters’ Aromatic Porter (4.5%, £3). As opposed to the rich, sweet fruitcake taste of most porters, this one has a lighter hue and lots of aromatic hops, more like a black IPA in style. A little unusual and very tasty, but it was probably the Affinity that took the crown for me.
In The Abdication, owner Matt, a former rail maintenance worker, and partner Lucy have created a venue with a fantastically friendly atmosphere. It’s a hit with locals but, easily accessible on the Arnold bus line, should equally be one to check out for any beer or pub lovers. With a regular Sunday music session, Russ’s pub quiz every third Thursday of the month, poker nights, and Matt occasionally brewing up his own creations, it’s definitely a place to wile away an evening – just be aware the pub’s nickname is ‘The Abduction’, perhaps due to its time-snatching tendencies. Shariff Ibrahim
89 Mansfield Rd, Daybrook, NG5 6BH. 4pm - 9.30pm Wednesday - Saturday, 2pm - 6pm Sunday.