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Dispensary, Liverpool

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user reviews of the Dispensary, Liverpool

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

Not the greatest ale selection on a visit last night - George Wright Mark's Mild, Titanic Plum Porter & First Class, Fyne Ales Hurricane Jack, Rat White Rat & Hawkshead Windermere Pale. Still one of the best boozers in the city though.
blue_scrumpy - 30 Aug 2018 19:18
Owner and staff won't be to everyone's tastes but still one of my favourites in this part of town. Had a couple of superb pints of Titanic and Rat White Rat last weekend. Friendly punters.
mike_s - 9 Aug 2018 15:52
@Snarling_Mallard Laugh out loud! You always crack me up with your reviews!
realalerules1983 - 27 May 2018 13:45
Still find this a pleasant old school old man's alehouse with decent ale. maybe being an old get makes it more appealing to me.
Snarling_Mallard - 26 May 2018 15:26
Dave was in usual form yesterday. With Everton winning, Liverpool losing and me and my mates having visited other hostelries in the city, he was in a typically sarcastic mood. But you have to take him with a pinch of salt. This is his boozer and his pride and joy. The pub is always packed with people that appreciate the quality of his well-kept and well-sourced ales. So it makes a decent drinking environment. Yesterday's selection was Titanic First Class & Plum Porter, George Wright Mark's Mild, Riverhead Liquorice Latte Stout, Fyne Jagnarok Imperial Jarl, Oakham Citra & Rat White Rat. Still our go to pub in Liverpool, despite the lack of a real cider for me. The dark ales generally make up for it. Still thoroughly recommended.
blue_scrumpy - 5 Feb 2017 18:34
Called in on my annual January trip to Liverpool. White Rat as superb as ever.
hartlepool - 22 Jan 2017 16:29
Me and my son was the first customers for 2017. I orderd a Titanic first class, and so he asked my son what he want? I answerd: He have a taste of my glass before he decides. The landlord exploded!! Knobhead and gobshite, he called me, and never stoped yelling. I payed the beer, did not tuch it, and we went out. Its a pity for that pub with all the good beer, but a landlord from hell.
NorwegianFlyer - 5 Jan 2017 13:20
I have heard this a pub that needs to be tried.  A one roomed pub with about 8 ales on, I went for the pint of titanic plum porter at 3.40, which was nice but an interesting taste, well kept.  Reasonably busy, interesting stuff around the pub, including a poster to not buy the sun (gives it that Scouse touch ).  Tellies with Sky sports news on and music playing.  The infamous 'Dave' was making sure everything was in order.  You can tell they are a bit anal by how the table I was on had mats to soak up the beer, certainly made it unique.  A lot of people who have to look after beer are quite OCD, he may have quite an extreme form of it but my experience was pleasant.  They also seem to allow e-cigarettes, probably best to ask before you try. Definitely worth a try.


Wezzielad - 17 Dec 2016 12:02
This is one of the better pubs in Liverpool, but it also serves as a reminder of how identikit most of the city’s pubs are. There are invariably on a street corner, and the bar is along the long side of the building with tall shelves and mirrors behind it. There are just a few chairs and tables at one end, and most room is given over to standing.

What marks this place out though is the quality and range of the beer. There are 7 or 8 cask ales on tap, with usually another couple of craft kegs available. I agree that George Wright Mild, Titanic Plum Porter and various Rat beers are pretty much regulars but since my local vary rarely stocks Rat despite our constant pleading, I can’t argue with that.

7/10 – you can’t beat Plum Porter

Martinsh - 5 Oct 2016 22:27
The Dispensary is still our regular haunt in Liverpool. But as you can guess, I'm very often touring around Liverpool's other establishments. Despite this, I always make the effort to get here for at least one. The ale quality is always good. But the ale range can sometimes seem a little predictable, with the same breweries featuring - typically Titanic, Rat, Fernandes & Ossett. Yesterday's selection was George Wright Mark's Mild, Titanic First Class & Plum Porter, Fyne Ragnarok Imperial Jarl, Rat Mother Rat Milk Stout, King Rat & White Rat & Mallinsons Ella. The Milk Stout was very enjoyable last night. The Addlestones cider is no longer served. Aspalls is the only cider on draught now. Also missed is the Titanic Cappuccino, which used to be a regular beer. But we have not seen this for a couple of years now. The landlord is a staunch red. A big screen comes down and the blinds/curtains are drawn when they're playing on the TV! Woe be tied anybody who puts their coats on the seats! But he is a nice enough guy with a dry sense of humour when you get to know him and he clearly has a love for good beer. The Dispensary is always popular and definitely worth a visit for anybody sampling Liverpool's pubs. My personal favourite in Liverpool has to be the Ship & Mitre these days. But I know my friends would disagree and for me the Dispensary runs it very close. Go to the Ship & Mitre for the best range. But go to the Dispensary for the best quality.
blue_scrumpy - 25 Jan 2016 19:13
Another visit to my favourite pub in Liverpool and I wasn't disappointed. To my delight, they still had the plum porter on by Titanic Brewery, which was absolutely divine!

