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Allied Arms, Reading

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user reviews of the Allied Arms, Reading

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

I liked this pub - seemed like a good jukebox on.

Sat out the back and enjoyed an Jail Ale by Dartmoor Brewery.

Will come back to this one.
Mappiman - 17 May 2015 13:56
Last pub in a crawl. Handy for the town centre, and a couple of ales on, but nothing special.
Trev - 6 Feb 2015 20:21
Over priced but for a gay pub not too bad. Not enough Erasure on the jukebox mind.
whisky_diet - 23 Oct 2014 14:16
Lovely old building and plenty of grizzled punters amid the half-timbered surrounds. A beer garden does the trick when the weather is clement but the place is pokey otherwise. Local ales from Loddon are frequently and the Hullaballoo went down well on the occasion of our visit.
BoehmBawerk - 19 Oct 2014 17:49
A really beautiful pub with an increasing selection of Ale. A bit expensive, but worth it on a summer's day. Best to avoid in winter unless you want to stand outside!
slowbear - 12 Aug 2014 16:23
Beautiful two-roomed town centre drinking hole, but that's where the positives end. The prices are steep to say the least, you can hardly ever get a seat and the beer defines average. A shame as it could be a really good pub in the right hands.
plymouthpirate - 25 May 2014 16:45
This has to be the biggest joke in the South of England. Let me explain. 1. They say they are "The best pub in Reading" No, you won "Traditional Pub of the year only. 2. Their opening times are completely changeable. 3. The Landlady and landlord will bar you for any thing from swearing to having a laugh to taking to long to order - even if you are some poor old boy politely waiting to be served. 4. It is the most expensive pub in the town. 5. This place is a complete joke - except it isnt funny.

Do yourselves a favour, dont bother going unless you want to be kicked out - probably the best think they will do for you. The owners were in the Hitler Youth, Im sure.

Terrible place with an awful juke box; and despite what they say, the garden isnt anything either.

Stay well clear of this HellHole.
Pubboy1 - 17 Mar 2014 16:58
From the outside it looks a scruffy little pub that you could happily walk past, but inside its a proper old, English boozer. Slightly limited, but good enough ale on, good cider, massive court yard out back with a marque cover. One of the better pubs in Reading.
Beer_in_the_morning - 8 Apr 2013 23:22
The beer selection here is good. Real ale people should give it a visit. I go quite often and have never had anything to complain about. Not the most comfortable of places but the beer is a great attraction.
Brownspot - 6 Feb 2013 16:06
Always been a good pub but the choice of beers has greatly improved recently. Even Dartmoor Jail Ale has been on tap recently! And in great nick as well. Also beers from such as Everards, Bath Ales, Hogs Back and Otter on recent visits. Nice to see longer established brewers featuring.
Beermole - 22 Nov 2012 21:24
Excellent pub in Reading town centre, can't remember what beer I had in here (was at the end of a long day!) but it was very well kept, decent bar staff with good service.

beershot - 7 Nov 2012 17:21
Best drum 'n' bass venue in town. That is all.
camra_colin - 28 Jul 2012 10:04
Old traditional two bar pub , five hand pumps in the rear bar, didn't check if there were any more in the front bar. Beers on I was aware of were Young's Special,London Pride,Ringwood Best, Hobgoblin and Loddon Hullabaloo, not too bad a selection, I opted for a pint of the Hullabaloo as it was the only beer i'd not tried before, it was very nice albeit at £3.60 for a 4.2 % beer a little pricey as previously commented, however a pub I would recommend and will revisit.
Picasso09 - 20 Mar 2012 20:19
The best ale drinking establishment in Reading, nothing to fault or bad to say. Perfect service and selection. Bravo.
summerrivers - 23 Jan 2012 23:42
mcroyal - 12 Aug 2011 21:57
It can be classed as the best pub in Reading, but that isn't saying much given the competition. The town itself is going downhill rapidly. During a recent forced stay in the town, I walked from Friar Street to the Allied Arms and was asked "Do you want to do business, mistah", and, called an "arse" by an inebriated dwarf. I suppose it could have been only slightly more bizarre if it was uttered by the same person.

