The Queen Street Brewhouse – Opening Day

7 Queen Street, Colchester CO1 2PG

Queen St BrewhouseColchester (1)Within a stone’s throw of Colchester Castle, the Queen Street Brewhouse opened today, in what is reputedly the oldest continuously commercial property in town. And as Colchester is, as we all know, (more than) England’s Oldest Record Town, that’s saying something.

The building has been a town centre bar in recent years, but falling vacant, Andy Skene of the Domininion Brewery in Ongar, who has lived in Colchester for some time, took the opportunity with both hands, and in no time at all the building has been repurposed as a real ale/Belgian beer bar.

It opened at 11am today, and I had to wait until 5pm to pop in, and it lived up to what I had been hoping for (after the disappointment of nearby The Three Wise Monkeys in terms of that pub’s so-so real ale provision.) It’s a lovely old building, characterful, and with a great bar than Andy explained was much more than he had hoped for when taking on the lease. On the bar were half a dozen real ales from local breweries, including of course his own Dominion beers. I opted from the Black Panther from the Norfolk Panther Brewery, and that was in good form, rich and satisfying. There were bottled beers aplenty, wine, some keg (including the Pitfield Brewery London Porter).

There will be live music at the pub (there is a band on tonight, the opening night) and a record player sits at the end of the bar, with punters encouraged to bring in their own vinyl to play. Propped up against the wall were a stack of LPs, topmost being ELO’s ‘Out of the Blue’ which I think was one of the first LPs I bought, in about 1977, feeling very grown up after having previously only ever bough Showaddywaddy albums on cassette. Mind you, the ELO album was quickly hidden away as punk arrived. I have a huge box of punk LPs I could bring to the pub, but I would give myself a hernia carrying the bugger, it’s so heavy.

So folks, feast your eyes on the pix below, and get yourself to The Queen Street Brewhouse. I did tweet that I can see stiff opposition for The Victoria Inn for the mantle of Colchester CAMRAs Pub of the Year. And do use the upstairs loos, the low ceilings and doors and wonky floor are a treat!