Pubs around Nottingham have realised that pizza is king, and we’re now inundated with the best doughy options to choose from while whetting the owd whistles. Beverage bosses BrewDog Nottingham have bagged themsens a little ninety-second pizza oven and stashed it behind the bar, so you can order your piece and be yamming in no time.
There’s a proper relaxed feel to the gaff, with loads of cool chalkboard-scrawl event announcements and available-to-buy prints from local artists on the walls. Plus, there are a load of board games and consoles to kill time on.
Another nice touch is the bogs. Don’t know about the blokes’, but the women’s have got a stash of deodorant, dry shampoo, and tampons; plus, there’s a bucket of chalk to get arty with in the cubicle.
Beer-wise, Magic Rock’s bright purple Mexican gose, Amanecer Mexicano (£4.40 for a half), had hints of chilli, lime and hibiscus, and went down a treat. BrewDog’s lime gose, Zephyr (£3.55 for a half), was crisp with margherita-cocktail flavours poking through.
We bagged ourselves a Halloumi (£9), and a King of Pigs (£9.50) pizza. Both packing wafer-thin-base and Scottish-mozzarella excellence, the Halloumi came fronting that complementary balsamic-glaze vibe, plus red peppers and aubergines. King of Pigs donned gyula sausage slices, leeks and fistfuls of watercress. They both got smashed.
The pizzas could have done with a fraction longer in the oven I reckon, but the topping game was on point and we had no complaints after another couple of beers: Buxton’s tart Chardonnay BA Berliner Weisse, Very Far Skyline (£4.65 for a half), and BrewDog’s refreshing Brewgooder Lager (£4.90 for a half). As you might have noticed, we’re all about the fruity sour stuff, but the bar has got a serious array of interesting quaffables to sink. Don’t muck abaht, and get yersen down for a sample. Bridie Squires
BrewDog, 20-22 Broad Street, NG1 3AL. 0115 958 3613
Six Barrel Drafthouse’s Squeaky Beaver
Chips, cheese and gravy with panache, “poutine” is as essential to the stereotypical Canadian diet as maple syrup. With Six Barrel Drafthouse recently welcoming new poutine pop-up Squeaky Beaver, it was time to give it a go with a couple of beers.
Wolf Down Pop-Ups’ Neil Scotney sources the best cheddar cheese curds to use for Squeaky Beaver. You can opt for the Classic Poutine of fries, curds and a splosh of gravy, or one of four Canadian luminaries: Gretsky, Lavigne, Dion or Bublé.
Despite being months away from Christmas, I plumped for The Bublé (£7); a poutine base topped with a heady mix of pulled Buffalo chicken, blue-cheese dressing, spring onions and sesame seeds. The double-cooked fries still had a great crunch despite the gravy dousing, and the curds – a half-halloumi-half-mozzarella-style cheese – had a pleasing squeak to the tooth.
My veggie companion went for The Dion (£6), which packed crunchy fried paneer, tamarind sauce, minty yoghurt, and a dash of fresh chilli and coriander for colour. The tangy tamarind and assorted oriental aromas was a great twist on the dish.
A genuine Quebecois woman on the neighbouring table told us she hadn’t had poutine this good since being back in French Canada. She may have been a plant, but the accent seemed legit.
Six Barrel Drafthouse has established itself as something of a city-centre beer haven, with an impeccable selection on draught from the likes of Castle Rock, Brewsters, Pentrich and Exmoor, plus a great bottle and can selection. We had the highly hoppy Heathen IPA from Northern Monk (7.2%, £5.50, 440ml can), the juniper-heavy, unfiltered Mother’s Ruin from the always excellent Black Iris Brewery (7%, £5.60, 440ml can), and a tart little Timmermans Framboise lambic (4%, £4.35, 330ml bottle). There’s also 15% off packaged beer to take away, and 30% off all craft on Mondays.
As well as top-notch consumables, manager Ezra and the staff make for a very welcoming stop-off, and four-legged furry companions get well spoilt too. Shariff Ibrahim
Squeaky Beaver runs Thursday to Saturday at Six Barrel Drafthouse.
14-16 Carlton St, Nottingham NG1 1NN. 0115 950 1798
You're unlikely to hear a millennial refer to a “pre-theatre” menu when Deliverooing themselves dirty tacos at 2am. I picture pre-theatre people as being named Christine and Terrence, dressed “to the nines”, driving into town in their Ford Capri without need for a parking ticket, and having a swift pre-theatre-pre-drink at the Black Boy Hotel.
But people must eat food before they culturally enlighten themselves with a play, and the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall recently underwent a £3million revamp including a right good redesign of their bar, in partnership with the good old chaps and chapesses over at Castle Rock. So your pre-theatre meal can now be enjoyed right there, within the TRCH.
They've got a mixed offering of light bites, pizzas and tapas which you can wash down with the ubiquitous Harvest Pale (£3.40 a pint) or a selection of other fine ales. Wines and spirits are available too, but when in Rome...
It was a lovely spring day on our visit, so we went for a few tapas. The Greek salad (£3.95) was fresh and included feta as well as good-quality black and green olives. The chorizo in red wine (£4.95) came in a terracotta dish with slowly cooked onions as a base. The stuffed vine leaves (£3.95) were really tasty. My personal favourite was the meatballs in tomato sauce (£4.95); the balls were moist – ahem – and the sauce was rich in reduced-tomato flavour.
We were surprised that there was no dessert menu, but were told there probably will be one in the not-so-distant future, as they're still finessing the menus. Good to know. We finished with a couple of coffees instead, which did the job just fine.
Definitely check Yarn out for their lunch and light-bite options. It's also a great shout for your pre-theatre snap, whether your name is Christine, Terrence, Doris or Bob. Ash Dilks
Yarn Bar, 5 North Sherwood Street, NG1 5ND. 0115 989 5569