But, I digress. The pub itself is quite good. I only had the London Pride, but it was fine, although expensive. The jukebox is refreshingly free from hip/hop/R7B dirge, and has some classic, and 'leftfield' tunes: Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and Jethero Tull feature heavily.

The pub is closely aligned with London Irish, which is no bad thing. The only thing that spoilt it was the gobby, offensive, local pisshead, who could not keep his mouth shut.

Other than that it was pleasant enough.

The town, though, really is the pits. I left 3 years ago, and the change in the place can really be seen.
anonymous - 7 Jun 2011 15:18
Basic but excellent boozer. Very good service and they really care about their beers. Recommended.
curioushistory - 22 May 2011 13:40
nice pub, good beer, not a lot of atmosphere but good enough for a pint or two
littlecon - 10 Apr 2011 09:38
This is Readings best pub. Being a London resident I have no qualms with paying over £3.50 for a decent pint, especially one in what I would call "a proper boozer" like this, nice staff and a great beer garden.

Prices at places like this are set by the brewery raising prices as the pub has been succesful, not by the landlords, something which quite a few people fail to understand. £3.55 "ridiculous" for a pint? Try drinking in London some time - you'll have a heart attack!
fury00001 - 22 Mar 2011 16:15
Great pub in the heart of reading's town centre.

Always got good real ale's on in the form of London Pride and Hullabaloo and usually 2 or 3 other guest real ales.

The pub is quite small but adds to it's charm. In the summer it has simply the best outdoor space of any pub in Reading centre and so is a real gem

Quiz nights are always fun (every other Wednesday) and Jukebox has some classic tunes on.

My only negative as seems is the ever increasing prices for beer which seem way out of line with the prices in other Reading bars, however as others have gone out of business the Allied remains always busy and a firm favorite so I guess they are doing something right.
ColBol - 19 Dec 2010 02:19
Good pub really but far to expensive
BELAM - 30 Nov 2010 17:08
The Allied is the best real ale pub in Reading town centre with friendly staff and pleasant customers. You can enjoy a well cared for beer within this tiny pub or enjoy the hidden garden at the rear both during the summer and in the winter thanks to the outdoor heating.
There is a very popular quiz night every other Wednesday run by the cheekiest quiz master in town ‘Big Steve’ who enjoys nothing better than a good banter with the competitors.
The Allied is renowned for being the most expensive pub in the town centre and it is sad that some of the regulars on low income can no longer afford to drink there, but on the plus side with real ales costing £3.45 and £3.55 per pint it does keep the wasters out!
I have been drinking there for many years and will continue to support the family who I believe run the best pub in Reading.

There4U - 19 Oct 2010 14:54
Lovely pub. Has the feeling of a village pub in a town centre which is bizzare. What puts me off going is what most other people have said. The prices are crazy!! Way too expensive. If I was in central London then I would expect it but not Reading. They need to address this as it is putting a lot of people off going there. I used to go in there a lot with colleagues from work on a Friday. We generally go to the Nags Head now as it 50p a pint cheaper.
winstone - 13 Sep 2010 16:28
Persnally, I don't use The Allied any more because of it's ridiculous prices, which is a shame as I used to like it.

At their beer festival this weekend, bitter (including the regular range) was £3.55 a pint!!
cheshirecat - 5 Sep 2010 09:32
This used to be a great pub a couple of years ago until they put their children in to run it who quite frankly have neither the interest nor the attitude to run a pub. Last few times I was in it seems to be run mainly for their mates. With the reputation of having the highest prices in Reading and the blatant double standards in their policies, depending on whether you're with the 'in crowd' or not, I'm afraid that these days it's a must to avoid.
blackandwhite - 1 Sep 2010 10:25
The pub is owned by Enterprise Inns which probably explains the crazy prices. Nice pub in great building. Ageing hippies will love the jukebox and vintage Space Invaders game.
theeternalwheel - 20 Aug 2010 13:25
Real ale, trad pub, but loud juke-box on weekends pumping out heavy metal so you can't think !
Silly prices but nice beer garden ...
Use it midweek (shut Sundays) !
lauraeva - 9 Aug 2010 21:12
Great hidden location.
Passing_By - 11 Jul 2010 18:34
This place is an example of how to price yourself out of the trade - beer at £3.45 and Stella at £3.95! I hope that they have a very loyal customer base!
cheshirecat - 4 Jul 2010 17:20
Outrageously expensive for what it is. Nice enough place, but prices too high.
Badgerwasp - 4 Jul 2010 16:31
£3.45 for a pint of Hullabalo now.

