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Falstaff, Derby

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user reviews of the Falstaff, Derby

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

The Falstaff is situated in the southern backstreets of Derby, in what appears to be a multi-ethnic area. Its 3 rooms ooze character. Most people were in the main bar area. You got the feeling that you could leave and come back here in 5 years time and exactly the same people would be sat there! But they were friendly. The room at the rear holds a pool table and there is a smaller lounge. The 4 ales are all brewed on site - Slender Man, Fistful Of Hops, Phoenix & Smiling Assassin. I had the Phoenix, which was a bit too hoppy for my liking. No real cider is served. Worth the trip out of the city centre though.
blue_scrumpy - 14 Feb 2017 21:29
Both my previous quibbles seem to be being addressed. They do now (temporarily ?) have a dark beer available, as they are participating in “mild in May”. And Steph does have some qualities similar to the infamous Polly – namely the tendency to be constantly cleaning the place !

P.S. also just got around to drinking the Hades - see Ye Olde Dolphin for reason for celebration.
Martinsh - 17 May 2015 17:23
Well I find I hard to believe there is anyone who DOESN'T rave about this pub ! I would give it 7/10 even if it only sold Sharps Doom Bar !!!!

As it is, I had a very nice pint of Smiling Assassin (5.2%) and bought a bottle of Hades (15.4%) for future consumption.

Absolutely brilliant place, full of various memorabilia. One room dedicated to Offilers brewery, and passageway full of huge signs on way to gents. Very friendly staff and locals, though I guess they may be a but cliquey to some. [ Trick is to get there first, and act like you've been going there for years ! ]

Be careful not to sit in "bullshit corner" though !!!

Can only find 2 things wrong with this pub
1) no stout / porter
2) Polly isn't the barmaid !

9/10 - am tempted to give an unprecedented 10 !!!
Martinsh - 22 Nov 2014 22:21
Well don't know what people rave about in this place the pub is very hard to find and a little dissappointing when you get there. Ales are on the whole good but not my first choice.
allyboyy - 12 Aug 2014 20:46
Another must-do when in Derby even though it's a bit of walk (20 to 25 minutes)from the centre. They only sell their own brewed beers and we had Poseiden and Fistfull of Hops. The preceding pint to those two had turned and the landlord/owner changed them immediately. I wish him well.
Steamer1 - 6 Mar 2014 16:25
The Falstaff has just completed a refurbishment of their bar (the first room you go in) and all I can say is go and see for yourselves. They've put a slate tile floor down with under tile heating. A lovely carved wood fire surround with a log-burner style gas fire and have swapped the bar top from formica to wood. One of the locals was telling me the bar top was reclaimed from the old Roebuck on Stockbrook street before it was demolished. They've highlighted some of the natural features of the pub. Apparently the landlady spent a week stripping the old paint of the front of the bar to reveal a lovely old pitchpine bar. They've done a magnificent job. Needless to say the beer was as good as ever and the locals are a really friendly lot. This pub continues to be my favourite in Derby.
Desertrose - 9 Nov 2013 21:12
A bit of a rough round the edges locals pub to the South of Derby city centre. Had a decent pint here and it is a bit of a time warp to what local pubs used to be like before the pressure to contimually make increasing profits destroyed most of them.
Snarling_Mallard - 13 Jan 2013 09:45
A little way out of the town but easily accessible by bus, this fine Pub serves three of its own beers plus real Derbyshire cider which my wife enjoyed. Staff are friendly and helpful.The beer was not entirely to my taste, but others have and no doubt will find it great,and well kept.
ahscum - 17 Apr 2012 19:09
Dropped in last night after a gap of about 18 months, to find nothing has changed my opinion of this being the very best real ale pub in the city. The Falstaff range of beer was truly excellent and there was a warm hubbub of chatter from groups of locals. The barman was extremely welcoming and helped us to decide we needed a bottle of the Supernova to take away as stocks are now extremely limited to the point of when they're gone, they're gone.

