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Criterion, Leicester

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user reviews of the Criterion, Leicester

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Paid a return visit to the Criterion yesterday. It didn't feel quite as good as my last visit. There were still plenty of ales on - The Pig Pub Pig Out, Kelham Island Pale Rider, 8 Sail Bard's Bitter, Nelson Midshipman Dark Mild, Tres Bien Parakeet, Market Harborough Hoppy Pale Ale, Salopian Darwin's Origin, Shardlow Slayed & Langton Bowler. Cider was Charnwood Appley 'Av Another & Rockingham Forest Dabinett. The ciders were farm. But the Mild was poor. The pub was also much busier than on our last visit. I think I'd still rate this as just about Leicester's best pub.
blue_scrumpy - 8 May 2016 16:15
2 DOZEN rare Xmas real ales to try from mid December.

Christmas Cobs return + Pudding, Mince Pies, Sherry, Port & Stilton!

Large parties and table reservations advised.

MIND Charity fundraiser Sun 25th 3-8pm inc. raffle

Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival 4-22 Feb.
alemonkey - 2 Dec 2014 14:42
Lively pub, a bit more dog-eared than previously when Grant Cooke (he of the Swan and Rushes) was the proprietor. Manager is still the same, and now runs it with a friendly lass, who seems to do all of his smiling for him.
Beer range is slightly more limited than previously, but all on good form. Crowd seems a lot younger than before too!!
Definitely worth the visit.
alewarrior - 28 Nov 2014 12:32
German Oktoberfest bottled beer now in stock!

Leicester Branch CAMRA AGM Wed 22nd Oct will be a tight squeeze so arrive early for pizza and seats for the quiz in the main bar only.

Day Of The Dead Beer Festival from Friday 31st October includes Hales ales, some Halloween specials, Transylvanian red wine and craft bottled beer from Mexico.

British Sausage Week returns 3rd - 9th November.
alemonkey - 24 Sep 2014 18:57
The Criterion looks a bit rough from the outside. But once inside, it's a great little backstreet boozer with an excellent selection of real ales and ciders. Yesterday's ale selection was Wentworth Speckled Wood Best Bitter & Challenge, Abbeydale Dr Morton's Implant Jammer & Cabby Chino Porter, Kelham Island King of the Rocket Men, Oakham Black Baron (8.8%!), Green Devil IPA & Citra, The Pig Pub Weiner Bitter, Gado's Festivale & Ramsbury Reach For the Sky. Ciders were Charnwood Pure, Newton Court Blackcurrant & Westcroft Janet's Jungle Juice. Two of these were new ones for me. If we had any criticism, it was with the quality of some of the beers. We found out that the landlord had been away on holiday and the beers had been put on in the wrong order. Nevertheless an excellent pub and my new favourite in Leicester. Worthy of a 9/10 for me and I don't normally award 9 or 10's!
blue_scrumpy - 17 Aug 2014 16:06
Meet the Brewer Night- Tues 8th July @ 7:30pm.

Special guests from the Navigation Brewing Co. Notts.

6+ of their ales to try of their summer ale range.

Give-aways and prizes!
alemonkey - 2 Jul 2014 14:54
Ginger Grouse Ginger Beer tasting night Tues 10th June. 8pm+

St. Bernadus Abbey Beers promo launch Tues 24th June. 8pm+

World Cup 2014 games on big screen with big sound! Special Pizzas!

ID4 July. USA beers, burgers, bourbons and bands.

10th Cheese & Cider Festival. 21st - 27th July.
alemonkey - 20 May 2014 13:31
12 Welshe ales for you to sample from St. David's Day, 1st March.

British Pie Week returns! First week in Mar = Mon 3rd -Sun 8th Mar.

Meet the Brewer Night confirmed Tues 11th from 7pm.

Irish ales?! Hoping to source more than just keg Guinness for you ok!
alemonkey - 21 Feb 2014 15:04
Meet the Brewer Night- Tues 11th March @ 8pm.

Special guests from the Derby Brewing Co.

6+ of their ales to try of their Spring ale range.

Give-aways and prizes!
alemonkey - 5 Feb 2014 13:45
Been way to busy- sorry I forgot to blog the Trafalgar Naval ales beer festival!

Christmas is coming and we'll be offering our famous Xmas cobs, mince pies, mulled wine, sherry, port + stilton & crackers plus a range of special ales. Mid week fun with festive quizzes and sports. Live music Thurs -Sat- check lislings for details.Open Sundays all day now and early opening on relevant home rugby / footie matches. Shut 25th Dec. 26th football day TBC & defo on 1st Jan, ok.


alemonkey - 29 Nov 2013 17:03
Currently closed on Sundays over the summer except for special occasions and bookings. Have a family party here!

Summer time promos on our new Facebook page- prizes to be won and offers available at The Criterion Free House social networking site. Be sure to connect to the correct one with photo of pub on home page.

Football on Sun 11th- open 1-4:30 and 6:30- as required.

Bourbon fans will enjoy our JIM BEAM HONEY promo night on Wed 14th Aug. With free tasters and our general knowledge quiz- starting from 8pm.

Open Sun 25th at 5pm for long weekend. 2 live rock bands from 8pm. Note we will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday 26th instead.


alemonkey - 6 Aug 2013 13:42
AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY FESTIVAL WEEKEND:
BOTTLED BEERS, BURGERS & BOURBONS! 4 - 6 JULY.

CIDER, PERRY & CHEESE FESTIVAL 15 -21 JULY.

2 HEAVY PUNK ROCK / METAL BANDS 28 JULY 8PM.

NO CHILDREN AFTER 8PM FOR ANY EVENTS, SORRY.
alemonkey - 3 Jul 2013 13:13
LIVE COMEDY NIGHTS-
Sat 22nd Jun 8-11pm. The Same Faces £4
Wed 26th Jun 8-11pm. FREE ENTRY!

LIVE INDIE ROCK BANDS
Sun 30th Jun 8-11pm. Electric Soup + TBC FREE!

NO UNDER 18'S PERMITTED. I.D. MAY BE REQUIRED.
alemonkey - 28 May 2013 13:41
MILD FOR MAY. 18 CASKS OF MILD OVER THE WHOLE MONTH.

