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Half Moon, Hitchin

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user reviews of the Half Moon, Hitchin

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

Good Beer Guide 2019 entry.

traditional single roomer that has two regular (enjoyed the youngs special) and six changing beers.

I came in on Tuesday when the pub quiz was in full flight. Not a seat to be had anywhere.

A sign of its success. I will return.
Mappiman - 9 Sep 2019 12:00
Still the main ale pub in Hitchin. Can be a bit parochial at times with a tendency for locals to sit at stools by the bar (with the rest of the pub - a dozen tables and 20 or 30 chairs unoccupied) making accessing the bar awkward. There were three in particular in a row like the three wise chimps who seemed miffed that someone should disturb the perching zone.

Close by on Bridge Street is BB's a shop conversion bar which does two Oakham brews and Pride and has plenty of screens for sports events. Maybe someday the site will start to add the many new, renamed and altered pubs. it's been a good few years since the last new pub was added.
Snarling_Mallard - 11 Jun 2019 20:10
A great pub with 10 well kept beers and good pub food - all at sensible prices. The young couple running the pub since the previous landlord moved last October on are keeping true to the spirit of the place and deserve to succeed.
welwyntone - 24 Jan 2018 20:19
Good range of ales. Gets heaving and can get some annoying alcoholic regulars who won't leave you alone. No sign of louts when I have been here. Bar staff are mostly courteous, occasionally obnoxious. Food variable.
ShireParkTom2 - 1 Dec 2015 00:12
Still a great pub with well kept ales, looking forward to next weeks beer festival . I hope they have B&T'S Dragon slayer to ward off the landlady though!
Henners - 19 Apr 2015 19:05
Decent enough alehouse with a selection of brews - opposite the market. probably the best ale pub in Hitchin.
Snarling_Mallard - 5 Apr 2015 20:00
One of my favourite pubs in Hitchin. Friendly staff and a great mixed crowd. Well worth a visit.
Biff10 - 28 Oct 2014 15:54
Great beer festival over the weekend, excellent mixture of beer styles. Not sure why people have a problem with the cat, makes it more of a traditional pub, not an antiseptic gastropub horror!
Aztecgoat - 19 Oct 2014 09:34
Superb range of eight beers at the bar, ranging from Mild, Wheat, Bitter to Hoppy.
Stocks a selection of CAMRA publications.
Handy car park to the side of the pub - albeit steep and narrow.
One slight no-no from me. The pub's white cat seemed to be encourage by some customers, whilst they were eating, to sit on a stall/chair at table.
fugglehops - 20 Sep 2014 21:52
very good pub, landlord pulling through beer as soon as one runs out, plenty of food served from lamb shanks to cheese platters, good mix of clientele, i think my 5.9% wolf beer was £3.75 so not too bad.
THUNFAN007 - 30 Mar 2014 17:00
A friendly pub with well kept beer and polite bar staff. Well worth a visit.
spode - 8 Feb 2014 01:18
I came in here around 5.15pm on Saturday evening for my first ever visit as The Half Moon features in the 2014 Good Beer Guide.

2 permanent ales on tap Youngs Special & Adnams Bitter…6 “guests”, 2 cider’s and 5 “guests” and 1 perry…great selection.

Very cozy pub, nice and warm on after a walk on what was a chilly afternoon…friendly bar staff (5 bar staff on at once…very impressive) and also a real nice atmosphere.

Groups, families and couples in the pub, various ages and types.

I wasn’t drinking so I cant comment on the quality of the beer but I saw plenty of pints being poured and served and no-one was complaining, this is the sort of pub I would like as my local.

