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14 new Shropshire entries added to latest Good Beer Guide to nation’s top pubs

The latest edition of a prestigious guide to the nation's best pubs features 14 new entries from across Shropshire.

LAST PIC/   DAVID HAMILTON PIC / SHROPSHIRE STAR PIC 31/5/21 At the Kings Yard Micropub, Shifnal, (left-right) staff members Emma Hassall, owner Adam Caton, Max Langford, and Hayley Fisher..
LAST PIC/ DAVID HAMILTON PIC / SHROPSHIRE STAR PIC 31/5/21 At the Kings Yard Micropub, Shifnal, (left-right) staff members Emma Hassall, owner Adam Caton, Max Langford, and Hayley Fisher..

A total of 51 pubs across the county feature in 2023 Good Beer Guide, produced by the Campaign for Real Ale.

Bridgnorth does particularly well, with eight pubs featured in the 50th edition of the book. It is beaten only by Shrewsbury, which has 13 pubs listed.

But the guide notes that the county has lost more than a quarter of its breweries since the last edition was published at the end of 2021.

The latest edition shows the county has 14 breweries, with five of them being lost over the past year.

Most notable of these was Wood Brewery in Wistanstow, South Shropshire, which had recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

The Corvedale brewery, based at the Sun Inn at Corfton near Craven Arms, has also suspended brewing due to the recent sale of the pub, although it is expected to resume soon.

The guide also features 33 pubs and nine breweries in Mid Wales.

The popular Three Tuns Inn in Bishop's Castle, one of the 'Famous Four' brewing pubs to feature in the first edition of The Good Beer Guide, makes a welcome return for 2023 after a period of absence. Now run as a separate entity, it continues to source its beer from the neighbouring brewery.

In Bridgnorth, the Black Horse, Fosters Arms and George are all new for 2023, joining The Black Boy, Golden Lion, Old Castle, Railwayman's Arms and Shakespeare Inn which all retain their place from last year.

The Fosters Arms, Bridgnorth

The 17th century Gaskell Arms Hotel in Much Wenlock is a new addition for 2023, with mention made of its beamed ceilings, open fires and bay windows. It joins the George & Dragon which also appeared in the 2022 guide. The Huntsman, at the foot of the Wrekin in Little Wenlock, is also a new entrant.

The Apple Tree at Onibury, which served for a time as a shop, is praised for its quirky appearance, and emphasis on beer and conversation.

The Kings Yard in Shifnal is typical of the growing trend towards micropubs, small bars often created in former shop units. The guide notes that two of the handpulls are dedicated to Wye Valley beers, with at least one dark beer also available. The Anvil Inn and Plough Inn, also in Shifnal, have kept their listings from last year.

At Kinlet, on the road between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster, the 17th century Eagle & Serpent is praised for welcoming atmosphere and log fire.

The Red Lion in Market Drayton retains its place.

Over in the Shropshire Hills, the Green Dragon at Little Stretton is another new entry.

"The pub's L-shaped bar has a comfortable and welcoming feel, and the pleasant dining areas are always popular," says the guide.

The Green Dragon, Little Stretton

"A collection of wonderfully shaped clay pipes on the bar wall may be of interest."

The Yew Tree in Church Stretton retains its place.

The 17th century Blue Boar and 14th century Church Inn are new entries for Ludlow, the latter having received a comprehensive refurbishment.

The Blue Boar at Ludlow

Of the Church, the guide says: "The ground-floor drinking area has a contemporary feel with a range of seating. The upstairs seating area has spectacular views of the church of St Laurence, from which the pub takes its name."

Ludlow Brewing Co's tap house in the old railway shed keeps its place, along with the Charlton Arms and Rose & Crown.

Shrewsbury has 13 pubs in the guide, with Brunning & Price's Armoury and J D Wetherspoon's Shrewsbury Hotel making the guide.

The Armoury, Shrewsbury
The Shrewsbury Hotel, Shrewsbury..

The riverside Armoury in Victoria Quay, which originally was an armoury, is praised for its excellent food and tasting notes, while the guide notes the number of nooks and crannies in the Shrewsbury Hotel.

Old favourites including the timber-framed Nag's Head in Wyle Cop, the Salopian Bar – which has seen extensive refurbishment since the 2020 floods and the 15th century Three Fishes all retain their places, as do the Abbey at Monkmoor, Admiral Benbow and Coach & Horses in Swan Hill, Cross Foxes at Longden Coleham, and Prince of Wales at Belle Vue.

The Loggerheads in Church Street is described as having a nationally important historic interior.

The Tap & Can at Castle Gates and Woodman in Coton Hill also retain their places.

There are no new entries in the Telford area, but seven pubs are listed including the Crown Inn, Old Fighting Cocks and Station Hotel at Oakengates. In Wellington, the Pheasant Inn and William Withering retain their place, as does the Coracle Micropub and Beer Shop in Ironbridge and the All Nations in Madeley.

The 15th century Royal Oak at Cardington, reputedly Shopshire's oldest continually licensed pub, features again, as does the White Horse Inn at Clun and the Royal Oak at Ellerdine Heath.

Over in Oswestry, the Bailey Head in the town centre and the Stonehouse brewery tap in nearby Weston are listed once more, as does the Lion o'Morfe in Upper Farmcote, near Claverley.

Over the border in Wales, the Abermule Inn between Newtown and Montgomery is among the new entries.

The King's Head in Guilsfield is new for 2023, along with the Greyhound in Llangunllo. The Old Bakehouse micropub in Welshpool makes the guide for the first time, having opened on the site of an old bakehouse last year.

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