NEW SEASONAL PIZZA MENU FOR SPRING.

2 BANK HOLIDAY SUNDAYS = LOUD ROCK BANDS @8PM. NO MINORS!
alemonkey - 26 Apr 2013 16:46
A pub of 2 halves, front bar had dominoes matches playing. The back bar had a rock music quiz going on. Nice beers on.
rpf1955 - 24 Mar 2013 13:01
BANK HOLIDAY LIVE ROCK BANDS- EASTER SUNDAY 28TH MARCH, MAY 5TH AND AFTER WHITSUN ON THE 26TH. EXTREME VOLUME NO UNDER 18'S PERMITTED.

KINGS & QUEENS ALE FESTIVAL 15TH -21ST APRIL.
alemonkey - 11 Mar 2013 14:04
ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER is back! With guest PATRIK FITZGERALD as an unofficial pre comedy festival treat. Tickets £8. No under 18's permitted. 7pm+

DAVE'S LEICESTER COMEDY FESTIVAL 8th-24th FEB. Tickests £5+

LEICESTER BIG EAT TUES 12th FEB 5:30 - 9pm.
BUY A 12" PIZZA FOR THE PRICE OF A 9" PIZZA

ST. VALENTINES DAY. WED 14th FEB. BUY A 12" PIZZA AND GET YOUR PARTNERS FOR THE PRICE OF A 9" PIZZA.

SHORT FILM CINEMA. WED 27th FEB. ENTRY £1.
alemonkey - 29 Jan 2013 14:24
HALLOWEEN QUIZ- 31st OCT

BRITISH SAUSAGE WEEK- 5th - 11th NOV

St. ANDREWS DAY- Scottish ales from Fri 30th onwards

Call now for Xmas bookings, parties- large groups require table reservations!
alemonkey - 30 Oct 2012 13:59
Good pub, well worth finding. 8 real aleas, I tried 4, and all were in good condition. Food was mainly pizza, and I am told they were good. I stuck with the rolls and they were good value at 1.75. Overall, a very pleasant lunch-time, pity about the football afterwards!
Dylanwing - 6 Oct 2012 23:14
Would rate this as the best alehouse in the city and I only wandered in by accident. Doesn't look grand from the outside but the interiror resembles a proper pub more than many these days. A good selection of ales well kept too.
Snarling_Mallard - 21 Sep 2012 18:01
ROCK BANDS- FREE ENTRY! - NO UNDER 18'S, SORRY.SUN 26TH AUG
ENJOY A LIE IN ON BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY!

LIGHT SIDE ALE FESTIVAL MON 17TH - SUN 23RD SEPT.

NATIONAL PIRATE DAY WED 19TH - PIRATE QUIZ FROM 8PM.

JENEVER TASTING NIGHT- CONTINENTAL GINS- WED 10 OCT, 8PM.

HALLOWEEN FUN TBC...
alemonkey - 23 Aug 2012 13:16
Nicely relaxed pub nestling on the edge of the city centre. The external view did not look inspiring (or at least it provoked a few of my preconceptions) but once inside it was a perfectly agreeable place to finish a successful Leicester crawl. All I can remember of the ale was of it being in fine fettle and dispensed courteously and precisely - spending too much time in the Swan and Rushes was taking it's toll so I didn't record the brews. Was asked by barman not to sing so loudly along with the jukebox, so sorry to any punters not able to carry on their conversations due to our racket. The pizzas are reportedly a major attraction, but we had run out of time. Will return, hopefully soon. Good one.
ILooklikeme - 10 Jun 2012 13:29
JUBILEE BANK HOLIDAY- CORONATION CHICKEN PIES & SPECIAL ALES & CUPCAKES! ROYAL QUIZ ON WED 5 FROM 8PM.

JULY 4-8 US INDEPENDENCE FEST- BANDS, BOTTLED BEERS, BOURBONS & BURGERS!

JULY 9-15 CIDER, PERRY & CHEESE FESTIVAL. CRACKERS!
alemonkey - 5 Jun 2012 19:09
WED APRIL 25TH JIM BEAM BOURBON NIGHT

MAY THE MILD BE WITH YOU... A MONTH LONG SPECIAL FESTIVAL WITH AT LEAST ONE MILD ON PER DAY FOR 4 OVER WEEKS

WED MAY 2ND BELBIAN BEER TASTING NIGHT

SUN MAY 6TH ROCK BAND "THE FISTERS" ENSURE YOU'LL HAVE A HEAD ACHE FOR THE BANK HOLIDAY- NOTE BIRTHDAY PARTY IN MAIN BAR WILL TAKE UP HALF THE ROOM SO SQUEEZE IN FOLKS!
alemonkey - 23 Apr 2012 14:39
BRITISH PIE WEEK- 2nd chance to enjoy not just pizza pie during local annual CAMRA festival. 5th - 11th March (kitchen hours only).

TITANIC CENTENNARY ALE FESTIVAL. 9th - 15th April. Follow the ships maiden voyage- in beer - with a timeline of 18 ales from Titanic Brewery, Stoke. Quiz on Wed from 8pm to mark the 100 year anniversary of event.

alemonkey - 17 Feb 2012 14:53
DAVE'S LEICESTER COMEDY FESTIVAL!!!

THE CRITERION IS PROUD TO PRESENT A WIDE VARIETY OF COMEDIANS OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS FROM 4TH - 19TH FEBRUARY 2012. (tickets not sold at the pub)

PLEASE CHECK THE COMEDY FESTIVAL TIMETABLE FOR DATES AND TIMES OF ACTS PERFORMING.

TRY OUR 'CHILLI CHALLENGE' - BUY 4 PINTS AND GET A 12" MARGHERITA PIZZA FOR FREE, BUT BEWARE, ONE SLICE HAS CHILLIS HIDDEN IN THE STUFFED CRUST!