lezford - 15 Jan 2014 16:16
Visited this pub again after a gap of a few years, and was very pleased to see that it has gone from strength to strength. There were around 8 real ales, and both of those I tried were in excellent condition. The pub was very busy at 5.15 on a Friday afternoon, with a real cosy feel and a nice atmosphere. The clientele is mixed, but clearly everyone comes here because it is a great pub. My only complaint was that it is so popular I was unable to get a seat straight away. Probably the best pub in Hitchin for the real ale drinker and pub connoiseur, edging out the Coopers for its range of beers, and the Bricklayers (just) for atmosphere.
Number11 - 21 Dec 2013 18:49
Visited today for the beer festival, about 30 beers and 10 ciders on ,everything from both racking and bar was in very good condition. prices about 3.20 upto 3.75 for 6.5 percent. food looked good,bar and toilets very clean. bus drops off almost outside from st.albans/sandridge/wheathampstead/whitwell etc so a nice addition to a crawl.
THUNFAN007 - 20 Oct 2012 13:38
Proper honest pub with great beers. Not many pubs sell dark mild these days. Good food, with cheese board and pork pies sold until closing time. Will drink here more often after the destruction of the Sunrunner.
HitchinTiger - 6 Oct 2012 12:36
Great local with an excellent landlord allied with a great selection of beers. I particularly like the grumpy little man at the bar who resembles a midget Pope.
Lindacfs44 - 4 Jun 2012 11:04
I have very mixed feelings about this pub. The landlord is a wonderful gent who knows and keeps a vast array of good ales and ciders at very reasonable prices and I would drink and eat there if it were not for the downside.
The landlady is a tyrant who is ignorant and downright rude and I hate watching the cats walk up and down the bar as I fear what goes on in the kitchen.
There is a strict no music, no games policy here which can make it a bit of a sterile environment. There's lots of talk of bait and rods and good fishing but some very friendly and warm characters.
Being only one of three pubs in Hitchin to serve Stowford, I'd very much like to drink there again as The Sunrunner has disappeared up it's own rear end, however the landlady scares me off.
GLR - 17 May 2012 15:42
Note to self: make sure that you're not driving next time you go to this pub! It was my turn though.

Excellent and welcoming pub just out of the town centre. The friendly staff are very good at customer service and knowledgeable about the drinks that they sell. Had a pint of the Tring Mansion mild which was great - and look longingly at the other seven or so beers knowing that I couldn't have them. They had Oakham Attilla (7.5%) which I love as well!! Oh well, next time.... The cider selection was good with a perry on offer too. My wife had Gwynt-y-Draig Black Dragon and her friend had Millwhites Hedgelayer which they both enjoyed.

The food was very good too with a large selection for veggies. I had the Mushroom and Red Bean burger with chili cheesy chips which was very nice.

I'm looking forward to going back again sometime soon - on the bus though.
littledrummerboy - 9 Apr 2012 10:10
Cracking pub, loads of ales in great condition. Lovely atmosphere, knowledgable bar staff. Big white pub cat.
jjsint - 26 Mar 2012 13:16
Stopped in here last year, fantastic range of ales and friendly feel. Food excellent value. Totally unexpected find on a mini-roundabout at the edge of town but certainly worth a trip.
OldRogue - 11 Oct 2011 13:28
Nice atmosphere, lovely Ales, friendly staff.
Drinking in this pub makes a visit to Hitchin relaxing and chilled.
Bert_Ale - 2 Sep 2011 10:24
Interesting choice of well-kept real ales. Bar snack food - e.g. cheese and biscuits - is excellent value and of generous portions. Well worth a visit.
wobblybob - 24 Jun 2011 23:27
A traditional pub doing traditional pub service very well, good range of real ales, good sevice, well worth going to.
Randyray - 13 May 2011 17:17
We moved to Hitchin last year and discovered that the Half Moon is our local pub. Happy days! The landlord, landlady and staff are all friendly, we were made to feel welcome from our first visit. There is no loud music and there are no TV screens either. However the best thing about this pub is the beer. Thanks to the landlord's dedication, the pub turns out pint after pint of high quality cask ale. There are at least two regular ales and four guests at all times, never in this place will you see a pump clip turned around. As soon as one guest ale runs out, another one takes its place.

Food is available, the usual pub fare and a tapas menu as well. There are also bar snacks available until late - the cheese platter is excellent value if you get peckish after a few pints.