This place is currently a scientific study in how far you can squeeze until the pips give up squeaking.
flyingbum - 2 Jul 2010 11:31
Went in on Sat 26th June 2010 as part of a one man pub crawl around Reading. The 2 room Pub was nice and clean with a good range of real ales and many people sat in the garden. Nice, olde worlde building.
Juke box was on but not obtrusive as was the TV (showing the tennis) but disappointingly the beer was flat and very slightly warm- and I tried 2 different beers. It was in the "just about OK/ shall I take it back" category.
The toilets desperately need a tidy up so despite being a nice pub with a nice garden with seemingly nice locals (who all drink London Pride or lager so thats what I will be drinking on my next visit) I would put it in the 'could be much better with minimal effort section. Oh well...6/10.
SotonAleDrinker - 27 Jun 2010 15:20
Very expensive (ouch) and not the best kept ale. The hobgoblin i had the other day was very lifeless

Jay73 - 6 Jun 2010 22:15
Old fashioned - as opposed to Olde Worlde - pub, near the shops. Great juke box. Tidy!
ed_hodge - 2 Jun 2010 20:34
An Ok pub. Juke box is great for "old" tunes!

Pride and Hullabaloo are the regulars with 3 guests. Today they were Hamerpot Pale. Cottage Lightening and Arkells 3Bs. £3.30 a pint.

Worth visiting but..
cheshirecat - 14 May 2010 20:49
Lovely hidden away pub and the Jukebox was in full working order! Definitely worth a visit.
JohnOcean - 23 Dec 2009 13:50
Good old world atmosphere, excellent beers, well worth a visit.
jfrebrycn - 22 Dec 2009 22:55
A dinky little pub, admirably summed up by the comments below. 5 real ales, excellent service and a real 'community' feel to the place - something that is quite rare in Reading. The prices are at the level one expects to pay in the Home Counties, I'm afraid - not the pub's fault.
timkholman - 11 Nov 2009 20:38
Side alley entrance to a traditional two bar layout. The bar is continuous through both rooms along the back wall but the hand pumps are in the rear (Dragoon Lounge). The front room is The Yeoman Lounge. A slightly dated feel, black and white beamed ceilings, white walls, sparsely embellished with the odd local photo, and a patterned carpet. Traditional standard chairs and tables plus bar stools, no fancy high seats or sofas here. There is a rear courtyard for outdoor drinking/smokers.
A no frills functional town pub really, good beer choice of Tring Phantom Monk, Cottage Whippet Howling Ale, Loddon Hullabaloo, Wychwood Hobgoblin, Pride and a Weston's Cider. A friendly group of locals at the bar politely moved over as I arrived to allow me a look at the choice of beer.
The slightly retro feel is reinforced by the prescence of an 80's style sit down two player video game, sadly not Space Invaders, in the front room.
The pub has its own branded glasses, a nice touch.
Maldenman - 1 Nov 2009 11:53
Two bar 'local' with a good range of interesting and tasty beers, at £6.25 for 2 pints it's not cheap though. Seating is also limited so be prepared to stand (subject to an overspill room I have not come across he said trying to cover himself)
Booze_Allen - 19 Oct 2009 17:37
The beer was in the 'typical Reading prices' category, so a bit pricey, but (more importantly) it was very well kept and the range was good and interesting. The pub is traditional and could be part of a 1982 TV drama with virtually no alterations, which is a good reason as any to visit it!!
Abteilung - 17 Oct 2009 22:15
Really good traditional pub, very well managed, with recently extended range of well-kept ales. Nice quiet garden (except when nearby church bells are ringing!) Only downside - prices have risen and it is now really quite expensive (well over £3/pint).
newbury_drinker - 16 Oct 2009 15:59
Much imporoved since the rear garden area has been opened up. Now no need to huddle under that 'orrible giant parasol with all the smokers
BinBagBob - 8 Jul 2009 13:06
Traditional, but small city centre pub with low ceilings and leaded and frosted windows. There's 2 separate bars - the Dragoon Lounge and the Yeoman Lounge.