Strictly over 18's only, Pizza will not be served during performances or in gig room. Book tickets and tables early to avoid disappointment.
alemonkey - 4 Feb 2012 14:47
Slake - If I had to check every beer, every day to ensure it wasn't on the turn I'd be drunk before we opened. Sometimes one has to gamble with some new breweries to cater for the tickers otherwise we'd sell nothing BUT Oakham ales. It's nice to give the micro-breweries some support but problem beers are not repeated. If you do have a problem with a pint we will always check the ale and exchange it and unfortunately I will be presenting less beers for festivals in future as people don't drink a wide variety and they deteriorate before they are sold.
alemonkey - 4 Feb 2012 14:39
You can buy 568ml of vinegar for about 1.50 in a supermarket. A pint of vinegar here costs about 2.80. I'd rather drink ale where it is fresh. The pizzas and staff are still some of the best in the city.
Slake - 17 Dec 2011 15:52
RARE CHRISTMAS ALES COMNG SOON. HOT MULLED WINE, MINCE PIES & SHERRY, PORT, STILTON & CRACKERS + OUR FAMOUS CHRISTMAS COBS RETURN! (PIZZA KITCHEN HOURS ONLY FOLKS)

WORKS DO'S AND DON'TS- BOOK NOW AND RESERVE TABLES.

XMAS EVE- CLOSE AT MIDNIGHT, NEW YEARS EVE CLOSE AT 4PM, RE-OPEN AT 6PM FOR INVITE ONLY CELEBRATION UNTIL 1AM. XXX

STRICTLY NO UNDER 18'S ALLOWED AFTER 8PM. PARENTS BUYING BOOZE FOR MINORS WILL BE BAKED IN THE OVEN UNTIL CRISPY.


alemonkey - 30 Nov 2011 15:04
BELGIAN BEER TASTING NIGHT WED 19TH- DE KONINCK DRAUGHT.

CAMRA AGM WED 26TH OCT 8- 11PM.

HALLOWEEN WEEKEND BEERS- AS USUAL A SURPRISE LIST WILL BE UNVEILED FRI- MON. HALLOWEEN DISCO SAT 29TH AND METAL BANDS SUN 3OTH.

BRITISH SAUSAGE WEEK 31ST OCT- 6TH NOV.

NORTH-EAST YORKS FEAST- 3 DOZEN+ ALES 14TH - 20TH NOV.
alemonkey - 3 Oct 2011 21:14
Criterion: Where can I find a list of breweries you are stocking this week from Wiltshire. Hoping that at some point in the week you'll have some from Box Steam Brewery?
alemageddon - 19 Sep 2011 22:39
36 real ales over 1 week- 19th to 25th Sept. Beer from Wiltshire so come dance around like you're at Stonehenge for the Autumn Equinox and quaff some druids fluid. Strictly no tie-dye. New bottled beers range available...
alemonkey - 12 Sep 2011 20:05
Great pub. Only pub in the UK I've found to stock rye whiskey.

Real ale was not the best in the city but still pretty good. Also an astonishing range of bottled beers (espeaclly from the Baltic States and Russia - answers on a postcard please).
jjsint - 1 Sep 2011 15:13
BANK HOLIDAY FUN- part of the Castle Park Festival- we're hosting LIVE ACTS all weekend inc COMEDY Sat pm (6 adv) and 2 ROCK BANDS Sun from 8pm- FREE! Pizza on specially for you from 4-8pm only on Sun. No under 18's. Come try the bottled beers from the Baltics. Next Ale Fest for the Autumn Equinox 19th-25th Sept with beers from Berks.& Wilts. X
alemonkey - 25 Aug 2011 15:19
Yes, it is a squat and ugly looking 1960s building. But get inside and you will discover a fabulous range of beers all in very fine condition. You must try the traditional pizzas with a massive range of toppings and really excellent value for money. Great traditional juke box too.
twohalves - 26 Jul 2011 11:34
BEER FESTIVAL- 1- 4 JULY. BOTTLED BEERS FROM US. An American Dream with creaft beers, bourbons. Burgers, hot dogs & chilli on Sun & Mon (US Independence day) only.

COMEDY- GEORGE RYEGOLD, WED 13TH JULY. OVER 18's ONLY.
Winner of Best Act Leics. Comedy Festival 2011 back for a special show.
^adv. ?8 on door + support tbc.

CIDER / PERRY / CHEESE FESTIVAL- 18- 24 JULY. 1 week long event with some superb farmhouse selections and cracking cheeses.

SONIC-ELECTRIC SUNDAY- Ska-Rock from Leics. own SMOKIN' THE PROFIT + Metal from FINAL COIL & guests tbc. Over 18's ONLY.
alemonkey - 1 Jul 2011 13:15
PIZZA COMPETITION WINNERS ANNOUNCED- NEW SUMMER MENU!

BLYTH POWER PUNK BAND & ATTILLA THE STOCKBROKER SUN 8TH MAY. @8PM. 10 FOR ADVANCE TICKETS.

SHORT FILM CINEMA WED 18TH MAY 1 ENTRY.@8PM.

TRAPPIST BEER NIGHT 8TH JUNE @8PM.

INDIE/ROCK GLASTO-KARAOKE SUN JUNE 26TH- FREE!
alemonkey - 5 May 2011 12:55
2nd St. George's Day ale fest kicks off Thurs through to Sun/Mon- stocks providing. A few Easter beers thrown in too.

4 days of LIVE music- Sun from 4pm is METAL- no under 18's at all!

Royal Wedding special ales with celebration PIES! Monthly cycle meet so book a seat to eat, folks!
alemonkey - 15 Apr 2011 17:04
Tucked away - like all the best ones are. Just about the ale - like all the best ones are. No frills other than welcoming staff and a basic jukebox, and that'll do me. WIll have to come back for both the pizza and the regular international ale theme nights too.
getsit - 27 Mar 2011 14:23
St. David's Day 1st Mar- 7 Welsh ales available. CAMRA meeting on 2nd.

BRITISH PIE WEEK is 7th- 13th Mar during Leics. annual CAMRA festival.

Pizza competition- create and name a new dish for our specials board and receive prizes! Promo ends Sat 30th Apr, winner announced Wed 3rd May.

Easter weekend & St. George's Day Apr 23rd clash for a full on live music, beer & food Bank Holiday of fun. Sunday metal starts at 5pm until til 11pm.
alemonkey - 12 Feb 2011 14:22
COMEDY FESTIVAL- NO tickets sold at pub. Get here early to eat as no food allowed in front bar due to acts and seating plan. Pizza available on Mon 7th & 14th due to demand (pm only) & 4 pizza deal on for festival only.

