Birmingham’s Lamp Tavern is top bar none when it comes to the best St Patrick’s Day pint in Britain.
For the last three years our anonymous reviewer Stout has supped his way from pub to pub all in search of the country’s tastiest pints.
But this St Patrick’s Day we chose three apprentices and sent them out in London, Manchester and Birmingham with one goal – to find Britain’s best pint of Guinness.
Armed with Stout’s unique scoring chart, our trio hit the streets to seek out the black stuff.
Marks out of five were awarded for the all-important pour, taste, appearance and overall ambience.
Essex lad Davey Lamb chose his two favourite pubs in the capital for his tasting session – the Coach and Horses on Wellington Street, Covent Garden and Waxy O’Connor’s in London’s West End.
Both bars were neck and neck, with the Coach and Horses taking the top spot in London by just one point with a score of 18.
The Coach and Horses is a great friendly little pub in the bustling heart of Theatreland,” said Davey, who family ties lie in Dublin. “But you can’t fault Waxy O’Connor’s. There’s always a great buzz on big Irish sporting occasions and some good live music.”
Meanwhile in Manchester Co Armagh man Steven Grimes headed straight for The Albert in Withington and Fiddlers Green in Levenshulme. The Albert, with 18 points, came in just ahead of Fiddlers at 16.
“The real authentic unmistakable Guinness taste was evident from the first sip,” Steven said after drinking his pint in the Albert. “It’s as good a pint as I’ve tasted anywhere and obviously from a well-kept cellar.
He added: “It’s also a nice friendly pub with a Mayo man celebrating 51 years as a licensee in charge. If he couldn’t keep a great pint, who can?”
Steven also praised the price and pouring of his pint in Fiddlers Green. “The pint tasted well, but there was just something missing in the taste,” he said, “However the barmaid did as perfect a pour as you will ever see and obviously knows her trade in this very friendly pub.”
And finally in Birmingham – where our eventual winner was crowned, Guinness drinker Ton Longden chose to go to The Spotted Dog and The Lamp Tavern – both in Digbeth.
John Tighe from Co. Roscommon has run The Spotted Dog for 27 years, while Eddie Fitzpatrick from Co. Offaly has been the landlord of The Lamp Tavern on Barford Street for 18 years.
Of our winning pub, which scored an unprecedented 20 out of 20 taster Tom said: “The Lamp Tavern offers wonderful nostalgic surroundings to enjoy the best Guinness is Birmingham by far… as quoted by many a customer!” But he was almost as enamoured with the Spotted Dog, which scored 17.
“It’s a fantastic traditional family run pub boasting lovely Guinness but the mild is the best at this place,” he added.
So as our apprentices headed home, thirsts truly quenched, it was over to the real deal – Stout himself – for the final say.
“Stout is warmed to hear the top-ups are tip top up the country,” he said. “So keep pulling them patiently…and drinking them that way too!”
See below for the full score cards for each pub.
Coach and Horses
42 Wellington St
14-16 Rupert Street
The Albert Pub
454 Wilmslow Road
The Fiddlers Green
881 Stockport Road
The Spotted Dog
104 Warwick St
The Lamp Tavern
257 Barford Street