Definitely the best pub in Hitchin.
tap_and_spile - 7 Mar 2011 22:35
Got to be one of the best pubs i have been in. Its everything i want in a pub, excellent beer, cheap food, friendly staff. Well worth the awards it has one in the past and sure to win many more in the future
superseagulls - 19 Dec 2010 11:17
An excellent Beer Festival on when visited yesterday. Had I not been on my way to the festival at the Engineers would have liked to have spent more time here. Will definitely return soon.
TiaMariaJim - 23 Oct 2010 11:27
Only a 9 as there's no such thing as perfection but the Half Moon runs it pretty close. A friendly welcome, good (homemade - including veggie) food and a nice range of well-kept beers. Oh, and Moon the friendly Spaniel. What's not to like? A lovely visit. Keep it up guys.
LesP - 3 Oct 2010 14:13
Have to agree with the previous posters.
An agreeable local with well kept beers that change quite frequently and more often than not there are a couple of decent ciders in the cellar as well as the fizzy stuff.

No loud music (at least not when I have been in there) just some gentle jazz - or similar - wafting around in the background

Haven't eaten there but the food I have seen come out looks pretty decent and is reasonably priced too .

The Landlord and his missus have done a good job of taking a rather down at heel establishment and turning it into a nice little pub.
Perfect for a couple of lunchtime pints and a read of the newspaper
DoctorFunk - 20 Sep 2010 15:33
Great real ale pub - different selection of real ales on every time I go there. Camra have awarded it "best pub in Hertfordshire" for the last two years running.

Staff are friendly, the pub has a nice atmosphere and is generally a chav free zone. Tends to attract a slightly older crowd.

The only downside is It is a bit small - not a problem in the Summer when you can sit outside but can get a bit cramped in winter.

Punisher - 18 Sep 2010 15:19
Nice pub.

Reasonable range of real ales. Food reputed to be good.

Friendly and competent bar staff. Nice clientele, maybe just far enough from town centre to be a bit "special".

Two beer festivals a year.

boblarkin - 24 Jun 2010 23:46
Had a good lunch time in here , only slightly spoilt by the activities of the Welsh oxygen-thief behind the ramp. The Doris thought the soup in a basket was a little disappointing... there wasn't much of it.

Worth a call though. Beer plentiful and delicious. Chav-free zone.
foghorn - 11 Jun 2010 10:24
Pub number 2 on my mini crawl around Hitchin. Good selection of ales, 6 in total, the two I had were both kept perfectly well. Very friendly bar staff made us feel very welcome. All in all this is a fantastic pub, a well deserved 8/10.
Thebman - 27 Sep 2009 10:10
Lovely beer, very friendly landlord and good atmosphere. Local CAMRA pub of the year, holds its own beer festivals, summer BBQs. A must.
Sandman1 - 10 Jun 2009 11:58
Great boozer and great ale...what more can you ask for?
47458sf - 20 May 2009 20:31
Not a lot of atmosphere and not keen on the pink decor
multiplexor - 8 Mar 2009 17:18
"Permanent Real Ale Festival" pretty much defines this pub. Young's Special and Adnams bitter, plus 4 frequently changing ales. Sometimes by the time you've got through the 4, they've been replaced by a new set! Good food, perfect summer BBQs, and regular food events and pub games (no darts/pool.). A friendly and relaxing pub ideal for those who like to mellow out with a fine pint of excellent ale.
yvan - 25 Jan 2009 14:45
Great pub. Six real ales on last night and when I went back for my second pint two had sold out and been replaced by two different ones. How's that for planning and preparation. Didn't eat, but they have what looks to be a very interesting take on the tapas concept. I must try to get my Friday night crowd to move here.
philanders - 13 Sep 2008 09:23
Excellent friendly local with great beer and good value food. Wish there were more pubs like this. Probably the best pub in Hitchin.
baxterfish - 17 Aug 2008 14:08
Lovely pub which has got the feel of how pubs used to be before breweries started turning them into alcopop drink factories. Great selection of real ales and a fairly decent wine list (for a pub) which is reasonably priced.
This pub is also home to the most miserable dog in the world called Moon who will only pretend to be your friend if you have any crisps or nuts.
RolandDeschain - 29 Jul 2008 08:50
I can't add much more to the reviews below. A really nice pub and easily the best in Hitchin for beer quality, friendly, efficient barstaff and laid-back atmosphere.
ZapuTheSnake - 9 May 2008 13:05
Excellent house - thoroughly enjoyed my recent visit.
E17Bee - 21 Apr 2008 21:26
This is really quite a nice pub with friendly atmosphere, locals and easy going staff. It has a number of real ales, although I am a Guiness drinker myself - on the Guinness front, it is normally pretty good but I have had one awful pint there as well !