3 months of Sun rock/indie/metal confirmed for last Sundays of the month.

La Chouffe night rescheduled for Wed 23rd Feb- tasting night from 8pm..


alemonkey - 3 Feb 2011 21:59
The Criterion Crew will be here every day in Dec except to celebrate the birthday of Lord Jesus and suffer his hangover on Boxing Day too. So even if it is -10 degrees C, we have flu, colds, migraines, broken digits, bad backs, oven burns, etc we come to work to make your Xmas complete...

Pizza available for 27th rugby match- lunchtime only.
Lots of festive ales available into the new year. We close @4pm on Dec 31st and re-open for our invited regulars @6pm. Free buffet @9pm.
Beer tasting night Wed 12th- Nice Chouffe.
Charity gig Sunday 16th Jan for MIND.
.


alemonkey - 20 Dec 2010 21:23
The best pub in the world. Fact. If only I could live here and get free pizza with 4 pints for my entire life. Kaz and Russ are saints - especially for putting up with us!
thegentlemanslug - 8 Dec 2010 14:01
week long derbyshire ale fest now on
heavy metal band special 28 nov & 12 dec
short film festival wed 1 dec
forget s***bucks- enjoy hot chocolate & polish cake here
christmas cobs- roast dinner in a roll in dec
mince pies & sherry, mulled wine, port with stilton & crackers
belgian draught beer tasting jan 12
RESERVE TABLES OVER XMAS
open on 27 dec for Tigers home game
new years eve- invitations only


alemonkey - 18 Nov 2010 20:01
monday movies night has begun! hotwired BIG sound shaking the building!
pop quiz-tastic tues from 9pm. students heaven!
12 ales on for camra agm wed from 7pm. quiz as normal.
chilled folk music thurs pm @8.
14 spooky brews to be enjoyed from fri thru to sun.
polish vodka, lager & food to celebrate the nations independence day on thurs 11th nov from 7pm. get there early to get a seat to eat.
dominoes day 12th celebrated two days later on the subdued sunday- come along for traditional pub games like darts, doms and chess!
alemonkey - 25 Oct 2010 22:22
monday movies night has begun! hotwired BIG sound shaking the building!
pop quiz-tastic tues from 9pm. students heaven!
12 ales on for camra agm wed from 7pm. quiz as normal.
chilled folk music thurs pm @8.
14 spooky brews to be enjoyed from fri thru to sun.
polish vodka, lager & food to celebrate the nations independence day on thurs 11th nov from 7pm. get there early to get a seat to eat.
dominoes day 12th celebrated two days later on the subdued sunday- come along for traditional pub games like darts, doms and chess!
alemonkey - 25 Oct 2010 22:22
ale monkey is BACK! after reverting back to communicating with 2 empty baked bean tins and a piece of string on a desert island i am now happy to announce these events: 1- trappist beer night wed 13th oct, 2- halloween beers sat 30th into 31st & ROCK KARAOKE, fun & prizes etc. 3- British Sausage week from 1st nov, 4- Polish food & drink night, 5- week long Derbyshire ale fest starting 15th nov.
alemonkey - 11 Oct 2010 21:43
*** BEER FEST UPDATE ***

It seems the next Crit Fest is just around the corner, scheduled for Thursday 9th - Saturday 11th September and featuring beers sourced from Cumbria and Durham.

Given the quality of some of the breweries from this neck of the woods we have high hopes of something rather special from this one!

No beer list or further info that I could find thus far - perhaps the Alemonkey could oblige and post a list up here...?
All_Hail_The_Ale - 19 Aug 2010 11:29
Is anybody familiar with the name Norman Balon? He was the self professed 'rudest landlord in Britain' at The Coach & Horses pub in Soho (that is currently the venue selling the UKs dearest pint at 5.80!) He was nicknamed the 'Red Baron' and (in)famous for 'shooting down' Brits, once banning his own mother and throwing a writer out of his boozer mid shepherds pie for being "f***ing boring". We all have bad days when somebody claims to be able to do your job better than you- I don't tell you how to drink your pint. So in this era of boarded up or bulldozed traditional pubs please show your appreciation of those working hard to ensure this social environment survives. PS- our cheapest house pint is only 2.00. X
alemonkey - 22 May 2010 13:06
opening at 11am sunday 2nd for leics. city game

bank holiday monday 3rd = 3 live bands 8-11 + pizza 4-8 only

camra branch meeting wednesday 5th may

attila tickets on sale now for wednesday 9th may

belgian beer tasting night wednesday 26th may

bank holiday sunday 30th = 2 live bands 8-11 + pizza 4-8 only

pizza tbc for bank holiday monday 31st may


alemonkey - 1 May 2010 13:42
I meant patron saint... Do you like FREE BEER? If so, come along on Wed 26th May for Belgian beer Maredsous. Our promotion (8pm+) courtesy of Duvel Moortgat will include sample tasting of this fine Belgian ale + some CHEESE, SAUSAGES & CHOCOLATE. General Knowledge quiz on too.


alemonkey - 2 Apr 2010 19:58
Seems like 50 firkins of beer is too much. I'll reduce range for next one- St. George's Day theme but lasting whole weekend. A history of ye olde England rather than all beers being bottled Mythos from Greece (no smashing of pizza plates please) or Efes from Turkey (kebabs will not be served in place of pizza)- I never can pin him down! He's also the patrant saint of Ethiopia and if anyone can tell me in which old city is the rock hewn church of St. George shaped like a cross I'll provide a meal for 2 + a drink each. Atilla the Stockbroker re-scheduled for Wed 19th May folks.
alemonkey - 22 Mar 2010 23:53
Disappointed to report again that wrong ales badged on bar. Ordered a pint of a familiar strong amber-coloured ale and a pint of Tunnel Brewery Munich Style Lager was dispensed. Pot luck what comes out the taps here it seems.
Slake - 14 Mar 2010 14:31
What festival beers do you have on?

