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Colston Yard, Bristol

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user reviews of Colston Yard, Bristol

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

Nice enough though a newish contrived feel rather than an original pub feel. The beer was good though had a nice pint of Butcombe Bitter.
Snarling_Mallard - 6 Aug 2013 19:27
Called in to attend the "Bellowhead" afterparty on Saturday night. Place was literally packed to the rafters with Bellowhead fans and bemused drinkers, enjoying a great time. Butcombe Adam Hanson Rare Breed and Bristo Beer Factory Sunrise were sampled and where in good condition.
PoorBeerHater - 21 Nov 2012 10:29
A festival on at the moment, good beer, good choice, my only grumble was that there was not much room, with tables being reserved, and no one sitting on them.
beatles38 - 6 Oct 2012 14:34
I really liked this pub, the former Smiles Brewery I'm told. Bright fresh and in pastel colours, the staff were friendly and the Arbor beer the best I drank all day.
Paul_Rochdale - 19 Sep 2012 10:18
Not the same welcome since John left.

Ask the price before you buy a bottled beer, I was told (a while ago) that one of the Belgian beers was over £7 (it wasn't Deus).

Check your change. On Friday two people were shortchanged in half an hour - I was charged over £8 for two pints. That is staggering incompetence - or something else.
MrKiA - 15 Aug 2012 18:43
Visited for first time the other week,my pint of BBF Acer was superb and the service very good. Very comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 15 Mar 2012 13:25
Sorry Butcombe but this place is still horribly sterile in terms of decor. It hasn't picked up an ounce of character since it opened. But the service is good and the beer quality is good. Play some interesting music occasionally.
LukeD - 26 Jul 2011 15:10
what a great place to be on a sunny evening , you get a great feel for bristol when you can sit outside , supping some of their excellent beers , top quality , or the splendid ashton still cider. has gone from a 6 to 9/10 for me
beatles38 - 10 Jun 2011 20:02
Now Stocking bottles of the delicious "Schlenkerla Rauchbier" smoked Marzen speciality dark beer from Bamberg,Franconia....

Also, Maisel's Weisse from Bayreuth is the current "House" German Draught Wheat....

Just when i thought this place couldn't get any better.......
clevedonquaffer - 26 Mar 2011 14:58
A trendy and modern type of establishment with reclaimed floorboards, plenty of leather bench seating and an interesting colour scheme with olive green walls and red ceilings. It’s a pleasant enough place though, and whilst it may have lost some of the character that it had when it was the Smiles Brewery Tap, that was entirely out of Butcombe’s hands as the former venue was unfortunately destroyed prior to their buying it. In the circumstances I think they’ve done a great job and in a nod to the former owners there’s an interesting history of Smiles at the top of the stairs leading down to the loos.

The rear bar has some large windows running almost the entire length of the back wall and plenty of tables and chairs. From memory there’s a decent menu, although we didn’t eat on this occasion. Loos are very smart, more like you’d expect in a posh hotel than a city centre pub and there are some interesting photo’s of bands who’ve appeared at the nearby Colston Hall adorning the walls.

Beers on tap were mostly from Butcombe with their Bitter, Gold and Blond plus the seasonal Old Vic porter. There was also Fuller’s London Pride. The cider was Ashton Press, in both regular and still varieties.
Blackthorn - 16 Feb 2011 11:31
Agree with Beatles in that the decor was better when it was the Brewery Tap, but I have to say that the beers today were fantastic: tried the Butcombe Old Vic (the new porter), BBFactory's Acer and a simple pint of Butcombe Beer - which when served how it should be is a lovely pint. Also tried the food which was really impressive. The staff were welcoming and knowledgeable about the ales. Really, really impressed and will return soon
Dandillus - 2 Feb 2011 21:13
came in here the other night , a butcome house was looking for their new porter which unfortunately they did not have and of course no brunel which is a favourite of mine, settled for the guest beer union pale ale from moor, which wasn't one of their better ones to be honest , preferred the decor when it was the brewery tap ,with its chess board floor, and the interior now comes across as being a bit soullees.
beatles38 - 25 Dec 2010 10:02
A crucial stop off for any Beer enthusiast visiting Bristol, with its extensive range of top draught beers, including Butcombes Gold/Blond/Cold Filtered Blond/Brunel IPA/Bitter.... and often German Veltins Pils/Krombacher Weizen/Vedett Belgian White....

Also, a heady collection of German, Belgian & American bottled specialities in the Fridges...(Goose Island IPA/Honker's Ale....Delirium Tremens....Westmalle Dubbel/Triple Trappist...)

The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and the food is delicious (especially the Ribs)...