It is an especially good place to go early evening and Saturday lunchtimes.
zoomy - 21 Mar 2008 19:54
Wow! Didn't realise this place did Old Rosie! I'll defo check it out again. Only ever been here 2 or 3 times but i was impressed each time.

Nice atmos and good service. If you like people-watching, this is the pub for you!
The_Dude - 22 Jan 2008 23:37
Went last saturday while visiting a friend.....excellent real ales they seem to really care about pub i visited on my trip to Hitchin
clarkey_cat - 13 Dec 2007 11:45
In my view the Half Moon serves the best real ale in Hitchin. A few other places in the town can match it when they're on form, but the Half Moon is consistently good (the landlord is enthusiastic and experienced) and usually two of the choices are from smaller breweries. Recently redecorated (admittedly not to everyone's liking), and the number of pumps has been increased from four to six at weekends.
hitchinsampler - 17 Oct 2007 15:51
very well kept beer, and friendly staff and clientele.

good variety of local beers along with regulars (adnams, youngs special) and good for beer festivals.

probably the best pub in hitchin.
mps77 - 30 Jul 2007 13:28
Evidently care for their beer and seemed to be getting a visit from a micro-brewer when I was there yesterday. I love the idea of a gov'nor with the freedom to discuss hops & what's next off the press and order accordingly. Four bitters when I visited were Oldershaw Flag Fen, Adnams, Youngs, Banks & Taylor Shefford, also Old Rosie, Sheppy, & a Perry for the cider lovers. Looks newer inside than out, but I liked this pub.
trainman - 31 May 2007 12:26
The best ale pub in Hitchin. They have superb beer festivals throughout the year and do a great curry on a Thursday! Enjoy!
anonymous - 8 May 2007 21:18
Visited on the weekend of the beer festival, so not quite sure how many handpumps but I guess about four. I drank the beer from the festival and from the bar all in excellent condition. The landlord is very friendly, definitely will be visiting again.
tophatter64 - 30 Apr 2007 12:31
Real ale and cider pub with a friendly atmosphere, near the centre of Hitchin but sufficiently far away from it to be a bit quieter if that's what you want, but hosts regular beer festivals and quiz nights, etc.
beeronaut - 27 Aug 2006 07:46
I visit this place once in a blue moon. A proper traditional pub that's cosy and pleasent atmosphere. I am a bit of a fan for pubs which host a number of diffrent rooms. As this pub is all one bar I guess that this is it's only negative feature. The Landlord and his wife demonistrate a real love for the profession and are well regarded, if they could find a freehouse in Hitchin it could very well be the jewel in the town.
alcaholic - 28 Mar 2006 01:21
Wow! what a change, well deserves a visit. The beer is always top form and their festivals have a fine range of well conditioned beers. Howard and Wendy host a warm and friendly atmosphere and a fine bunch of regulars make the place feel inviting, very easy to get into a conversation with a complete stranger!
If you want a fine ale in Hitchen then the Half Moon should be your first port of call
Edrador - 5 Oct 2005 08:51
Very nice new landlords; Howard and Wendy. Friendly and laid back atmosphere. Good music even if it's way too quiet. And first and foremost, very good beers. Excellent choice all the time and I've never had a bad one. Plus regular festivals. What more could you want? At the very least this has become one of the best pubs in Hitchin. Its good to see it turned around so quickly.
I'll take the 'old farts' comments to mean that there are no lager louts. Which is true. There aren't. Whoopee!
bonton - 4 Oct 2005 16:43
One of Hitchin's better pubs (not traditionally saying much) - good Adnams and background music
mtaylor40 - 21 Sep 2005 20:48
Voted North Herts CAMRA Most Improved Pub 2005. Four real ales in good quality. If you're not an old fart go and drink lager somewhere else.
anonymous - 6 Jul 2005 13:44
The beer is good here but that's about it, bit of an old fart's pub if you ask me.
drummond5 - 20 Apr 2005 11:38
Owned by previous owners of the Sawbridgeworth brewery. Vwry good pint of Youngs.
Graham - 9 Oct 2004 17:40

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