Finally met the landlord and found he was a pleasant, easy going chap. Don't know what all the negative comments are about?

A must do whenever in Liverpool.


realalerules1983 - 19 Nov 2015 10:50
An Impromptu stop here on the way back into town. It’s just before 5pm on a Friday and it is already packed and feels like a proper drinkers pub (that’s not a bad thing at all).

Etched glass mirrors cover the walls, stain glass windows and tiles by the doorway which displays the Grapes name as does a sign in gold lettering above the bar. There are 6 cask ales and 4 keg choices. I went cask and had a pint of Fernendes Cascade Torrent @ 4.6%.

Lots of old brewery and advertising signs dotted around the pub give the place a real locals feel and for some reason it just doesn’t seem like you’re almost in the centre of a very large City.

Another cracker of a pub and this one was the wife’s favourite during our Liverpool trip. 9/10, boy are Liverpool pubs good.

lezford - 19 Oct 2015 18:28
This place certainly arouses the angry brigade, going by some previous postings. I found a very attractive & efficient bar lady & a very attractive & tasty pint of Titanic First Class (3.00). Being early afternoon & mid week there weren't many in but all was peace & goodwill.
Queenslander - 10 Sep 2015 22:31
Only pub I've come across in the last 10 years that refuses to allow you a taste of the beer. Actually that's not completely true - the guy (presume the manager you're all talking about) did reluctantly pull the tiniest tasting I've ever seen but when I later asked the (much more sociable) young barmaid for one of a 6% IPA I was told it was pub policy not to offer tastes. If they offered beer flights I could understand, but seriously, a policy not to allow even the smallest sample is just antisocial. Shame as the beer is of course very good - especially the Mild. But the Ship & Mitre is just so much more customer-centric, friendly and they gladly offer samples.
Teddy_Boy - 10 May 2015 13:22
Mobbed pub selling decent beer. Visited Friday evening and Saturday early evening.
pwilkins - 2 Apr 2015 10:47
Absolutely NOT recommended. They would not provide me with a glass of tap water, and when I complained I was barred.

My wife and I went to the Dispensary in Renshaw Street last night (16/1/15). The Dispensary was one of my favourite pubs and serves great beer - I've been going in there for years. I ordered a pint and a glass of red wine, plus a glass of water, since my wife likes to also drink water when she's drinking wine. No problem. When I went back to the bar for another pint and another glass of water, I was told they had no more water; the first glass had been from a bottle they keep in the chiller, and it had run out. The barmaid then offered to sell me a bottle of water for 75p. I said I wanted tap-water, but she told me they don't have a tap behind the bar - which seems incredible, and is surely illegal in itself for a pub (what about the hygiene aspect?). At this point I told my wife. She told the barmaid and another older red-haired woman behind the bar that it was a legal requirement to provide water on request. The red-haired woman disputed this, became aggressive and told my wife she was arrogant. It all became very embarrassing. The argument escalated (though I didn't swear or lose my temper and I was in no way inebriated), and the red-haired woman went on to bar me. I then took this up with the manager. He stood 'in my face' and reiterated that he didn't have a water tap behind the bar and that the water they'd served me with the first pint was 'kindly provided from his private supply'. He proudly told me that his water, at 75p a bottle, was cheaper than at Sainsbury's over the road. He then went on to tell me I was barred again, and physically pushed me out of the pub.

My understanding, from reading the Government website is that one of the mandatory licensing conditions is 'mandatory provision of free tap water'. I have since raised this with Citizens Advice and Liverpool Council, and am awaiting their response.