All the best
dynamiteninja - 22 Feb 2010 21:15
Just fine tuning (short)list for beer fest. There will be over 50 firkins delivered with 35 racking spaces only. 5 beers left from the weekend to sell first too.
I have 10 pins from Potbelly to put on back of bar each day if required.
Comedy festival has been a real hoot- lovely to see lots of new faces enjoying the venue & it's acts. Apologies to the gentleman that insisited the pub is on Newark St. and threatened to call the police if I called him back again with correct directions- I will change our address accordingly.
Please continue to make reservations for large parties. It is not very fair to remove the reserved signs from tables for your unannounced group to usurp.I've done a 12 hour AFD shift- nighty night! X


alemonkey - 21 Feb 2010 00:09
His managerliness,

when will the beer list for the upcoming Northants/Warwicks beer festival be available?

All the best
dynamiteninja - 7 Feb 2010 18:18
Happy 2010. Coming to you real soon: Every Friday night is full blown band night (from mid Jan- FREE) and monthly Heavy Rock acts on Sundays tbc. Trappist Beer night Wed 20th Jan, Short Film Cinema, Wed 27th Jan (1 entry), 2 weeks+ of humour with guests for the annual Leics. Comedy Festival and another 1week long Real Ale Festival with 30+ beers (subject to demand) from Northants.& Warks in the last week of Feb.
... So this 'barman' is probably me, the manager, that does not have to serve constantly and collect glasses yet chooses to OVER his myriad jobs(see above) or have the inclination to watch you muse over the blackboard at the expense of your fellow punters that are gasping for beer & pizza. Ta.
alemonkey - 6 Jan 2010 18:55
Merry Christmas folks! Coming to you in the next 12 festive days:
Website- after a hacking we should now be back up and running.
Beers from new brewery Lymestone, The Cosmics Christmas Party- Live Music Sat 3-5pm. Xmas Pop Quizzes Tues @ 9pm, Xmas general knowledge quizzes Wed @ 8pm. We will be offering a selection of Xmas snacks & feasts at the weekends whilst pizzas will be available mid week only (not Xmas Eve). the bottled beer menu is now so up to date it's ready before some of the stock has arrived! Tuck in, enjoy the variety, relax. X
alemonkey - 15 Dec 2009 20:47
Beer quality has improved of late. Thanks for sorting this out.
Slake - 9 Dec 2009 21:18
Please note that it is the month of Christmas drinkers that visit annually without warning- so pre plan your night out: May I suggest reserving tables for the weekend if you intend to enjoy pizza! We will all be working twice as hard, giving up our Christmas to ensure you have one, so please give us some courtesy at this busy time. (Any more criticism of staff working themselves to death over a beer festival will result in no more beer festivals if they are not appreciated.) Cheers!
alemonkey - 7 Dec 2009 15:06
Nice busy real ale pub. I went there for the first time a couple of weeks ago for the "War of the Roses" beer festival. Good choice of ales and entertainment was going on in the other bar. The only negative aspect of the pub was one of the barmen who seemed to have had a charisma bypass and was making snide remarks seemingly to every customer he served, I felt really sorry for the poor lass who was working with him. But, besides that it is a pub well worth visitng for a selection of real ales.
turbostar170 - 5 Dec 2009 09:24
First visit to the Criterion on Wednesday evening just before 8.00PM and unlike the other hostelries we had visited before, surprised to find it extremely busy, with the back bar completely full. But then transpired that there was a band on in the front bar (which was taking a break) and a pub quiz was about to start in the back bar.
First time to try the Rugby Beers , and both the 1823 Mild and the Webb Ellis on were in good condition and enjoyable pints. And at 2.10 a pint, were the cheapest beers we had all night.
So top marks for initiatives to get the punters in on a mid week and top marks on very reasonably priced decent ales. I will be back when next in Leicester.

Gann - 28 Nov 2009 15:16
The Criterion is proud to host another beer festival- with our cellar cooling back on fine fickle and a new weekend pizza dude too! 28 ales are currently available, with 12 more in reserve. Please note we have a large cellar-not a TARDIS- and can only rack 30+ at a time- so it is not possible to serve the back up beers dated for sale for another 48 hours unless you are a Timelord. New website on the way: criterionvenue.co.uk. over & out. x
alemonkey - 20 Nov 2009 23:57
Good to see the comments by the landlord below and would agree that the popularity of the place is such that they are having to work hard to ensure the quality of beer is kept to a high standard.
Last time I was in the first pint I sampled was warm and flat, but not quite bad enough to be returned, but certainly not Good Beer Guide standard. The second was vinegar and obviously the end of the barrel. This was returned and replaced without hassle, for a beer of excellent quality.
I will stick with the Criterion as I like the pub and the team running it. It would be a shame if they lost their place in the GBG over beer quality and I'm sure they're doing their best to ensure that quality is improved.
Steve45 - 18 Oct 2009 14:56
Just like to reassure customers and tradespeople alike that the Rugby Brewing Company has not 'gone bust' as the rumour mill has it and we here at The Criterion are still operating at warp 9 as normal. The smoking shelter swung on by Tarzan has 'gone bust' and we are currently addressing its maintenance.
Both the pub and brewery websites have been suspended and will be resumed by more effective and local means soon to keep updates, well- up to date... Our only real problem is coping with the amount of current trade so we are having difficulties in keeping the quality to match the quantity of punters! You hungry, thirsty, pop pickers you! Ciao.
alemonkey - 16 Oct 2009 20:06
Slipped into her earlier with a pal and was a little disappointed. My previous review indicated this boozer was closed when I visited - this time it was open however. I plumped for one of the guests - and it was OK at best - served in an oversized glass which was nice, but like previous reviewers, I must say it was a little warm. The interior irritated me some what - far too much going on for my liking. Loads of posters and the like. I probably won't rush back.
Sharp - 9 Oct 2009 00:48
Standards have slipped recently. Beer quality has been poor. I would never have classed this as a tickers' pub previously, but recently there seems to be the old emphasis on quantity not quality, with beer served far too warm and tasting of cardboard. It can't help with the type of cellar/ equipment in this 1960s building.
Another problem is being served beer that one hasn't asked for. There could be various reasons for this; that the wrong pump clips are on the pumps, the wrong lines are connected to the pumps (this must have been the case when I ordered a golden ale by a well known brewery from Peterborough that came out of the tap brown!), and that the music is so loud the staff cannot hear what the customers ask for; this was indeed the problem when a pint of real cider came back as a ruby bitter!!! The manager of this pizzeria/ pub is a top bloke and I can guess he'd be disappointed if customers weren't satisfied, so let's hope this is a blip that will be rectified soon. The pizzas are still the best in town and great value. Great bottled beer selection too. Friendly staff etc etc.
Slake - 28 Sep 2009 20:43
First visit to Leicester recently and ended up spending alot of time in this pub.
Excellant choice of well kept ales - 10 on the bar,which over the course of the weekend must have changed at least every hour. Oakham's & Rugby beers featured prominently. Good bottle selection and staff were friendly and knowledgable
Home made Pizza's were excellant - restaurant quality!
I would say this place is the bestpub in Leicester and look forward to visiting again next season or in the cup!
bloomfieldjpm - 24 Sep 2009 04:16
One of the best pubs in Leicester. Good barstaff, lovely pizzas and excellent jukebox! Great choice of beers although I've had one or two issues with quality, particularly at opening time, although always replaced on request without quibble.
Regular beer festivals are held and excellent range of foreign bottled beers.
Not that easy to find, but well worth the effort!
Steve45 - 9 Aug 2009 19:22
Not quite sure what to make of this place - it was very busy on my first visit with a rock band and a quiz on in the two bars. Seems very popular, and it has an excellent choice of beer. Apparently the food is excellent as well. Hard to find for a visitor, but all in all well worth the effort.
Floyd - 2 Aug 2009 11:11
Visited yesterday, great place, friendly and helpful barmaid fantastic range of bottled and draught beers. It would be useful if there was a menu for the foreign beers to help you choose.
SGA - 23 Jul 2009 09:28
Dear Sharp, Nov 13th. Sorry to hear pub was closed on your visit. As the manager and licensee I wasn't made aware either- as I was on holiday. Not good enough...

