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Leicester

    
                Swan & Rushes                                       Ale Wagon                                      Criterion Free House                                The Salmon     
 
I have received an update on pubs to visit in Leicester before and/or after any sporting or social event, many thanks Dave, however, have a look in the Good Beer Guide for more decent establishments too, but the following are my own personal favourites, and with the advice taken advantage of.  The Swan & Rushes, 19 Infirmary Square LE1 5WR (0116 233 9167), is where I usually visit before and after matches, consequently, this would be my own first choice.  A lovely 'real' pub interior and exterior from the 1930s, great beers, decent food, friendly service, great mixing of home and away fans, football and rugby union; indeed, I regularly meet up with some Leicester fans I know here when in town. 
 

A few years ago a match coincided with the Leicester Beer Festival, and I tend to avoid beer festivals (not for me, every day can be a 'festival' if you know where to go), but the Swan & Rushes had its own beer festival at the same time.  More beers were on the bar than usual, and also a makeshift bar was outside in the garden, excellent.   Usually there are up to 9 ales, the regulars being Batemans XB, Oakham JHB and Bishops Farewell (which my brother enjoyed drinking on a recent visit, thanks to Dan for the photograph, by the way), plus they have real cider on draught.  Good value food is available lunchtimes and evenings.

Also suggested to me is the Ale Wagon, 27 Rutland Street LE1 1RE (0116 262 3330), which is a city centre pub with a 1930s interior and oak staircase, and still run by the Hoskins’ family, whose ales are now brewed for them by Belvoir. Regular ales are Hobs Bitter, IPA and Old navigation, seasonal and guest ales are also served, and there is real cider on draught too.

The Criterion Free House, 44 Millstone Lane LE1 5JN (0116 262 5418) is a 1960s city centre pub that offers up to 10 real ales that regularly change, and more than 100 bottles beers, and real cider on draught.  Pub food is available Sundays and Mondays, and Italian Pizzas (their speciality) other days.

CAMRA’s local pub of the year for 2012 is The Salmon, 19 Butt Close LE1 4QA (0116 253 2301), which is a recently refurbished Victorian back street free house.  They have 6 regularly changing ales, mainly from microbreweries, and including a mild, and serve real cider on draught too.

www.drinkaware.co.uk

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