Seeing as I’ve already discussed the great pubs of Manchester in a previous post, it would only be fair to spend some time to focus on that city’s great rival: Liverpool.
Thanks to their close proximity, constantly warring football teams and their historical nature as competitors in industry, its likely that both cities will forever be pitted against each other, but it would be wrong to label them as simply two sides of the same coin. Drinking in Liverpool is a vastly different experience. Where Manchester is characterised by its bustling streets and expensive brasseries, Liverpool offers great value at many venues, not to mention a city centre that is much easier to navigate, especially once you’re a few pints deep.
Most importantly (and bear in mind that this is purely my own opinion), I’ve found that drinking in Liverpool is an incredible social experience. Drop into the right boozer in this city and you could easily find yourself chatting to locals for hours and you’ll be hard-pressed to leave without having a few drinks bought for you by complete strangers. As I’ve already mentioned, Liverpool’s pints are cheaper than Manchester’s on average by almost 50p per pint at £3.45, but you can easily find cask ales on sale for as little as £2.50.
The following pubs have been highlighted for their unique flavour, quality pints and general atmosphere:
Although traditionalists may baulk at the pastel colours and ‘instragrammable’ appeal of this recently opened public house, it can’t be denied that the proprietors have done a fine job transforming what used to be a Pan-Asian restaurant into a comfortable, trendy modern pub. This is a far cry from some of the old man pubs that make up Liverpool’s bread and butter, and exotic house plants, such as a vibrant bégonia maculata, sourced by local suppliers Root, are nestled in corners, giving this pub a floral vibe that suits the airy light environs. Pints aren’t cheap, but this is one example where atmosphere trumps value.
Just down the road, on the ever-evolving Hardman Street, you’ll find The Roscoe Head, a gloriously stubborn micropub which predates any craft beer fad that might have made its offerings seem mundane by today’s standards. The service is a little curt here, but the cheap prices and incredibly unique surroundings offer a decent trade-off and makes this a must-visit pub. Stop by during the day for a quick one, as the pub soon fills up with locals in the evening.
Peter K’s, as its affectionately known by its patrons, is a much more expansive boozer that honours the time-worn pub tradition of covering any open space with as much bric-a-brac as possible. As this pub is a couple of minutes walk outside the city centre proper you’ll find that it’s frequented by more locals and students than visiting tourists, so you’re likely to find a more authentic Liverpool experience here. Crowned Liverpool’s CAMRA pub of the year in 2019, there’s no other establishment quite like it in the city.
Whilst this hip basement hangout comes off more as a restaurant/bar than a pub, its wide selection of international beers and rotating cask ales make it a top choice for adventurous drinkers. The food offered here is a far cry from traditional pub fare but compliments the beer selection. What’s more, the cosy yet stylish design comes courtesy of local architects, Architectural Emporium, who have styled many other fine bars in the city, including the excellent Buyer’s Club (which can be found around the corner off Hardman Street). Pints here are pricey, but I’ve never felt cheated considering the fine quality of the drink on offer.