Please accept a complimentary pizza & a pint on me. Reservations are recommended for large parties at weekends- especially match days- to avoid further disappointment.


alemonkey - 22 Jul 2009 14:43
With the proviso that the inside of a pub can often be far better than the outside, we ventured past the obvious smoker's fog from the on-street 'garden' area to investigate what The Criterion had, simply because it's recommendation to us had championed it's beer above it's clientele... And, what a revelation.... Visiting on a rugby related weekend which was not successful, I immediately spotted a mild and that was that. Mesmerized by the bottled beer collection, we could have made a night of it (and in fact did come back the next afternoon) and although the service could be warmed up a little, the overall impression was of a venue that, with a face-lift could definitely take on the pubs in the centre and win!!
mikexley - 21 Apr 2009 17:23
Cracking ale pub. Had a beer festival on my visit with the full range from three more unusual breweries. Service was a bit slow but that was just due to the number of customers. Well worth a visit.
Rod_Hariga - 22 Mar 2009 10:57
Always worth a visit during a city centre session, the Criterion can usually be relied upon to offer a varied range of Real Ales, with the core Rugby beers complemented by some interesting guests. An extensive bottled continental and world selection complements this nicely, and a decent range of single malts are also offered.

The regular beer festivals (usually every couple of months) can usually be relied upon to produce some solid winners for those who like to tick, and their recent Scottish event scored a significant coup by sourcing a selection of beers from Glasgow micro brewer Clockwork.

Regular host to assorted live music events, from folk and accoustic through to punk and metal, this pub manages to attract the broadest cross section of customers out of the Big Three ale pubs in the centre (the other two being [Out of the] Vaults / Vin IV and the Swan & Rushes).

Definitely one to hit if you like the ale...
All_Hail_The_Ale - 1 Mar 2009 23:09
If you're looking for the best pub in Leicester for British real ale and foreign beer then this is the one to go to. It beats, by a very short nose, the Swan and Rushes. Lots of live music and a dart board. How many pubs still have dart boards ?
aehihc - 2 Feb 2009 08:10
Visited Leicester for the day and was furious to find this place closed during the afternoon. No explanations.
Sharp - 13 Nov 2008 22:46
From the outside, this is a typical ugly 1970's style building, with a little beer patio, (unfortunately often frequented by some unsavoury characters).
The decor on the inside is not much better; however don't let this put you off!

"A Mecca for real ale lovers" - (a quote used to describe the old vaults). Today the criterion is probably the only real ale pub in Leicester that comes close to this discription. If youre a real ale lover like me, u will love the variety & quality of beers available (especially at beer festivals)

This venue offers a fantastic range of drinks, from real ale, continental bottled beer, and for the non drinkers an extensive range of soft drinks. On the food side they specialize in traditional Italian pizza at very reasonable prices. Usually of very high quality, however I have been disappointed on 1 occasion when the pizza base was so thin, it was almost non-existent.

The inside is split into 2 separate bars: - the front bar often used for live music, darts matches, and private functions, the rest of the time it has quite a student feel to it. The back bar is the main hub of activity, and can get very busy especially at the weekends, and quiz nights, often with a good vibe to go with it.

The down side to this venue is the service - waiting to be served can be very frustrating, especially at quieter times when the bar staff all hide in the kitchen/glass wash area seemingly having their own private party and totally oblivious to the numerous customers waiting to be served. Once you do get served, most of the staff are friendly and knowledgeable.

Unfortunately, however 1 or 2 of the staff can be quite rude and unprofessional - this is such a shame, as otherwise a fantastic little boozer with great potential.