Handily placed for before & after drinks for gigs/shows @ Colston Hall/O2 Academy...if you can force yourself to leave, that is!
clevedonquaffer - 13 Nov 2010 13:12
Pleasant,smart cafe-bar style interior, reasonable range of beer in good condition. Does not have a great deal of character, but a good enough place to stop if you're in the area.
newbury_drinker - 29 May 2010 23:25
Very busy on a Thursday night when we called but managed to find a table. Butcombe beers I sampled were very good condition. The food was excellent and generous portions, and the staff seemed on the ball and friendly. Good, slick operation!
JBGatelad - 26 Apr 2010 20:08
Good decor and food; guest ales were uninspiring on my visit but the Butcombe bitters were excellent quality.
daveinbrum - 16 Feb 2010 17:49
Somewhat different to the Smiles brewery tap plain interior when I visited some 4 years ago. A pleasant modern pub tastefully redone with the Butcombe beer range, tried the Brunel IPA which was great, didn't realise it was 5% & that was first beer of the day. Small but interesting beer list including some Belgians. Relaxed atmosphere with 80's music in the background - Sunday afternoon.
Booze_Allen - 8 Feb 2010 16:45
Here on a Sunday, nicely decorated pub, Butcombe IPA in good condition. Fairly large pub. Last here about 12 years when it was the Smiles' Brewery tap. Pleasant comfy chairs.
Abteilung - 7 Feb 2010 12:59
I hate saying THIS COZ I luv bUTCOMBE ,and have had butcombe ipa in a few places recently which has been really really top Q , but the quality of the BEER ie Butcombe ipa was poor in here.
beatles38 - 31 Jan 2010 21:54
What i find most most disturbing about this aem , is that it would appear that in a time when the govt , health lobby , religious zealots and various other groups of do gooders are on the back of the pub industry , that this no matter what else has been said about this pub , is a Pub that would seem to have an air of middle class self respectability about it , seems to have encouraged , if not placated this sort of loutish behaviour . Thanks though for the warning though
beatles38 - 3 Oct 2009 15:42
Oh dear dear dear.

Had an email from the local CAMRA branch regarding the re-launch of the previously referred to Brunel IPA last night here. However it was 5pm-8pm and I drifted along about 9pm to see was anything still going on. Outside,the seats were filled with happy souls,all no doubt after enjoying the (free) beer. Inside was busy also,though raucous to say the least,with a wobbly looking bloke doing the "yard of ale" with much shouting and encouragement from his company and the pub staff. However he failed in his quest to finish it-only for his mates to "pour" the remaining beer into his mouth. All great fun until he vomited back into the yard of ale "glass" and subsequently a bucket provided by the no longer entertained barman.

No drink was had and the advice is not to bother.
an_ecunemical_matter - 2 Oct 2009 10:50
Just to let you know Beatles38, Brunel IPA as a cask ale is currently brewed seasonally (October to March) and will be making a return very soon
moonieman - 3 Sep 2009 12:10
I'LL get told off again , by my mates , who keep telling me i shouldn't disagree with preceeding comments , but not enough Brunel Beers , what's happened to Butcombe Brunel , for example . plus now now doing bf rising sun , and even worse f LP . please chaps u know how to do great beer , just get your act 2 gether .
beatles38 - 31 Aug 2009 21:50
Curiously this one seems to have escaped the TWG-treatment over the years; I'm sure I'd left a comment about the place after the radical alterations of 2007, but clearly not. One too many Butcombes perhaps.

In any case, my last visit was 2 months ago and I found it much as it had been from the outset following the Butcombe take-over: cosmopolitan custom, smart and contemporary (if a little anodine) decor, young and efficient (if not always talkative) enough service, and most significantly, a good range of cask ales including several from the growing and increasingly worthy Butcombe range.
There is no question that they have done a fabulous job on resurrecting the pub from its sudden and unnecessarily brutal fall from grace as the Smiles Brewery Tap. They could so easily have slavishly sought to recreate the successful blueprint of the preceding 16 years, but bravely opted for a more upmarket and modern approach, which mercifully steers just the right side of corporate, although some visitors may beg to differ on that one. Sufficient acknolwedgement and respect for its heritage has been afforded and yet it seems to eagerly anticipate a bold future in its latest incarnation. The only issue is perhaps that it feels somewhat anachronistic in its Colston Street location; I can't help but feel it would be better-suited to a more central spot, but if it were I imagine it would become so popular that one could never get served!

