skip nav  

Bitter End, Cockermouth

back to pub details

user reviews of the Bitter End, Cockermouth

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

More eatery with the seats for drinking around the bogs. Tried their own ale which was insipid and uninspiring. Would give it a miss on any future visits.
Snarling_Mallard - 22 Jun 2018 07:53
Nice pub, away from the High Street but only a short walk away. Cheaper prices than Keswick for a cask ale selection of Coniston Bluebird, Jennings Bitter and Cumberland, Shipyard Pale Ale and Bitter End Lakeland Golden. Also had some stronger beers a bit pricier, Punk IPA 5.4%, Jaipur Indian Pale Ale 5.9% and Elvis Juice (grapefruit infused IPA) 6.5%! The latter comes I a schooner, which I believe is 2/3 a pint. For £3.90. Cockermouth was a good place to visit, just wish could have visited more than the 2 pubs as this one comes recommended though would be busy with diners at feeding time.
ESCAMRA - 4 Apr 2018 20:48
With a name like the Bitter End, I was expecting a traditional drinkers' boozer. But the place has more of a bistro feel to it, with food dominating. The front room is more appropriate for drinkers, whilst the rear one is reserved for diners. Dogs are allowed in the front room. But people were eating there too. The whole place has a cosy feel to it. Service took a while, as staff were prioritising meal orders. There were 4 ales - Ennerdale English Pride, Jennings Bitter & Cumberland Ale & Bitter End Lakeland Golden (brewed for the bar). Keg options on the rear bar included ales from Thornbridge & Brew Dog. Not what I had expected. But may be a good option, especially if you want to eat.
blue_scrumpy - 13 Feb 2017 21:22
Ate and drank here a couple of times during a recent stay in Cockermouth and our experience was totally opposite to those of recent reviewers.

Don't like to start a pub review commenting about the food, but will do so. Yep, the menu isn't huge, mainly offering pub staples, but we (five of us) all enjoyed what we had both times. Decent burgers, fish and chips, pie, scampi etc. Apparently a new head chef took over recently and he seems to be doing a very good job.

As for the booze, don't be deceived by the brewery sign outside as they no longer brew their own beer, but there are a couple of ales produced specifically for the pub. Both were fairly generic bitters around 4% ABV but were perfectly drinkable, and with one of the two only £2 a pint, I wasn't complaining.

Jennings Bitter was among the other beers on tap, and there was also a very good selection of bottles beers available, including from Thornbridge, Kernel, Brew Dog and Sam Smiths. More expensive than the ale on tap (£3.50 +) but a decent alternative.

Staff were generally pretty attentive, tasters were available and food turned up quickly. Spoke with the landlady too and she seemed very pleasant.

As for the pub, there's seated areas outside, inside the bar is in the centre and there's seating to the front and divided up into two areas at the back. Didn't see any evidence of TVs but there was other entertainment (pub quizzes, music) on offer.

Guess reviews will always be subjective, but I'd say the Bitter End certainly deserves more than the 5.4 rating it has at the time of reviewing.
duchyjim - 25 Aug 2013 23:20
Well, if you hate vegetarians and hate decent beer then this could well be the pub for you. But for everybody else...

When ordering food, there is pretty much nothing at all for vegetarians in the main courses section of the menu. The garlic mushrooms (starter) which I ordered as my main meal in the end was basically supermarket value range mushrooms mixed around in a pot of garlic sauce. When advised that the meal came with salad and bread, I wasnt expecting the bread to be a single slice of toast from a Tesco value white bread loaf. At first I thought it might actually be some kind of a practical joke.

My wife, however, is not a vegetarian. She described her meal as Sub-standard Wetherspoons, but at double the price.

I didnt realise before entering that The Bitter End is not a pun on the pubs proximity to the neighbouring graveyard, or even the nearby Bitter Beck; it is a reference to the fact that this pub sells almost nothing else except bitter. Down the road in Workington, the Mitchell Krause brewery makes delicious wheat beers, IPAs and Pilsners. You will find nothing of the sort in this pub; in fact, nothing at all except an array of identical tasting bitters. Dont bother craning your neck over the bar though to seek out a bottle of Hoegaarden or Leffe in the fridge, because they dont even have alternatives in bottles.

Sadly Ive encountered some awful pubs from time to time, but this one really stands out as being exceptionally bad.

elegiac_stanzas - 2 Oct 2012 09:24
very unwelcoming, barmaid texting her mate for ages before she came to serve, only one of there "own" beers on, so I had a pint, very average, asked if they ever had anymore of there own, and was told, "oh that's not our beer, we just get somebody else's in and use our pumpclip"!, avoid
littlecon - 12 Apr 2012 11:39
mmmmmmm- where to start - this place has the potential to be a cracking pub but is thwarted from being so.... why who knows? - a pub that markets itself on real ales shud be comfortable to drink in right? very much a eat or f**k off kinda place? staff highly strung as noted in previous reveiws..... other properties just down the road offer everything this place does and more with a much better atmosphere and overall attitude from staff/management .......
mcfly - 21 Dec 2010 17:27
Reading previous reviews, maybe I was lucky not to meet the landlady, nor purchase food !
I visited this for a quick pint during the afternoon. The barman couldn't have been friendlier in a pub which is very attractive and welcoming.
The on-site brewery is no longer here, having moved to new premises nearby, but their 'Bitter End' beers are still stocked on the bar and about five were available, as well as a guest from the Ulverston Brewery and a couple from Jennings.
Nice pub with a very good range of real ales.
Well worth a visit if you find yourself in Cockermouth.
SouthYorkshireman - 17 Apr 2010 20:40
IMHO this pub deserves much more than the 5.8 out of 10 (23rd Nov 09). I'd rate it 8+. Busy yes, it is popular!, and in my experience the staff have been very friendly. Beer always excellent, and plenty of choice. Food very good value and just the ticket after a hard day on the fells.
JohnWilkinson - 23 Nov 2009 18:10
We go in here occasionally when there is something on at the theatre next door. We have probably been in about a dozen times in the last 3 years. Whenever we have been in for just a drink we have never had a problem. We have only eaten here once and it was not a pleasent experience.