Hot_Stuff - 17 Oct 2008 15:07
I had a couple of hours to kill in Leicester after a meeting at the nearby university, and this pub filled the void marvellously. Several Oakham beers on - the JHB was in fine form despite being near the end of the barrel, and the Inferno was excellent - and despite being a fussy bugger they did me a rather excellent plate of cheese for 2. It almost tempts me to go to Leicester more often.
london_drunker - 24 Sep 2008 18:47
I do find the blogging of our customers visits most helpful and entertaining. I am most grateful to the many guests that compliment the team in their efforts and I am more than happy to sit down with any disgruntled customer(s) in an attempt to rectify any grievances.
However, I do draw the line at both underhand competitors within the trade berating our venue on-line rather than enjoying the friendly rivalry that makes Leicester stand out in the real ale world and professional businessmen walking behind the bar to air their complaints- as if they have authorisation- as to do this is neither professional or any of their business. Where else but in the pub trade do you find customers walking behind the counter into the staff area? Chip shops? Service stations? Banks? Pizza Express?
We must have discipline, or after a strong Belgian beer the lunatics will be running the asylum (as well as the government). It isnt even as if all the staff hide in the kitchen and corridor (team discussions take place out of customers aural range) in fear of a ticker!
Perhaps a self-service option could be arranged to relieve me of some of my hours (currently averaging 55 per week), which is why I do not have a fake plastic smile on my face all week. So if Im grumpy, its because I havent had my fix of delicious pizza washed down with a refreshing pint.
Unfortunately, people tend to focus on the negative aspects of a visit and, may I add, it certainly can be upsetting to staff alike to be patronised, abused and disrespected in our place of work- all at the start of a 12 hour shift. We are not robots, but have a range of human emotions- and we have friends and lives to lead that exclude us from catering until 1 am for the people that get out of bed at 10:30 pm.
The majority thoroughly enjoy the banter of the staff, the suntrap beer patio, the range of competitively priced (house) beers, traditional Italian pizza, pub games, a multitude of live acts, private parties, quiz nights and real ale festivals.
I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any concerns with these issues please make an appointment with the management to help us make changes to the benefit of all in both personal and professional matters.

alemonkey - 12 Aug 2008 20:42
It's difficult to be too negative about this pub but at times that's how I feel about the place.
It's a great little boozer and considering the range of beers and the fact that it's a city centre pub it's one of the few places I drink in in the centre of Leicester.
When the bar is quietly ticking over everything is fine but things take a dramatic turn for the worse when it get's a bit busy. Getting to the bar is difficult because of the amount of bar stools that are occupied by folk who find it a chore to give you enough space to order a beer. This means you're standing behind these people and the chances of the bar staff spotting you are slim especially if they're anywhere near the kitchen end of the bar.
Last week I waited 5 minutes at the crowded bar while a chap (apparently the gaffer) chatted to friends while collecteing glasses. He then went down to the kitchen area, dropped off the glasses and stood at the end of the bar chatting to someone else despite there being three people including myself waiting to be served. Eventually a female member of staff appeared and saved the day but it was all too late for the group of six people who couldn't be bothered to wait as long as me and walked out again.
Like I've said, this is a great little boozer but it just needs an injection of life behind the bar. If the service is improved by certain members of staff this place would work much better.
MikiStrange - 26 May 2008 12:18
Once upon a time this was my favourite Real Ale watering hole in Leicester; sadly however the Criterion seems to have been suffering of late.

Repeated recent visits have yielded cloudy, poorly conditioned ales, while the range has gone down hill significantly following the buy out of the pub by the Rugby Brewing Co.

I have it on good authority that the decline in beer range and general poor quality of the selection is due to Rugby encouraging a policy of "swapsies" between their estate and other smaller brewers - essentially they palm off some of there less popular casks for similarly unpopular selections from other brewers.

On my most recent visit (Thursday May 8th) I sampled 2 ales - Dishy Debbie from Hart and Itchen Valley's Hampshire Rose. Both were in far from tip top condition (both rather hazy, with a pronounced musty quality to the flavour).

In the main bar I found a middle aged chap in shirt and tie sat on a stool and slumped unconscious on the bar beside a half empty glass of Trappiste Rochefort 10, while outside in the tiny beer garden by the road a talentless duo with a guitar and dog sang and played at the top of their voices - unlicinsed and unwanted by the customers, ignored by the staff.

Couple this with the ridiculously slow service consistently provided - expect to wait a goodly length of time, even if the pub is empty due to the staff standing in the kitchen paying no heed to the bar - and you have an establishment which has lost a lot of its appeal.

I will be keeping a close eye on this pub, but it looks as though it's going to the dogs; thank goodness the Queen Victoria has re-opened and is catering for Leicesters Real Ale Connoisseur community!
Young_Camra_LE3_Crew - 9 May 2008 10:40
When living in Leicester a couple of years ago, never went in this place as it a) looks like a cross between a prison and a public urinal and b) looks like you might get stabbed. However went in as part of a crawl and it has a great range of well served beers. If you like top ales, dont let the look put you off.
Tigerdrinker - 5 May 2008 18:05
Agree that the building promises little from the outside and the front bar is equally basic and boxy with a large area to left for the dartboard (5 refundable deposit on 2 good sets darts), very studenty vibe. The rear bar is much more pubby with some dark wood & booth seating. Regardless, it is certainly a beer pub, with barrels replaced within minutes of running out. Slaters Top Totty & Premium, Oakham Bishops Farewell, Spire Dark Side of The Moon (mild), Rugby Web Ellis & 1823 (mild), Sadlers Worcester Sorcerer, Old Rosie.
trainman - 5 May 2008 12:38
From the outside this pub doesnt promise very much but inside it is usually a hive of activity and very popular. A couple of Saturdays back there were people dancing spontaneously in one bar while in the other I and a few friends enjoyed well-kept ales and a pizza to soak them all up. I only manage to get here once a year and I always look forward to my visits.

