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King's Head, Wells

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user reviews of the King's Head, Wells

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

I had been hoping to have lunch (and a pint, of course) here today, but it is now boarded up. Too bad: it has been a good place.
HenPen - 30 Jul 2017 16:18
Had a pint of Potholers here, it was excellent and better than my first pint (forgot its name), my pub of choice at the weekend serves beer directly from the casks and this method obviates any chances of contamination in the lines as well as being the traditional method of serving beer. There was a small courtyard at the rear besides the main bars. Friendly service from the barman, worth a return visit
Feed - 12 Apr 2015 21:56
Here last Saturday and a notice on the door says "We sell real ale but have no hand pumps" Dispensed by gravity.
As this is not my favourite way of being served I did not enter.

bjbrummiejohn - 17 Dec 2013 12:58
My favourite pub in Wells. The decor and architecture is interesting. Stone walls inside and at least part of the pub looks like it might have once been a chapel or similar. Cheddar Potholer and other cask ales, good quality.
Small courtyard at the back with patio heaters if needed and they definitely weren't on the evening i visted.
Eavesdropped on four young people talking about various musical shows they were involved in and tutoring at Eton. "He added an extra beat, can you believe it". I felt like I was from another culture but fair play to them
fiveleaves41 - 3 Aug 2013 20:51
This was a surprise. Although they have a sign in the window that they have no hand pumps (and only cask ale), they DO have several ales (and ciders) on gravity feed from the barrel (in addition to all of the cask ales). This is a very friendly place and the lunchtime food was both relatively cheap and very good indeed. A very good place indeed. 8/10
HenPen - 13 Jan 2013 16:15
Popped in for a quick pint after supper to find a fairly traditional town pub with knowledgeable bar staff and a younger crowd. Decent range of local ales from the wood, kept in good condition. A bit quiet, but it was a weekday evening.
richythemole - 14 Aug 2012 20:23
Really good pub. The service was really friendly and the food/ales were good value. Really enjoyed our visit there and would recommend it to anyone
bmthmonty - 19 Dec 2011 16:49
The best pub we visited in Wells, very busy on market day, Cotleigh Old Buzzard from the barrel behind the bar very good, also some cheddar and butcombe on offer. Well worth a visit.
Hodge1 - 4 Dec 2011 11:18
The_Heavy_Fandango, Fine_Ale_Arbiter etc etc etc etc etc is (not are) so quiet...How about if I prod him by pointing out that he has spelled potholer...poholer ?
Arbitarily_down_the_pan - 3 Dec 2011 16:38
Poholer, Merlins Magic and Tottypot on today. I had the latter, which was excellent.
Seems quite popular, and justifiably so in my opinion.
The_Heavy_Fandango - 26 Oct 2011 16:52
Visited a couple of years ago on way back from the cathedral. Pub was quite busy, and the landlord kindly opened up and upstairs room for the wife and I to dine. Very satisfying meal and nothing seemed too much trouble. Scores a perfect 10 for us.
tommo5 - 9 Aug 2011 21:55
Hi CaptainEric, thanks for the kind review. Just to let you know, the 'hidden ale' problem isn't quite as big a problem as you may think, most people either see the barrels fairly quickly or are guided to them by staff. Your post gives the impression they are somehow hidden when, in fact, they take up most of the back bar? I actually think it's quite nice to have something a bit different and have all of our ale served straight from the barrel rather than the (usually too cold) hand-pulls?

I can assure you that the barrels are genuine and the only thing that touches the beer between the brewer and your glass is the tap we hammer into the cask, which is as it should be :o) We have a branded blackboard on the top casks simply because they're at eye-level but each brand has a cask on sale and a cask conditioning, so it all depends which cask happens to be on sale when you visit (the top 'branded' one or the bottom 'unbranded' one).

On your point about Fosters bar towels, we use bar towels purely to catch any drips when serving from the top casks but, as we sell almost all local ales, branded bar towels specific to the brands on sale are very rare. But then I'm much happier for the local brewer to be spending his profits on keeping his brews right rather than on point-of-sale items! We sell Fosters on the bar, so it seems sensible to use them for this purpose?

I hope you get a chance to visit again. Once the season starts (from Easter) we'll have additional guest ales; I limit it to the two permanent brands (Potholer and Merlin's Magic) across the winter period, to maintain throughput and, hence, quality. Far too many pubs view the number of ales on sale as more important than their actual quality!

Thanks, Steve (licensee :o)
stevethelandlord - 1 Apr 2011 15:18
On the main street just down from the Cathedral.
Interesting old building, that streaches way back from the road.

However I was almost put off from staying; when on walking in the small front bar, it appeared that only keg was available. Was just thinking about seeing if they had any decent bottled ale, when I realised that a couple of barrels were racked at the side of the bar. Fake (?) ones on top with the beer name. Potholer and Merlin's today. The barrels below were covered with a Fosters beer towel!!!!!!!