The pub's own website refers to the Allied Arms as being "the country pub in town" which sums it up quite well to me.

There's a pleasant outside drinking area at the back.

I had a pint of Loddon Hullaboloo which, along with London Pride, are the regular beers, so I'm told. Also on was Jennings Cumberland and Ascot Alley Cat Ale, plus one other.

This is a friendly and welcoming pub, recommended to seek it out
JohnBonser - 15 May 2009 13:52
We weren't expecting this pub to be open on a Bank Holiday Monday, given it supposedly closes on Sundays. But low and behold it was open. Real ales available were Wold Woild Moild & Coyote Bitter, Hammerpot White Wing, Loddon Hullabaloo and London Pride. A very pleasant interior and attractive exterior with reasonably friendly service. An added bonus was Westons Old Rosie Cider.
blue_scrumpy - 5 May 2009 21:13
A superb old building with two traditionally decorated bars, both bizarrely labelled lounges. Good choice of well kept beers service a bit slow but not down to the Wetherspoons standard. A little pricey perhaps but Reading seems that way. Middle aged male customers in the main, a number of them spouting some complete tosh, obviously left their brains outside.

anonymous - 4 Apr 2009 14:15
Bit of a treasure in the Reading area - A real ale goldmine.
PubMessenger - 30 Mar 2009 10:08
Range and quality of ale is on the up again, I believe that Steve and Moira have returned which explains why. But how long will they be here? Hopefully a while!
Quinno - 6 Feb 2009 12:55
Traditional old pub with low ceilings and two separate bars. Three ales including a nice Loddon Hullabaloo. Friendly staff and customers, good place for a beer and a chat or to read the papers.

Millay - 2 Feb 2009 20:36
Beer always good. Cross section of Reading people go in and is always friendly.
thefatsausage - 17 Oct 2008 00:39
The "wonderful garden" is usually competely covered by the huge parasol which was put in place solely for the benefit of filthy smokers. Why don't they take it down when the sun is shining?
CarolineNo - 21 Sep 2008 10:31
The pub is a gem in the Town Centre.Like most pubs, there will be an ocassion when an undesirable is in the bar, but, the staff will quickly remove said person and the atmosphere will be welcoming.Regulars and visitors are welcome and if you are in need of a chat then most people are very friendly.3 real ales and a selection of fizz are served. The quality is back to normal after a spell of indifference, with the new manager, the Landlord`s son, taking over.Fortnightly wednesday quiz, with cash prizes, are great fun and not too serious and help to make a great evening.A scary looking large guy with a beard can often be found sat at the corner of the bar but he is actually a very nice fella.
Wonderful garden is ideal for those warm evenings, but if it is chilly then the heaters will keep you cosy.
Try the pub and you will be pleasantly surprised.
mrbluto - 26 May 2008 11:23
Two local ales in good condition.Quiet on our visit ,well worth calling in.
Leicesterbeer - 5 May 2008 11:16
Small town centre pub, but still has two seperate bar areas, both approached through the side door - the front door is permanently shut. Usually two good real ales on, occasionally a third and infrequent beer festivals (seem to recall the last one was about a year ago, so perhaps another is due?). Usually a good chatty atmosphere, decent old-school jukebox, but the odd occasion when it can feel a little unwelcoming - you seem to pick up the odd evil eye from time to time from punters who probably feel you are invading their personal front room drinking den. Nothing wrong with it, in general, though.
Gristy - 31 Mar 2008 17:00
I do like this pub, a proper two-roomed old boozer with a bit of character. Nice sun-trap beer garden and a large (but currently unused) function room, which they really should open up, losing a lot of revenue there. Fortnightly quiz some fiendish questions, someone please end the dominance of MC Hamster!

