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Old Ale House, Truro

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user reviews of the Old Ale House, Truro

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

My first stop in Truro was the Old Ale House. It was my favourite pub of the day, having sampled 15 in Cornwall over the course of Saturday. The pub was heaving and a coronavirus expert's worst nightmare. It was hot and noisy, with a live band playing. People were packed in elbow to elbow. The bare boards are littered with disposed nut shells, as complimentary monkey nuts are offered. With the bar so packed and noisy, it was difficult to see what was available and also difficult to make yourself heard. The pub is owned and operated by Skinner's. So, the ale range was exclusively from the brewery - Betty Stogs, Lushington's, Porthleven, Hops 'n' Honey, Sennen, Cornish Knocker & Chapel Rock. Real ciders were available from the Cornwall Cider Company - Apple Slayer, MLG, Rhubarb & Custard Cider, Lyonesse & Spisa Mor. All real ciders were priced as £4.70 a pint. But, with a 10% CAMRA discount, it was only £4.23. I stopped for 3, before I finally decided to leave before I overheated and other pubs closed. I'd very much like to return on a much quieter evening.
blue_scrumpy - 17 Mar 2020 19:59
Place is quite a good pubby kind of joint with chunky tables and a darkish interior.

I would have rated it higher but the place was just so damn expensive.
Especially if you want a pint of real cider which cost about £6.00 a pint!

Many ales on offer from Skinners brewery but come on why charge the earth?

montie49 - 19 Mar 2019 15:12
A brief respite from retail therapy. Cracking couple of Skinners ales; both in excellent condition. A great precursor to a brewery tour later in the week.


One gripe - no pasties.
LickeyEndBooze - 12 Jul 2015 14:31
Even though it is now a Skinners Pub lost none of its charm since I last visited on a stag do. Only had 5 minutes but you can't visit Truro with out having a pint of something from Skinners.
The_in4mer - 30 Dec 2012 17:21
This pub is now Skinners and the beer comes directly from the brewery in Truro.It is always excellent quality and there are usually different beers which you don't see elsewhere as well as the full normal skiners range.Well worth a look if in Truro.
Roden - 13 Oct 2012 19:17
Called in for food after an exhausting tour of Skinners brewery, found the service exellent and food that was superb. Will be on my to do list on next visit to Truro. Even my wife loved it...
robtheale - 20 Sep 2012 12:25
I was in the Old Ale House yesterday, and sampled a few of the different Skinners Ales on, and each one was in tip top condition. The snacks i had lunchtime were excellent, the pub was quite busy when we arrived at 1250. I enjoyed the beer that much took a 4 pint take out for the train home. The pub has lots of character.
GT37 - 22 Jun 2012 16:36
Could be a great place if it had a spring clean; low lighting doesn't hide dirtiness. Unfortunately chose the local beer on handpump, not bad enough to hand back, but only just drinkable.
stuartandmonica - 24 Nov 2011 14:33
What a shame....
This was my favourite pub in the whole world.
Went in today to find dirty glasses, dirty mirrors, miserable member of staff who took 5 minutes even to appear. Food had finished at 2pm (?!).
I love the pub for its olde worlde charm, but standards are standards, and they have seriously slipped.