Now, there are quite a few areas of the bars that are in need of some attention for decoration etc, but they almost add to the atmosphere of an old-time back street local where time is standing still, and there are other comments on here made about the state of the gents etc, although they were some time ago. I can now report that the gents are clean and tidy and the blackboard is still there for comments, but as I went in that door, I heard a yelp of surprise from the wife as she pushed open the door of the ladies. The reason for that became apparent when I came out of the gents, only to be dragged into the ladies with a "come and look at this" to be greeted by an astonishing refit featuring green and purple drapes and curtains, modern clear-glass sinks and an all-pervading air of floaty femininity, totally and utterly at odds with the general archaic feel of the rest of the building.

For that alone, I raise my rating from 9 to 10...


Gristy - 19 Mar 2012 11:30
A great pub, beers good, staff friendly. Needed a taxi to find it though.
TiaMariaJim - 15 Dec 2011 20:52
The Landlord here has been brewing his own beers onsite (or a garage/shed next door if youre being picky) since 2003 and every single one is visible above the impressively ornamented fireplace of the backroom with a jukebox & pool table. The 4 local-as-they-come brews upon our visit were pretty pun-erific with Fistful of hops, Hop till you drop & (Are You Ready) Do the Bus Hop! (alright I made that last one up). Pur-chased myself a couple of conditioned ales for bottled nostalgia including a fierce 13.1% ABV blinding master--blaster entitled Supernova. Homemade (well, naturally) cask labels are always entertaining and many of these are no exception with a seemingly ongoing comedy legends series. Every square inch of wall space features fascinating apparatus from Elijah Scattergood & Sons brewers taps to barometers surrounded by dark wooden tribal figures. The Nuclear Science Soviet-esque sign en route to the shitter is also particularly sniggerworthy. The Gents has a giant blackboard inviting feedback (chalk provided) as preferred to petty graffiti or territorial pissing. Put simply, every aspect of this crumbling secret haven is a million miles removed from your typical workaday chain bar and subsequently should be treasured as everything in our modern pub industry that is under threat. I caught the train home very hoppy indeed and could only titter menacingly in an all-knowing fashion to myself when I passed the Coors ahem brewery.
PissteethJenkins - 18 Apr 2011 17:13
Visited here recently for the first time - but it certainly won't be the last. Once you've negotiated the back streets to get to The Falstaff you are rewarded with a substantial corner pub; excellent beer (home-brewed next door); very friendly staff and some interesting old pictures and pub bric-a-brac to look at. Gents toilet looked as thought it had just been re-furbished and overall this was well worth the walk from the station (it's actually not to difficult to get to - head for the Derby China factory; arboretum and Normanton Road area of town).
mcroyal - 2 Jan 2011 19:05
Not in the best location unfortunately, but definitely worth heading out of the way for. Very friendly staff and regulars, first class beer, most of which is brewed on site. If you're in Derby and fancy a walk, this is where you should head for!
jarofporter - 29 Mar 2009 03:15
with regard to RogerB's comment below, went in today and they're in the middle of refurbishing gents. apparently ladies is on the cards for after xmas. back room was open and functioning with a lovely real fire although there were a few decorating bits stacked neatly in the corner but didn't mind that as apology was given by barman for the "mess" due to refurbishments. lovely and friendly as usual. My personal favourite pub in Derby. Congrats to the Falstaff team for a great effort. I echo everything RogerB says
Desertrose - 8 Dec 2008 22:59
