I ain’t gonna even lie and pretend that the vast majority of my paychecks doesn’t go to hanging out in the awesome boozers in Chester. But that means I am in the know about where you should go and indulge in whatever’s your poison.
So here you are, folks. Wihtout further ado and in no particular order: the 7 awesome bars in Chester you just have to visit.
Where: 10 Commonhall St, Chester CH1 2BJ
What: I’ve had a soft spot for these guys ever since they were “Got Wine” a lifetime ago. But now they are a funky backstreet boozer where amazing cocktails are made, wine is always at the right temperature and beer is a-flowing. It’s bang in the centre but hidden just around the corner from the highstreet so you used to have to be in the know to know about it. Nowadays it’s a part of the fabric of the city but it’s kept its character and flips two fingers at conforming to the tastes of the masses. They also have the best beer garden in the city – fact. It has a ping pong table.
Craft & Company
Where: 24 Watergate Row North, Chester CH1 2LD
What: My newest love. Nestled on the rows of Chester, this little beast has beers, rums, tequilas and whiskeys I have never heard of. Or dreamed of. Or even dared to dream of. It’s almost like someone thought of the most insane liquor possible, bottled it and then these guys found it and thought “that would make someone like Kat really happy”. I keep taking people here because the stuff these guys serve is so unique you can’t find it anywhere else in Chester, and it’s served by bar staff who know everything and then some there is to know about it.
Goat & Munch
Where: 52 Garden Ln, Chester CH1 4EW
What: The newest kid on the block and a little off the beaten track but if you let that deter you from visiting you’re missing out big time and I have no sympathy for you. They always have top beers and ciders on tap and their fridge is full of wonderful wine, bubbly and whatnot. So regardless of what’s your poison, they probably have it. The Goat may be only a year and some of age but it feels like it’s been there forever, and long may it reign. It’s snug and it gets full quickly but there’s always room for one more.
Where: 8-10 Hoole Rd, Chester CH2 3NH
What: If you thought I couldn’t possibly have any love for a traditional community boozer, you were wrong and you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself. Nah I kid, I forgive you. The Lodge used to be my local watering hole when I lived in Hoole and even though I’m further afield now I have a lot of love for it still. The beer is good, it’s cheap, and there’s always someone you know there. Usually me.
Where: 14 Cuppin St, Chester CH1 2BN
What: Here there be pirates! Well, not really, but you’ll feel like one when you enter this little tiki bar. It’s like a secret pirate cove and at no time will you ever have to ask “but why is the rum gone” because they have a hundred and one different kinds. The cocktails are insane and so’s the staff. Points if you count all the pineapples and flamingos in this place.
Where: 2 Duke St, Chester CH1 1RP
What: Whenever a friend of mine comes to Chester for the first time I always take them to the Cross Keys. Because look at these photos. That’s why. It’s simultaneously the most traditional and the edgiest place in town. It looks like you were whisked to the Victorian era but the beer is so modern it makes your head spin. They’ve always got some crazy stuff on as well, from pub quizzes to Irish music nights to contemporary theatre. I’m kinda in love with this place.
Where: 121 Brook St, Chester CH1 3DU
What: For the past few years Deva’s only gone and won best brewery and best beer awards left right and centre so it was only a matter of time before they opened a tap room. And open they did, and now no one has to hunt down their award-winning beers, they’re all neatly available here. They’re conveniently a stone throw away from the train station too so whether you’re on your way in or out of town you can pop in for a pint.
Have I missed out any top bars in Chester? Let me know in the comments.