purpletia - 19 Oct 2011 15:10
A fine establishment serving ales from all over the place including Cornish beers that aren't Skinners, Sharps or St Austell. keltek had two beer son during my visit. Pub itself is somewhat dark inside, food is good and plentiful.
ahscum - 19 Jul 2010 18:59
If I had to choose one pub in Truro to visit, it would be this one as had genuine charm and for real ale drinkers, a large selection of local and national beers. I was a bit taken back by a large an mount of empty monkey nut shells all over the floor but was soon having a handfull on the complementary snack. Friendly landlord and staff, only shame was it wasn't busier as it would be a shame if a pub like this was lost.
fetchman - 16 Jun 2010 12:25
Good beer, good food and good size inside. When the menu says half a loaf thats exactly what it means.
ppw - 4 Jun 2010 09:47
Back in Cornwall so a visit here is a must, and we had a Brewdog 77 Lager which did not taste too good. Clear enough beer though. Enjoyed the "hands" and the food has never let us down. Agree it is a pub to go to for beer variety.
gillhalfpint - 22 Sep 2009 23:18
Typical, travel all the way down to Cornwall from Hampshire only to find Fullers London Pride and (Gales) Seafarers as the two alternatives to the very drinkable Skinners Kiddlywink. Kiddlywink being the old name for a Cornish beer house or shop. Get a seat by the window and watch the world go by. A sharp turn for buses, a pedestrian crossing and some idiotic drivers provides great entertainment.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 15 Jul 2009 13:58
Agree that it is nice to find there are other beers in Cornwall than Skinners, Sharps and St Austell. No problem with thise beers, but when in the area for a while, a bit of variety is good for you, and this is one of the pubs that supply other breweries beers. Enjoyed Wooden Hand, Otter and Everards at my June visit. Good food on offer here too, especially the notorious hands.
gillhalfpint - 10 Jul 2009 17:10
Great pub, great selection of beer, very helpful staff, and a lovely pub.
Dylanwing - 30 Jun 2009 22:30
Great to find somewhere which sells other than St Austell or Skinners (respectable though it is). Had a pint from Titanic brewery which was in perfect condition and poured directly from the barrel. Very cosy and lots of memorabilia with friendly service. Very close to the bus station. Would have stayed longer but unfortunately no later bus!
pxk99 - 6 May 2009 20:11
This city centre pub not only has an eye catching exterior but also offers one of the better selections of ales we found on our recent travels around the area. The interior of the pub is altmospherically dark and dingy with bare floors and a tatty feel but full of character with shed loads of beer mats, drink towels, old adverts, beer fest menus and pump clips stretching across the walls and ceilings. Some of it has obviously been there for years and the general impression is that anything that gets put on the walls stays there until it rots and falls off. The floors are strewn with the shells of complimentary peanuts so probably not the best place for sufferers of nut allergies but it is fun to crunch them all underfoot. Many of the tables and even some seats are made from converted barrels. A copuple of old Redruth Brewery windows can be found, one a telephone box sized booth. The usual mix of entertainment is listed including quizzes, live music and (unfortunately) karaoke. There is a pool room upstairs (both the pool and jukebox are free after 7 on Mondays). On my viist there were 8 available ales either from the 10 handpumps or direct from the 7 casks behind the bar. Ironically many of the guests were familiar to me so I ended up opting for the regular house ales Skinners Kiddlywink and Cornish Mutiny, both excellent. Others available included Spitfire, Pitch Black, Adnams, XB, Deuchars and Taunton cider. There was also a selection of unusual fruit wines. I didnt find it particularly expensive and overall thought it was a great pub but sadly I didnt get time to stay as long as I would have liked although I would definitely return.
RogerB - 19 Mar 2009 14:00
Not in the GBG but in the Lonely Planet guide. Good place with its own distinctive atmosphere - went there lunchtime mid-week. Wide range of beers and competitively priced food.

Old_King_Cole - 18 Nov 2008 22:20
Nice atmosphere & kiddleywink was good, service bit slow though.
Asked for some white bread & butter for my son, told they didn't have any white bread at all. Ordered a hand of bread & chilli for myself & when it came it was white!! Was then told that chef was too busy to busy to butter a piece of bread.
provenjohn - 30 Oct 2008 18:04
Always call in here when in Truro, but the quality of the beers can be variable. Food is first class and usually a good choice of real ales.
gillhalfpint - 8 Oct 2008 10:29
The best pub in Truro in my opinion, although a tad on the pricey side. Try the Kiddlywink, the Skinners house ale, never fails. Most of the Truro pubs do seem to cater for the teens and twentys, but not here. Always a good atmosphere.
kernowsaint - 6 Sep 2008 18:11
The quality of the beer is variable - some of the guest ales taste watery and uncared for. The atmosphere, however, is first rate.
Tobias_the_Pickler - 15 Aug 2008 01:14
Good renage of beers all served well
johnandpet - 12 Jul 2008 17:09
A very interesting and highly recommended pub. Excellant menu, the is good entertainment and some beers come straight from the barrel. Worth 8/10
ken42 - 30 Jun 2008 12:22
Returned home at the weekend to meet up with some old friend. Forgot how good this place is. Top marks
themanfromtruro - 9 May 2008 05:32
I think Chav_man must have taken a wrong turning as he can't have found this pub. Truro is a beer mecca and this is one of the best.
IGNOR Chav_man as he is probably floating in a paddling pool!!!!!!!
trains2064 - 21 Apr 2008 22:45
I read some of the reviews and decided to check this pub out. It is really crap and the toilet was a paddling pool.....
Chav__man - 20 Apr 2008 15:15
Excellant. Fantastic decor. Great range of beers! Recommended. I agree the special skinners Ale is Excellent.
tributedrinker - 10 Apr 2008 10:44
If you want to eat or drink this has to go down as one of the best pubs in the country. The steak is top notch and if you want a good beer try the Skinner's speciel it is superb!
trains2064 - 9 Apr 2008 21:06
Always a good range of real ales.Good food at Lunch and early evening.
Occasional music sessions and jazz at least once a month.