Usually has Pride, a Loddon brew and a guest – although they seem to be short of stock quite often at the, not unusual to see only one of the three actually on. Need to address that sooner rather than later as I've turned tail a few times recently and gone somewhere else with a better range. Saying that, there was a super pint of Whippet Strikes Back there last week...
Quinno - 18 Feb 2008 14:12
Excellent pub and one I try to visit after the usual distressing shopping visit to the town centre. Landlord is a top bloke and as the place is so tiny, you often get involved in conversations with complete strangers. Where else in Reading would you be entertained by a genuine Punch & Judy man doing his impromptu act based on Quentin Tarantino? Class.
TheTranquilEye - 31 Jan 2008 15:20
Ah, obviously we had a different experience of this pub than previous commentators.
Both our beers (different) were poor unfortunately and the atmosphere in the pub was not welcoming. There was a couple of boorish drunks at the bar being entertained by the Barmaid.
It's always difficult when your experience is different from obviously the norm, but you have to rate as you see it.
imdownthepub - 21 Oct 2007 14:11
great pub, lovely if few staff, mellow customers - they may have been a bit drunk - fabulous garden with the biggest pub umbrella in Europe - they even have heating outside! great music that makes you go "ooh do you remember this at school?" and then fall over either from heat exhaustion, beer excess or pure joy!

Baz McCarthy
Baz_McCarthy - 13 Aug 2007 19:33
Lovely beer, great atmosphere, super pub.
beerPrincess - 30 Jul 2007 10:07
Always liked this pub and it has one the best beer gardens in the town centre with music outside! Wow! (and a distinct lack of baseball caps)
gloryseeker - 27 Apr 2007 15:14
Gardens are nice when the bell ringers at St Marys get going, takes you back 100's of years almost...well after a few Stella's anyway
Nero - 14 Mar 2007 11:23
A brilliant pub. What town centre pubs should be about. I always have a good time their. Staff and beer are both great!
rvw - 13 Mar 2007 08:55
Been in here a few times and had some decent beer.

Had a fab night just before Christmas, playing songs on the juke box (what a selection) and even singing in the front bar. No one complained. :-)
beerPrincess - 28 Dec 2006 12:42
Had the best pint of Hogsback Advent I've sampled so far, brining the ale list up to three. Keep the guest on the go and up to scratch, and I'll keep going back.
Quinno - 17 Dec 2006 16:09
Quite small, good space outside. Cosy, enjoyed all my times in here.
snorkler - 10 Dec 2006 15:10
Well, well well. If at first you don't get a drink here try again! The range is in fact alright, without being amazing. But the Jukebox is the main source of entertainment here, play 5 songs for £1 or just 2 songs for 50p. 7/10 for me
aleman - 26 Nov 2006 02:46
Two small rooms, vintage space invaders game. Couple of real ales, good central location.
DeggyT - 5 Nov 2006 00:06
A charming old pub, one which I make a point of visiting every time I am in Reading. Small and welcoming I feel as though I have been drinking there for years. Good beer, relaxed atmos. The one downside however, is no food. All the same a friendly bar, even for an outsider like me!
bish80 - 18 Oct 2006 03:30
Cosy boozer, with a couple of Ales on the go (Bombadier and Courage) which were well kept, but in Reading a pint of either is nothing special really I think. Worth a visit though, for sure.
Quinno - 8 Sep 2006 23:35
What can I say other than seriously disappointed in this place after such a promising start.

I though the land lord was a top bloke, always there with a freindly chat to greet you. Ive actually spoken to this chap quite a few times, and thought we knew each other. How wrong can I be?
Read on:

My very, very respectable brother and I were having a quiet beer in the Allied after a meal at Old Siam. Drunken Irish Whitley people invited themselves to join us, rather than complain, only having half a pint left, my brother and I agreed we would move on as soon as we finished our beers and get away from
the people that were sitting at our table. Moments later 5 police offices were in the pub.
Apparently the scum that came to join us had been reported for drug dealing.
We were searched and humiliated in front of the whole pub, and now that nice old man on the door wont let me in any longer.

Im an educated, responsible, proffessional and I thought that the landlord would easily know that I dont drink with these people. So I tried to reason with him in a freindly manner.

He actually threatened to radio to the police and have me forcible removed from the pavement outside.

What riles me, is that he let the drug dealers into his pub, which were nothing to do with us. And yet becuase of this, he bars me!

