Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Vaga Tavern, Hereford

Alongside the extensive free-trade supplied throughout the West Midlands and beyond, Herefordshire's Wye Valley Brewery has a small but growing estate of excellent traditional pubs. Good news for anyone who, like me, greatly appreciate their pale, hoppy, and wonderfully refreshing Hereford Pale Ale (HPA) on a hot summers day, or the superb rich Dorothy Goodbody's Wholesome Stout when it's not so warm. I've been great a fan of Wye Valley ales since the brewery's early days when based in a stable block at the rear of the then Lamb Inn in Hereford. Subsequently re-named The Barrels, this is still essentially the brewery tap even though the brewery has re-located, and a must-visit ale house for beer fans and pub enthusiasts alike.

The Vaga Tavern is one of several recent additions to the Wye Valley estate, and another which is well worth seeking out for a pint in the city. Located a short walk from the centre of town, and perhaps best approached via a pleasant walk alongside the river Wye rather than attempting to negotiate the labyrinthine streets of the Hunderton Estate which the pub serves. It's a terrific community local, an ideal fit for the brewery who's mission statement includes a desire to champion '... pubs as important parts of local communities'. An excellent sentiment, and one worthy of raising a pint of HPA to when next you visit Hereford.

Local pub games are very well represented at the Vaga in the shape of a very tidy Skittle Alley projecting off the public bar. A Quoits Board is also in use, though currently only in the Wednesday night Womens League due to a mix-up with scheduling the mens game. League fixtures for Darts and Pool are also firm favourites with the locals at the Vaga Tavern.

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