A regular favourite in Truro
Roden - 30 Mar 2008 02:30
Great pub, friendly staff good music, great atmosphere, a proper pub run the way a pub should be. Great selection of beers and more importantly a good glass of cider!!!! Keep up the good work!!!
SiDer - 23 Oct 2007 20:23
Came in here sometime in September with friends. The food was pretty decent and quite a good range of ales though not outstanding in terms of flavour. Decor is good, too
blamm - 17 Oct 2007 13:50
..this is our favourite pub even better now it is smoke free... on a winters evening with a glass of red wine in hand ...bliss . great beer as well according to my man... al x
anonymous - 22 Aug 2007 21:01
Super beer selection and good friendly service.
A cool bit of Jazz being played one evening when we were there. Good volume but OK to carry on a conversation as well.
Might loose a little atmosphere on Jazz nights when the smoking ban comes in but I'm still looking forward to smoke free to be honest.
dbjmay - 5 Jun 2007 18:02
Pub is drab and in need of a facelift.
stelladrinker - 13 Apr 2007 18:50
Went for first time in over a year this week and apart from the landlord the bar staff are still fairly miserable and self centered. The beer is OK, but not fantastic considering the name of the place and the superb interior decor, and still better than most places in the area. Old Peculiar was good, Black Pearl bland and flat,but February Ale very good and flavoursome for a 3.8% Always go back for the beer but not the food - its rubbish.
Bernie5 - 9 Feb 2007 21:41
Just come to the area and love this pub. Beer is kept in great condition and felt very welcome. Friendly atmosphere
Maroedh - 17 Nov 2006 16:38
Very nice pub with excellent ales. Old looking interior with bits and pieces sacttered on the walls etc.
trekman - 24 Aug 2006 13:07
Though i must, regretable, agree that it is going 'down hill' a bit, i still give it a 7.The food is well priced & good value & the beer can be truely wonderful - 'an average pint' is a bad day, but, again, still at least double what you'd get in most. As for the atmosphere i rate it highly; freindly & well mixed. No, no visit to Truto is the same without a visit there.

br8ddocks - 5 Jul 2006 10:21
Have to agree with redboy the Kiddlywink is top notch
I visit the place every year without fail
countryblue - 18 Apr 2006 20:51
A classic! No trip to Truro would be complete without a trip here. Yes it is a tad expensive but the atmosphere simply can't be beaten anywhere! You can strike up a conversation with any of the regulars or the bar staff and no-one is a stranger here. They even used to have nuts in barrels for you to help yourself but they got rid of them years ago - Health and Safety probably. A fantastic selection of beers both on tap and from the casks behind the bar. Try a pint of Kiddlywink - the local brew. It's absolutely gorgeous! This place is definitely worth paying a bit extra for - you don't get pubs like this too often and they need to be cherished. Worth going to Truro just to visit. A timeless classic!
redboy - 27 Dec 2005 15:49
What a shame this used to be a great pub. We called in last week (March 05). The pub seems to have changed hands, staff still friendly but beer (Sharps) was probably the worst I have tasted - completely flat without any head at all and devoid of condition. My 2 friends had different brews, and both the same. Someone needs to go on a cellar course. No Sharps Doombar or St Austell Tribute- both are local bestsellers.
Food used to be beautiful with Beef and Stilton in skillets - what on earth have they done to the recipe ? Really oily and horrible. I ordered the spice island chicked - 2 mouthfulls only - it was inedible and tasted dreadful.
No monkey nuts either - this used to be a real attraction in previous years. I'm sorry to say avoid this place like the plague unless you want lager.

lobster56 - 21 Mar 2005 13:39
I agree with all previous comments - best pub in Truro.
BinBagBob - 27 Feb 2005 10:10
I agree, the best pub in Truro by a mile. A great after work pub, dont know about later in the evening as Truro does tend to die a bit after dark. Much better to go to St.Agnes .
kernowsaint - 2 Jan 2005 21:20
Best pub in Truro I think. Great real ales and a friendly atmosphere. Red wine worth a miss though.
Jonathan Sims - 5 Feb 2004 16:40
I certainly agree! Fantastic place for a drink or ten!!! Most beer served from the barrel and chilled too. The atmosphere is unique. Are they still providing free "monkey" nuts from wooden barrels I wonder? Live music adds to the occasion.
Andrew - 12 Oct 2003 17:18
great atmosphere. mostly real ales. no spirit licence. super food. top notch chef. must try.
chris ketterer - 7 Aug 2003 20:39

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