I am always sceptical when I read reports of how chatty the locals are but within seconds of entering the Falstaff we were deep in conversation about the merits of Wembley Stadium. How such a subject was reached in such a short space between the front door and the bar between complete strangers rather escapes me but to feel like a local before I even have a pint in my hand is testament to the fine efforts that have been made in this wonderful pub. One of Derbys growing band of Brewpubs (they have been brewing Falstaff beers here since 2003) it is situated a fair but not too demanding walk from the City centre and is not generally included on the official City Ale trails. The 4 ales available were all home brewed - Smiling Assassin, Fistful Of Hops, Phoenix and Cassandra of which I tried the first 2 (we were only supposed to be popping in for one after all!).The main bar is small and basic with built in seats and plenty of bric a brac. Before passing into the larger rear bar, check out the lobby dedicated to the pubs infamous paranormal activity with its interesting but rather spooky ghost stories and photos of orbs and unexplained misty objects floating around. The rear bar has an equally basic approach, suitably worn and weathered with more built in wooden seating, bare floors, an absorbing collection of wood carvings, barometers and a chimney brest plastered in beer stickers. Beyond is a games room with pool table (oh, for it to have been bar billiards instead, or even just darts), some interesting Guiness cartoons and other collectables (the display of beer clip pin badges is particularly worthy of note). The corridor to the loos is festooned with old signs and adverts although the loos themselves it must be said are in need of a good overhaul. The second Bar appeared to be rather cluttered and in the process of having work being done on it so it was little more than a quick glance although it appeared to be a cross between Arkwrights and Steptoe & Sons for all the artifacts and collectables. Outside is a small but quirky beer garden. A very approachable and knowledgeable landlord sealed what is almost the pefect pub, just slightly let down by the poor state of the toilets and the not quite functioning second bar, something I have no doubt will be put right in due course. An absolute must visit pub on any Derby visit.
RogerB - 29 Oct 2008 23:34
Lovely friendly pub, both staff and customers. Very welcoming, "regulars" very chatty. A proper boozer. will keep going back again and again.
Desertrose - 13 Aug 2008 20:38
Have to echo Gristy's words on this. A proper, very old-fashioned back street boozer with some rather dour regulars supping pints silently alone at the bar on a Sunday lunchtime. The beer was first class stuff and interesting to see the fine UK brewed Moravka lager there as well.
JonW999 - 10 Jun 2008 22:35
Yes, it is hard to find and the route in can offer some challenges in terms of the local (very mixed) inhabitants, but it's all worth it when you get there. Excellent range of beers, welcoming and friendly staff, old-fashioned multi-room layout, decent jukebox and the all the feeling of a real, proper backstreet boozer. Visited at around 8.30 on a Saturday night, but very quiet for all that. Superb, regardless
Gristy - 12 May 2008 14:14
I can't add much to what's already be said albeit previous comments were made a year or more ago. Nothing's changed (although I didn't have a problem finding it)! Went in for a pint and ended up trying all four excellent Falstaff beers on offer at the time. Well worth a visit or two.
realmeerkat - 5 Apr 2008 23:38
A real classic, very friendly and with good own-brew in a classic multi-room pub (bit like the Sair in Linthwaite) - VERY hard to find, even with my Derby A-Z
mtaylor40 - 11 Feb 2007 23:30
proper pub,proper ale,proper folk,not the cleanest best kept pub but its good to spend some time in drinking excellent ale.
fartinbear - 8 Feb 2007 20:31
Fabulous backstreet boozer completely unspoilt, great banter , great hosts, great beer and a strong suggestion of ghosts.Must be worth searching out in anybodys books.
dibdotcom - 16 Nov 2006 13:55
Only just off Normanton Road - but you have to know it's there! Once you do find it, you will be glad you did. Their own beers are very nice, although maybe not quite hoppy enough for my taste and are well worth searching out. Very friendly on both sides of the bar - we were made to feel very welcome and only departed reluctantly.
Greenlightsal - 30 Oct 2006 12:20
Brewpub in a back street off Normanton Road. Serves all of Falstaff's excellent ales in superb condition. Plenty of friendly banter with the locals
Sandalf - 9 Jul 2006 00:42
You'll find the Falstaff off Normanton Rd, about 20 mins stroll from the city centre or 5 mins on the bus. It's not a posh pub so don't bother if you want pine floors and minimalism. It's a basic 2 roomed local with a cheery fire in Winter. The locals are friendly and chatty and the beer is wonderful, brewed by the adjoining Falstaff Brewery. You'll probably drop in to try a few beers and end up staying for the afternoon.
chick - 21 Apr 2006 11:57

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