The most hidden new pub in Bristol you’ll need a map to find
But the journey for a pint is completely worth it
and live on Freeview channel 276
It has to be one of the strangest walks for a post-work pint I’ve ever taken. Hopping off the WestLINK bus in Broomhill, I trudged along a gravel path crossing Brislington Meadows before arriving on the edge of the Bonville Industrial Estate.
A look down the road of large brick units, and even a Boeing 727 plane-turned-office, made me pull out my phone and check Google Maps again. ‘Yes, this is right’ I told myself as I walked down the near deserted road to suddenly see the freshly-painted blue HQ of Hop Union Brewery.
There was even an A-board sign: ‘Taproom and shop NOW OPEN’ for any other lost stranglers.
It’s not a brewery which will sound familiar as it’s the new name for Great Western Brewing Company, which until last year was based and brewing beer at a site known as The Old Bakery in the dip of the Bristol Road in Hambrook.
The new home was taken on in 2019 just before the Covid pandemic. And with the support of almost 200 people through a crowdfunder, the company was able to finish its brewhouse with upgraded equipment, and, finally, open a taproom last month.
Walking inside stylishly-designed interior of the brewery on Friday evening, it was clear the owners, who also run the Rising Sun in Frampton Cotterell, were aiming to make the taphouse the hub of the site.
The open space features a tiled bar area, several tall tables with seating and an open window giving a view on to the brewing operation (tours available). Although, when I turned up all the staff had finished and were enjoying a deserved beer in the corner.
Outside there is a small courtyard area in the delivery yard with seating which captured the evening sun perfectly.
The drinks hadn’t changed despite the move - but it was hard to recognise which ones I’d tried due to the change in labeling. My favourite, Maiden Voyage, a best bitter, was still there and priced at just £3.90 for a pint.
The brewery also had a pale ale called Bonville pale ale, also priced at £3.90 and an American pale ale called Moose River, at £4.10. Its newest beer, an India pale lager called Two Steppin’ was £4.25.
I sat outside with Mark, and although the taproom wasn’t busy (could be down to the Bedminster Beer Trail), there was a steady stream of cyclists and families calling in for a drink. ‘Isn’t this lovvvvely’ said one woman as she came outside, beer in hand.
With the rise in popularity of brewery taprooms, Hop Union Brewery will be hoping to latch on to the trend. They just might need a few more signs.
Hop Union Brewery, 20 Bonville Rd, Brislington, Bristol BS4 5QH