Good job we stayed as the Merlin's was very nice. Friendly staff with a very knowledgeable barmaid. She knew her beer and explained them both to another customer. The food was tasty with a couple of specials on as well.
I also heard her say that people are often confused and order keg not knowing that they serve real ale. Looks as if this a problem in an otherwise excellent pub. One nice touch is that they have a small card to list your comments on how to improve. (Will fill in next time)
captaineric - 4 Mar 2011 09:33
Two ales on which are regulars apparently, Potholer and Merlins Magic. The former was a bit flat, but not undrinkable. The latter was splendid. Cheerful place.
The_Final_Arbiter - 27 Jun 2010 07:53
Haven't been in Wells for awhile now but on my last visit I was fortunate enought to stumble across this gem of a pub! Well kept ales, very friendly staff, relaxing atmosphere and an absolutely crackin open mic night on a Tuesday which came as a pleasent surprise! A young man playing 12 string acoustic guitar, covering a wide array of music and a host of other musicians and singers! Well worth a visit! 8/10
Legolegs - 20 Jan 2010 01:25
Pleasant pub right on the high street with flagstones in the smaller front bar. Friendly staff and a decent looking pub menu, with an unusual choice of sandwiches.
Beers served straight from the barrel, on this occasion they had Cheddar's Potholer and Merlin's Magic. Also Thatcer's Heritage cider (again, straight from the barrel) and Scrumpy Jack.
Blackthorn - 1 Nov 2009 17:32
Hi, Steve here again ( a year since my last post)! Thanks for the positive comments, I'd just like to offer my apologies to "LennyBanter" for his poor experience with our beer; if only you'd mentioned it at the time we would have gladly sorted it out? I can only think that you had a one-off end-of-barrel pint, which is sometimes unavoidable? I must say that we are generally known in town for our excellent ales so your companion must be mistaken on their comments - maybe they're still thinking about the King's Head of old (many people in town, unbelievably, think it's still ran by the previous licensee, who left in 2007)!? Please come and visit us again and give us the chance to prove you wrong!!
stevethelandlord - 6 Oct 2009 15:37
Visited Wells recently and went to this pub several times. Can't comment about the evening as visits were in daytime when the atmosphere was relaxed, and there was a good and unusual selection of well-kept beer. Would definiteley return.
newbury_drinker - 4 Oct 2009 18:04
A good selection ale barrels was prominently displayed behind the bar as soon as I walked in, which I thought boded well. However, the one pint I did not taste very nice and decided to leave before having another one. My companion who had been to this pub before had said that they were well known for not keeping their ales too well which is a shame. If they could store the ales properly, this would be a good pub to visit. The atmosphere is nice and relaxed and I did like some of the massive chairs that were available to sit in. This pub did seem to be the hangout of the local youth as well.
LennyBanter - 31 Jul 2009 15:40
Good pub, Magic Merlin from the barrel very nice; Friday daytime very nice and pub-like; Friday night front bar friendly pub atmos, back turns into a busy bonkers 70s disco. My wife (39) got asked for a dance by a teenager en route to the loos...
andyross - 12 May 2009 10:41
Ok, I would say it's great, as I'm the landlord! But come and see for yourself; I'm confident you'll love it.
We're the only pub in Wells selling cask ale as it's meant to be, straight from the cask into your glass.
Don't worry about the 'bouncer' comments below - we still have them but only Friday and Sat nights, and that's only because we're a busy pub with a late licence so we HAVE to have them by law - they're the friendliest doorstaff you'll ever meet!
stevethelandlord - 8 Aug 2008 13:47
Still seems ok. Still got beer out the barell which is good and staff seem ok.
NeilA - 6 Jul 2008 15:58
Under new management having been closed for a short time and now refurbished. Had a very pleasant Sunday lunch here recently and wish the new proprietors well.
greendragon - 14 Dec 2007 19:25
This is an excellent pub, with a really good range of real ales on tap from the keg. Currently selling 'Stream', a 4% light real ale that is one of the best I've ever tasted. Don't be put off by comments about bouncers. This is a live music venue, and they are there to make sure things don't go wrong. I use this pub during the day, and on quiet evenings, and the company is good, the beer is superb.
keelbolt - 27 Jun 2007 16:48
Bouncers are there for late licensing purposes and on the whole are some of the best I have met. The beer on tap is not all that good but the bar man knows quite a few novelty drinks. It can be quite noisy, which is annoying if your are trying to hold a conversation. Never seen a fight in there.
IEgg - 20 Apr 2007 17:46
The hot honey behind the bar when I looked in appeared to be a somewhat unprepossessing bloke wearing a vest.Awesome indeed.
earlydrinker - 17 Dec 2006 23:02
This is a great little boozer with some of the hottest honeys I have ever seen behind the bar. The food is good the beer is excellent and they put on the best live music in Wells. Watch out for a Who Tribute band on Thursday, 17th November. I saw them here the last time they played and they were awesome! The bouncers are only there to keep the Chav's out of Well's most popular pub and I have always found them to be very friendly.
anonymous - 14 Nov 2005 16:53
Bouncers were a turn-off - we didn't go in. Sounded very noisy from outside.
hereward - 10 Aug 2005 01:59
Its mainly full of rowdy people who have got nothing better to do than to start on people! why do u think its the only pub in Wells with Bouncers!
Judas - 1 Sep 2004 15:40

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