Some may say he is looking after his pub. Which is not something I question. However Im appalled at his approach and would recommend that if you dont want to be stripped and spread in front of the whole pub, humiliated and intimidated by this mans freindly police force (he has a direct radio to them). Then Id say stay away.
Mark2005 - 1 Sep 2006 17:23
decent little pub with low ceilings and beer garden. some good beer, too
blamm - 19 Apr 2006 14:08
my favourite place in reading!! the staff are great and the locals that go there are always willing to have a chat. the beer garden is excellent and so is the beer!! i want to open a pub like this when i'm older. real, sincere and friendly.
anonymous - 13 Mar 2006 18:30
Allied allied allied, great pub. Been drinking here for years, excellent laugh and got Camras seal of apparoval last year. Beer garden for the summer months should be great once they finished the building work on St Mary Butts church.
Reading_till_i_die - 6 Feb 2006 10:46
Odd wee pub but the beer is good and it has a beer garden which is a rareity for Reading. It can be a bit intimidating for the lighter weight drinker but the regulars and staff are perfectly friendly once you get in there. Good place to hide from the wife on Saturday shopping expeditions.
malkymark - 5 Feb 2006 14:19
Looks scary from the outside, isn't. get through the door and now we are drinking with gas as they say. Or did i dream that? Anyway,. good old pub, jovial bar staff, beer garden with heaters for our sunny climate and decetn beer, try it you might like it.
Hedgehog - 19 Jan 2006 16:00
Currently climbing the list of this 32 year olds fave boozers. Good pint, can take or leave the other punters as you see fit. And blessed-be its a real pub. A rare treat in the ikea created landscape of Reading
Mark2005 - 12 Jan 2006 16:56
Now one of the leading Real Ale pubs in Reading, having just been voted runner- up in the CAMRA Pub of the Year competition. 3 Real Ales are usually available and are served in top class condition. The management and staff are very customer friendly, except if you are an idiot and set a high standard of behaviour. The pub is now very user friendly where you can drink in either of 2 bars ( one no smoking ) or in the superb , heated and secluded garden without fear of intimidation of a lot of pubs.
No food is available, only crisps and nuts. They do stock a superb bag of pork scratchings which are only available at this pub, very moorish !!
A large screen is only used for non sky events and the jukebox has to be seen to be believed. The pub does not now have a dart board.
Visit, enjoy and you`ll go back again.
BIGSTEVE - 22 Aug 2005 11:35
Excellent ales - they've really made an effort here.
Decent TV screen in rear bar.
The only beer garden in town centre
Non-smoking front bar.
BinBagBob - 23 Mar 2005 23:18
Nipped in for a couple before meeting a mate in January. Good ales, really good ales, but it's a bit cold and bleak inside when we were there. Most of the locals seemed to be not entirely the full ticket.
MrScott - 28 Feb 2005 17:44
This pub is one of the few in the town centre that has not been mesed around with ! A proper town pub.
Pauline Metcalf - 29 Jun 2004 12:42
Very good for a sunday's afternoon drinking. Excellent fun when London Irish win!
anonymous - 27 Jan 2004 10:59
This is a great pub; a nice place to escape all the "classy" townies and peroxide blondes. No messing about, just beer, crisps and a really good, well hidden garden.
Harry - 8 Jan 2004 14:04
All I can say is that I discovered this place when I was meant to be having a vidjo night. Top jukebox lots of my fave power ballads. You gotta love dat.
Adam Watkins - 2 Dec 2003 21:08
Nice olde-worlde sort of pub. Used by war veterans in wee-stained trousers.
Jelly - 29 Nov 2003 01:15
Owned by a London Irish fan since the end of 2002. Very welcoming with a good atmosphere. Recommended!
Gary - 3 Jul 2003 16:43
I love this pub - an escape from all the awful townie pubs Reading seems full of. Very friendly bar staff, cosy feel - this really is everything a pub should be. Particulary recommend this pub on christmas or new years eve, much merriment is had all round - with Irish gigues being played on the juke.
Ed - 19 Jun 2003 13:05
Popular haunt of LOndon Irish fans. Good range of real ales and lagers. Very friendly new landlord and landlady
Rich O'Reilly - 2 Nov 2002 18:59
This is a proper pretentions here...good beer and friendly atmos...nice garden too.....
Eric the Red - 17 Sep 2002 14:28

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