Ordinary - 29 Mar 2008 22:36
On a recent visit beer excellent as usual. Be careful when wanting food if there is a function on, they don't seem to cater for both a function and the general public.
Leicesterbeer - 17 Feb 2008 16:51
Pizzas have been awful recently. Paper thin and dry.
Slake - 12 Feb 2008 20:17
Called in for the beer festival, but found the staff very confused by what beers were available. Although the festival was advertised as 14-16 Dec a lot of the beers were not coming on until the following Thursday, and every time someone asked for a beer she had to check if it was on or not. The quality of the beer I had was great though.
gillhalfpint - 17 Dec 2007 23:21
I must say in response to the comments by VJL, that I generally find the staff very friendly. However I must say that the mood of the licencee can vary greatly. On more than one occasion I have witnessed him being grumpy and even very rude to customers. The attitude of this man really does mar what is otherwise a very nice pub.
rob_j - 8 Nov 2007 11:00
Having used this pub for a number of years without a problem, however I had cause to return a pizza recently and the way the complaint was handled and the manner in which I was spoken to be nothing short of a disgrace. I wrote a letter of complaint to the Company Director to make him aware of the manner in which this establishment was being operated, yet to date no reply has been received. The Criterion holds the title of CAMERA Pub of the year 2007 but surely the award should be renamed Beer of Year as it has a varied selection which is well kept, but the service in my opinion, is well below ones expectations of a pub which holds this misleading title. The Criterion management would be well advised to complete a course in customer relations. I will certainly not be returning whilst the current management is in place.
VJL - 5 Nov 2007 17:08
Still the best pub in Leicester. Great range of real ales and the best selection of bottled German and Belgian bottled beers I have seen anywhere, period. I'm told the pizzas are something special and there's a great juxebox too, especially if you're a bit of a goth. Which I'm not. Really.
patrickjsm - 3 Nov 2007 13:17
Popped in recently, very pleasant. Decent range of ales and bar snacks, although the decor is a little sterile....very bright and shiny!
A good component of the Leicester beer circuit.
andy_tomkins - 8 Oct 2007 22:29
didnt like the the pub preticualy the pink night.
Smif - 24 Sep 2007 12:23
Great pub well worth the time.
Jelvis - 17 Sep 2007 16:30
Leicester CAMRA pub of the year for the past two years. Well deserved. The beer quality is always excellent. Usually 8 to 10 real ales on at one time with Oakham JHB and Bishops Farewell being the regulars. The ales are served in lined glasses, so you are guaranteed a full pint. At least two real ciders available, and a big selection of bottled beers from around the world on the menu. The homemade pizzas are superb value. Appeals to customers of all ages and types. The staff are young and polite. If you're visiting Leicester this would make an ideal stopping off point.
Slake - 10 Sep 2007 18:56
We found the usual selection of draught lagers, but a wide variety of traditional ales to gladden the heart!
There was live Blues Music in the lounge, and the ales were beatifully kept..
The whole pub is in one level, and apart from one step, should be fine for disabled visitors.
The decor is simple, and kept clean, what more do you want?
Only downside we can find is that they shut at 11.30 on the weekend!
sparky40 - 14 Aug 2007 19:25
Excellent pub, often with more than eight real ales available at any one time. The variety is quick to change, with some beers lasting only two days. Oakham ales are regular, other beers are from non-industrial brewers!

Frequent beer festivals, occasional cider festivals.

Pizzas are superb, baked from fresh dough and ingredients on a stone base.
QuaffAle - 5 Aug 2007 16:58
Excellent range of beers, friendly welcome and good service. A nice, cosy pub - not a drinking factory.
wobblybob - 4 Aug 2007 21:19
Still the best in town, tried 10 cracking brews last Wednesday and had a go at the fiendishly difficult quiz.

Very close to the Swan & Rushes (not yet listed on BITE, it's on 19 Infirmary Square, LE1 5WR) which is also a great ale pub.

Leicestershire CAMRA pub of the year and deservedly so. Any serious alehead must visit the Criterion at least once!
Quinno - 12 Jul 2007 22:57
The standard set by the original owner lives on. A variety of excellent beers is supplemented by their famous pizzas. With the Shakespeares Head, Swan & Rushes, Gateway and Out of the Vaults close by, this area is Leicesters answer to Manchesters Northern Quarter.
Alerover - 27 Nov 2006 21:08
Unbelievable range of imported lagers, good selection of ale. Pizzas are great value, staff are cool, great atmosphere too. All too easy to drink the day away in.
insekt - 27 Nov 2006 18:34
Despite the dated interior, Leicester's best range of Belgian and German beers awaits inside. Good guest ales from the British Isles as well. Pleasant and friendly crowd and an enjoyable place to sink a few, especially during daytime.
kyle473 - 16 Oct 2006 14:46
This is a fabulous pub for real ale, has a good selection of handpumps and a bulging fridge full of bottled imports in great condition.

It does indeed look like the inside of a non-league football clubs function room but it is clean, airy and bright so that's really not a bother once you're in.

You really could stay in here all day, and with it being 2 minutes from the town centre, the stagger towards Leicester's excellent public transport system is straightforward.

Also serves food and plays host to regular live music. Fabulous.
Quinno - 30 Jul 2006 20:22
1960's buiding that feels more like a sports club bar then a real pub with a lot of empty floorspace in the front bar and a darts area, but you can't argue with the range and quality of ales. I was delighted to find Hook Norton Double Stout, a personal favourite.
Rich66 - 29 Apr 2006 11:58
Cracking beer, great stone baked pizzas, friendly locals and staff. Excellent. Sister pub to the also excellent Swan and Rushes.
Incarcerator - 4 Apr 2006 14:58
What a proper pub's all about.

Who cares what it looks like outside - this is a real case of inner-beauty.
urbanite - 24 Feb 2006 17:18
Certainly not a pretty place - and that's the building, the decor and the people in it some of the time - but the selection of obscure European beers and ales is just superb. Handy for the rugby and footie stadia, off the beaten track a little for the town visitor, but worth it. Recommended.
theediscerning - 23 Feb 2006 23:22
More customers of late. Still a great pub, enhanced by the fact that the regulars are quite, quite mad.
patrickjsm - 11 Feb 2006 21:26
Fantastic range of beer, inc cider & perry. Good punky & rock jukebox. Big darts area in front public bar.
anonymous - 3 Feb 2006 12:03
Surely the best pub in Leicester? Top quality bar staff (you're invariable greeted with a nod and "evening lads"), handy for a pre-gig pint due to proximity to The Princess Charlotte (though mostly frequently by middle-aged men and couples), brilliant beer (try working your way through the wheat beer selection...staff are knowledgable too) and very nice food to boot. If it wasn't for the aesthetic drawback of the location and exterior, this would be a 10. Hell yeah!
patrickjsm - 29 Dec 2005 18:55
A one floor boxy building that dates from 1960 and was built around the time the area was modernised and the underpass constructed. It used to be called the Nags Head. Now with its change of name, it is one of Leicester's excellent real ale pubs, serving a range of beers from independent breweries and all in good condition. Good Beer Guide listed
thequaffer - 17 Mar 2005 15:21

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