Tim Hampson's Beer Blog

The quest for the perfect beer

A perfect pub – Barley Mow, Soutshea, Portsmouth

with one comment

There is something about the perfect beer pub. You actually feel it the moment you walk in the door. The atmosphere embraces you like an old friend. You might have never have crossed its threshold before but you know exactly where you are and why you are there.

But what makes the perfect beer pub? Is it the building and its location? Is it the people who work there? The people who drink there? The beers they serve? There are thousands of places selling beer in the UK – but how many are perfect beer pubs? Sadly not many.

A two-bar, street corner local, the Barley Mow, in Soutshea, Portsmouth is an Enterprise Pub, was shut when Judith Burr took it on. But a few short years later is it experiencing a resurgence thanks to her vision and enthusiasm. The Barley Mow is no foodies pub, the offering is simple chilli con carne, baked potato, a toastie or a roll. But beer is at the heart of this perfect pub. The pub now has seven different beer pumps on the bar. It started with two.

The pub serves Gales HSB & Fullers London Pride permanently and four guest ales from a wide variety of breweries. Hopback, Hogsback, Ringwood, Hooknorton, Tripple FFF & The Hidden Brewery & a mild to name but a few. It is in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and the pub has close links with the local branch.

Judith said:“I see real ale as the way forward. We offer variety and choice and say we can find a beer for any customer. Quality starts in the cellar and all the staff are trained to clean a beer line when a new cask is put on. Our customer range from students to college professionals, workmen and retired people. Ladies can come in on their own or in small groups because they feel safe.

“Beer drinkers are better behaved, they come in for a drink and rather than get drunk. We have comfortable seating because most people want to relax.

A perfect local - the Barley Mow in Portsmouth

A perfect local - the Barley Mow in Portsmouth

“You have to be brave to be successful at selling beer as you will sometimes lose beer and have to throw it away. There is no point in struggling to sell something if it is going off. But it pays off in the end.”


Written by timhampson

August 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm

One Response

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  1. I live in Bloemfotein in the Free State in South Africa . I will visit the UK this year and I’ll have a beer with you for sure Judy

    Bob Allam

    January 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm

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