Yes, I miss the award-winning stripped-down decor of the old Tap; I whiled away many a fine hour as a student and beyond enjoying the quaint checkerboard flooring, hopsack-covered walls and excellent Smiles ale while peacefully watching the world outside pass by. But as phoenixes rising from ashes go, it is hard to fault and it forces one to appreciate the good aspects of the new going forward, and not just hopelessly reminisce on the good things of the old going backwards.
TWG - 20 Aug 2009 16:57
Staff friendly. I popped in to try Krombacher Weiss beer, which was excellent and not too expensive at 3.80 a pint. I find the decor to be bland, but the place is busy so they are clearly getting it right.
LukeD - 9 Jul 2009 09:31
Staff friendly. I popped in to try Krombacher Weiss beer, which was excellent and not too expensive at 3.80 a pint. I find the decor to be bland, but the place is busy so they are clearly getting it right.
LukeD - 9 Jul 2009 09:30
Before APARODY jumps in again ,staff almost as shocking as my spelling and punctuation , what I mean't was bar staff excellent Thursday lunchtime , evening staff could do with an customer relations course , preferrably not overseas , as were in enough wars already
beatles38 - 18 Apr 2009 21:56
Agree with AEM customer service shocking when I have visited in the last few months , that SAID visited yesterday on a lunchtime for the only second , my first report ,AND customer service excelent , a couple of pints of Brunel , before making my way to cps cotham . enjoyayable , if only they could pass on their evening staff who are crap.
beatles38 - 17 Apr 2009 21:43
Down a peg on my recent visits. It was 3 Butcombes and Pride on both visits-the guest ale pumpclips seem to be for historic value only. On the latter visit I asked for IPA-meaning Butcombe Brunel IPA-to get a quizzical look from the barman. Duh,you sell it-wake up! And it was £2.90 a pt and just didn't hit the spot like this fine selection normally does . Going the way of Fullers and Youngs in our pricing as well are we? Good few in,plenty eating grub but it was a mild nite and the heating was on and this only enhanced the smell of cooking previously mentioned in despatches. A try again and hope it gets better case.
an_ecunemical_matter - 31 Mar 2009 21:23
Good Choice of Beer, however the staff on duty when we visited this establishment were terrible. When asked for information on a beverage one replied I dont drink the shit, so i dont know. Nice!

Food was quite nice - Establisment Clean and Comfortable

Could just use some 'hospitable' staff
Bobsmyunkle - 17 Feb 2009 17:23
Pretty good Butcombe pub/bar. A rare outlet for Sierra Nevada on draft and the Butcombe beers were in good nick. Would visit again.
downender - 6 Feb 2009 13:21
One of those bars where it's not exactly good or bad. The decor is pretty awful, service is friendly and the beers well kept.

The problem is, although there is a wide range of bottled beers, the real ales lack in variation. This together with the lack of local customers, horrible decor and chip pan smell make it not one for me.
BlackburnDave - 26 Jan 2009 18:19
Visited last month and found it to be a clean tidy pub with a large eating area at the back. Enjoyed Butcombe Blond and Butcombe Brunel IPA but found the music too loud for comfort.
gillhalfpint - 18 Jan 2009 00:17
Tidy pub on the site of the old Brewery Tap I think it was owned by Smiles. Good food and ales.
I also enjoyed the "bUTCOME Blond".
anonymous - 1 Aug 2008 10:19
good choice of real ales , though I may be biased ,as a favourite of mine is bUTCOME Blond , nice cider ashford press , slightly disapointed with choice of lager , but hell you can't please everyone , very good food , large portions , competitive price , friendly bar staff , nice place.
beatles38 - 1 Aug 2008 08:56
I think Butcombe have done a super job on this - there's a good feel to the place and I think it's a good venue to market good beer to the under 40 age-range; my drinking chums are certainly impressed with it.

Excellent range (and well-served) ales, complimented by an interesting selection of bottled stuff.

Inside is light and airy; modern, but not in a way that I think would date badly (so long as it's kept maintained).

Agree with the comment about the food; think I'll stick to the beer personally, although this would be a good place to take a partner for a relaxed date during the week, if you're willing to spend a few quid.

I concur that this place has a bright future, I look forward to my next visit.
Quinno - 14 May 2008 18:55
All a bit contemporary and sterile and not really a pub. Beer quality good, but Butcombe beers are a little lacking in variety.Food not bad, but a little pricey. Won't be going back but I'm sure it will appeal to others.
baxterfish - 26 Feb 2008 15:01
Posted about this pub in the "Brewery Tap" listing.

As I said-"Very good,though a little sterile. 3 Butcombe brews,London Pride,Gem and a monthly guest,Januarys guest was Tring. Pleasant
staff. No complaints."

Good to see Hopback Summer Lightning on. Only nit-pick I could have is no wi-fi.

Well worth visiting.
an_ecunemical_matter - 23 Feb 2008 14:23
A welcome addition to the Bristol pub scene. The Yard is certainly not a reincarnation of the old Brewery Tao but instead a rather more upmarket venue. If the BT was a proper pub, then the Yard could accurately be described as a hybrod between a high-end bar and a gastropub. Notwithstanding such potential reservations, there's no doubting the quality of the venue - or the thought Butcombe have put into this. The beer is also very well-kept and the adventurous range of bottled beers a definite plus. The evening menu looks pricey and will probably put some people off eating here. A few small changes would make a real difference and would help attract more custom. It's early days but I think the Colston Yard has a bright future.
CJG - 5 Feb 2008 13:46

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