We had gone in with a couple of elderly relatives and had paid for our meal and a round of drinks when we ordered. As someone else mentioned we had to shout our order to the bar maid who would not come any closer to us than the till. My girlfriend was pregnant at the time and wanted a very weak shandy with lots of ice. The barmaid insisted that she could not pour less than a half of either lemonade or beer. This was despite the fact that I had had a lemonade splash in my lager. Then she would only give us a maximum of 4 ice cubes - no explanation was given for either of these. Eventually I ordered the drinks seperately and made the drink myself!!!

As we were leaving we were shouted at in front of the whole pub demanding our bill be paid by both the landlady and the bar maid. It wasn't even our bill they wanted us to pay but the table next to us. No apology or anything. This seems to happen a lot. I wonder how many people actually pay twice?

Overall service was awful but the beer and the food are good - its a shame really as this pub could be excellent.
thewrongtrousers - 24 Jul 2008 13:33
Another fantastic pub run excellently by the staff and owners alike - the real ale is always on form and top class and the food and helpings is usually very large and of good quality. I like the place - it's outside of being Cockermouth's best pub, its in a different league. I like a lot of the town's pubs, it's just with location and type of business that the Bitter End operates within then it's more a landmark pub and not just the usual locals and tourists thing.
Always try to get back when I can.
Mcloj - 1 Apr 2008 14:34
Miserable landlady spoils the experience of what could be a 10/10 pub.

snecklifter - 20 Dec 2007 18:35
This is a Fantastic pub! Good Beer, Good Food and Friendly Staff! but it gets very busy at times, we had to wait about 15 mins for a table and landlady made sure we got the next available one, very efficient and well worth the wait. My wife had the Salmon en Croute off the specials board and I had the Steak & Ale Pie, we can honestly say it was the best pub meal we have ever eaten! Theres a good selection of wines and real ales including two from a micro-brewery which is actually in the pub! Well worth the visit and we will be back.
Gordon_Phillips - 2 Dec 2007 13:47
What a Nightmare ! first off i was abused by the Landlady for asking for extra salad that i was prepared to pay for. Then when the food was slapped down on the table and it was the worst meal i have ever had all deep fried and tasteless.
This is one place i do not recomend as the staff and Landlady are the worst example of Catering staff i have ever come across
anonymous - 1 Aug 2007 13:43
Have the staff changed in the last few months, I have never had anything but good service,as I only visit during the day is this an evening problem ? Great guest ales and even better pub brews, definately the best pub in Cockermouth.
beer_finder_general - 2 Feb 2007 10:12
Really nice pub but have to agree with the comments about the landlady. She hauled some unfortunate paying customers back in for apparently not covering their tab, herded people off tables they shouldn't have been sitting at and generally ran the pub with a rod of iron. We pointed out that our Cumberland sausage was definitely not of the same quality it had been two nights before, and got a severe ticking off and scuttled back to our designated corner. It's a smashing pub, but enter at your peril!
susan_charter - 5 Jun 2006 17:15
I disagree with the last comment about the beer. On my last few visits there I have had some superb beers, particularly those brewed in the pub.
CdeC - 5 Apr 2006 13:45
I totally agree with the comments about the staff at The Bitter End. I visited there with a friend last week, had a bar meal and was accused of trying to leave without paying by one of the bar staff! It was really embarassing as we were marched back to the bar to explain ourselves - even though my friend had paid for the food when she ordered. We received no apology or explanation from the very bad tempered barmaid and were made to feel like a couple of criminals! Even when she realised her mistake she still couldn't bring herself to say sorry and we left feeling veru dejected. Needless to say - we won't be going back and neither will anyone I mention it to!!
Ann_Richard - 22 Jan 2006 11:19
I agree with the comments about unfriendy staff here. If you are a regular local or a CAMRA member, you are treated totally differently to everyone else.

One of the most unwelcoming pubs I have ever been in.
anonymous - 15 Jan 2006 14:46
I agree that the staff at this pub are the most unfriendly I have encountered for a long time. No smile or hello, I was made to shout my order for food to the staff member who insisted on standing at the till in the middle rather then standing at the bar to take my order. I did ask her if it was alright for her to stand closer as I couldn't hear her but she would not. I guess she lip reads the order but it meant she didn't read the food order back to me. When we asked for 'still mineral water' a bottle of sparkling was poured and when I said - that it was still that I ordered I was told they don't have still. I then went to check with my nephew and the barmaid pulled a face when he said he would have tap rather then sparkling water and she checked with the manger before banging the bottle and glass of fizzy water down. It would have been easy enough to check before pouring the fizzy and really you do expect a pub to have still mineral water. (even more ridiculous after the earlier comments about tap water). I was pleased to get out of the place even if the food was fine the atmosphere from the staff was dreadful.

heidi99 - 31 Oct 2005 09:48
Excellent pub. Great guest beers, great bar food.
westcumbria - 18 Sep 2005 19:58
Has its own micro brewery. Good real ale.
Good pub grub.
ian - 19 Oct 2004 09:31

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.