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“A warm welcome”
Review of Bridge End Inn

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Bridge End Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Ruabon
Attraction details
Wrexham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A warm welcome”
Reviewed December 8, 2012

How can anyone sane leave a scathing review without actually being a customer? Many locals now have made the business decision that it is uneconomical to open weekday lunchtimes. The Bridgend is a small village pub that serves good real ale from welcoming staff. No television, no juke box, no bandits etc. Just somewhere to enjoy a pint and have a chat. No food but you can bring your own if you wish.

Visited December 2012
9 Thank Andy13191
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Poor choice of CAMRA Pub of the Year is PoTY”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

My review on this pub is not entirely positive I'm afraid having made a visit one lunchtime in May 2012. My wife and I travelled from Buckinghamshire to Ruabon to sample their fare, inspired by the glowing reports in the CAMRA press, but on arrival were actually turned away by the landlady. It was around 1.00pm when we arrived; we were told they just don't open at lunchtimes at all mid-week. Isn’t this why there are pubs, to water and feed travellers up and down the land? I was left wondering exactly what the criteria were for CAMRA choosing this pub as the National Pub of the Year (PoTY); it would clearly seem not friendly customer service, provision of food or opening times. It doesn't matter how good the beer is if customers can't even get through the door.

We were hoping to have lunch, but even if they had been open for business, we were informed that the only food available was scotch eggs. The front door was actually unlocked when we arrived and after parking the car we found ourselves in one of the dark, empty bars, tantalisingly looking at the inviting-looking row of pumps, only to be met by the landlady and escorted off the premises. She explained that it was a mistake that she had left the door open but did recommend two other hostelries in the village but we didn't fancy them; one was a hotel, the other a small pub which didn't serve real ale.

My wife used to live and go to school locally so we did have an additional interest in the area. Fortunately, after being shown the door of the Bridge End Inn, still hungry and thirsty, we went on a few miles to the Boat Inn at Erbistock and had some excellent Weetwood Ales and very good lunch, topped by excellent friendly service in an idyllic location on the River Dee. The Boat would certainly get my vote for PoTY any day. It is more off the beaten track by comparison with the Bridge End Inn which is on a main road, but well worth the trouble in my view. Surprisingly The Boat at Erbistock doesn't even get a mention in TGB Guide ! What does a pub have to do?

I am left wondering exactly how a pub qualifies for CAMRA PoTY. Just what are the criteria and who in the CAMRA inner circle decide? We came away from the Bridge End Inn not only hungry, thirsty and disappointed but wondering how it could be that such a place even got into the reckoning for CAMRA National PoTY. Surely it's not only the beer, important though this is. But a welcoming landlord/landlady, sensible opening hours and a good selection of food should be a minimum provision to qualify for such esteem and national exposure as this pub is getting from CAMRA this year.

This is an age of pub closures, even those open all hours every day of the week. Pubs are being forced to close at a rate of half a dozen a week largely due to high taxes on alcohol. CAMRA is certainly instrumental in trying to reverse this trend by lobbying and this is something I do support. It’s hardly credible therefore that any pub these days could financially survive at all if they’re only open for half the week unless being run at a loss or as a hobby.

Furthermore cask conditioned beer, once the cask is tapped, needs to be served within a few days to ensure its best possible condition. It mystifies me therefore that any pub should actually choose voluntarily to reduce its weekly opening times and thereby its beer turnover, risking the quality of its ale. I expect the landlords of all those closed pubs up and down the country with shuttered up windows might be equally as mystified.

I have been in dialogue with CAMRA officials with my concerns about this pub’s selection as PoTY and I read other reviews here on TA expressing similar views. It remains puzzling to me not only how the CAMRA PoTY is selected but also how a very hard working pub like the Boat Inn at Erbistock, itself having overcome closures in recent times, remains omitted even from CAMRA TGB Guide let alone in contention for the acclaimed PoTY. At least TA provides a forum for these reviews on an equal footing.

Visited May 2012
12 Thank davowolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Pretty good, but not National Pub of the Year Standard”
Reviewed September 27, 2012

I couldn't miss the opportunity of stopping at the CAMRA pub of the year 2013 for a quick pint just after opening time around 5pm. It was a decent pub, probably very good for the area, and the beer was fine (but not exceptional), but I've been in many pubs that I would put before it in terms of this type of prestigious award. In terms of what has been achieved in a bit of a real ale backwater, all credit to the Bridge, but can't really see why it was chosen from so many competitors.

Visited September 2012
4 Thank Frank B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruabon, Wales, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Excellent Beer”
Reviewed June 9, 2012

We live only a few hundred yards form the Bridge End Inn and do not go out for a drink very often, but when friends stay over we always take them here. The traditional set up, friendly service and excellent choice of superb beers - some brewed onsite always impresses.

Visited April 2012
5 Thank Baschurchbill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Thanks for the welcome!”
Reviewed June 5, 2012

Had decide to visit the pub after reading it had won CAMRA pub of the year. We were not disappointed as we happened to visit the weekend of their beer festival! Beer (& cider!!) was great, as were the pork baps & the welcome from staff & other customers! Roaring fire was a welcome as Wales did it's best with torrential rain. Don't want to publicise it too much though - Ruabon's & our secret!!!

Visited June 2012
2 Thank Miss1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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