101 star bars (#5): The Flowerpot, Derby

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

Derby was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the brewing industry, and its best pub is wonderfully short on frills. No gastro-pubbery, no Muzak, no pretensions. Instead, it's cosy, scruffy, chatty, friendly, open from noon to midnight and full of beer. The front bars serve half a dozen special-edition local ales, together with an ever-changing selection (check the 20 on the blackboard) brought up from the teeming cellars; they range from the super-pale Bishop's Gold to the gutsy Marston's Pedigree, the "wheat beer" Show White and lots of fancy names from the Hartington and Whim breweries. At the back bar, you'll find a glass-fronted "stillage area" where a dozen casks are on display, showing the plastic tubes that connect to beer taps.

The service is friendly, the food confined to excellent rolls, and there's a small patio for (post-July) smokers. The walls are covered with posters for music venues, and the Flowerpot's teeming back room is famous for bonsai rock gigs. They mostly feature tribute bands but if you're lucky you'll catch ex-Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson doing his deranged-robot strut.

The pub mounts regular beer festivals, under the Camra umbrella. I can't think why they bother. You feel utterly drenched in beer-worship and ale-connoisseurship just walking into this jolly über-boozer any day of the week. E

23-25 King Street, Derby (01332 204955)

Comments