I will certainly not be going there again (well I can't since I'm barred) - which is a shame, because they do serve great beer. But I won't be intimidated by, or spoken to, by rude and aggressive people.
gregsander - 17 Jan 2015 16:57
Still our usual drinking hole in Liverpool, we headed here after the match yesterday after having a few pre-match drinks in the much-improved James Monro (not listed on this site). The Dispensary is still one of my favourite Liverpool pubs. The beers are turned over regularly and are greatly appreciated by the regular customers. Yesterday's selection was Titanic First Class & Plum Porter, Thornbridge Jaipur, Ossett Yorkshire Blonde, Rat White Rat & Black Rat, Oakham JHB & George Wright Mark's Mild. Sadly there is no real cider anymore, as the Addlestones pump has been removed. Aspalls is the cider option. The drinking environment is pleasing. There's generally some kind of sport on the TV, but conversation is still king. Dave runs a tight ship here. He stands no messing and has strict house rules. We've seen people incur his wrath. But he has always been fine with us and generally stops for a chat. Is it Liverpool's best pub? I'm still undecided. I like the larger selection of the Ship & Mitre and the quirkiness of the Cracke. The Vernon is also a favourite of mine, with the Rum Porter & Black Dragon always on. But the Dispensary always has some very well-kept beers and the consensus amongst my fellow drinkers is that this is Liverpool's best. So we'll continue to frequent.
blue_scrumpy - 11 Jan 2015 14:37
Interesting end to an evening in the Dispensary, 4 of us from 6 pm through to 8.30pm four very nice beers each, one of us goes to the toilet as we prepare to leave chatting 3-4 mins tops and the very rude serving person tells us in no uncertain terms to buy drinks or leave and orders us out, probably not too much wrong here? But we were preparing to leave discussing taxi or train etc. In my 16 years in Liverpool I have seen nothing like this level of rudeness! The landlord earlier and two younger barstaff were excellent but the behaviour of the elderly bar lady with dyed red hair left a very poor after taste to the whole evening.... The pub is one where I rate the beer and experience and have regularly over the years spend long evenings... But if that is the experience they wish to create ejecting the only lady customer present in the establishment, a new comer to these shores, a camra member and a city resident of 15 years (admittedly lacking the accent) with the bigoted expletives 'local wanting locals and drinkers' after we had put custom their way that evening for several hours beggars belief.....
liverpoolrich - 22 Oct 2014 21:18
Just stopped in for one before heading over to Prenton Park to watch Plymouth Argyle beat Tranmere. No obnoxious landlord in sight, just a fine selection of beers. I had a mild from the George Wright brewery and my mate tried halves of Oakham Citra and one of Arbor's beers. Plenty of choice and an interesting interior so would be a happy place to spend an hour or two.
DuchyBoy - 13 Oct 2014 09:36
Not a bad pub at all, some very nice ales and certainly worth a visit or two. Unfortunately the stories about 'Mad Dave' are quite true and I am fortunate enough not to have suffered from his behaviour, probably because I am bigger than him and like my beer! Seriously though, just try it for yourself, avoid him if possible and you will find a decent pub.
McLovin - 1 Oct 2014 12:49
I often go to the Dispensary and I never have a problem with the manager. He even shook my hand sometimes. The staff is very friendly. I like the atmosphere of this pub and there is one of the finest selection of real ales in Liverpool (with the Lion Tavern). If you are in the city center et want a good pint, don't hesitate to go there.
Jey - 25 Sep 2014 11:43
This could be a cracking pub but unfortunately is let down by the manager Dave (he's not even the licencee) might I add. I have frequented there on numurous occasions and have found him to be the most horrible obnoxious offensive man I have ever met. He is insulting towards paying customers all the time he clearly has no people skills in order to run a pub. I feel sorry for his wife, and the gents are a total disgrace what with the stench, bent and twisted vandalized plumbing, surely that is a health hazard, but hay ho Dave is always right.
Avoid this dive of a public house you'll probably catch a disease from the toilets.
Go to a decent pub, because this certianly is not .

xxBounderxx - 17 Sep 2014 18:18
Was enticed in to this place after noticing it won CAMRA pub of the year in 2009.

Upon entering, I was ecstatic at spotting one of my all time favourite drinks being served - Titanic's Plum Porter!

Had a couple but could easily have stayed all day, and all night, drinking that stuff.

Locals were friendly and the pub was clean, and the service was efficient.

Solid 8/10 for me!
realalerules1983 - 17 Aug 2014 11:20
A quick visit last night before going to a show.
Another good selection of ales. I had a golden ale from the Ossett Brewery which was excellent. Crowded but customers were a decent bunch and no hint of aggression from anyone.
wirraldrinker - 18 May 2014 14:26
By common consent, this is the best pub in Liverpool city centre for beer. If you want to enhance your experience of the place by getting on with Dave, it's quite simple - visit frequently, drink lots of his beer, agree with everything he says (even when you haven't the faintest idea what he's on about), and do as you're told. I can well understand why some people aren't comfortable with this. Pauline (who, as has already been pointed out, is the actual licensee and Dave's wife) couldn't be nicer.
Blokfluit - 28 Apr 2014 10:52
Always good quality real ales from well chosen breweries. The Titanic Plum Porter as a regular beer keeps us going back. Always got on well with the staff (landlord included) and never had any bother as the 'undesirables' seem to go elsewhere. Maybe the house rules are a bit excessive (no coats or bags on seats) but it's often busy and the beer is good.
vicpark - 20 Feb 2014 20:25
Dropped by and had a decent pint of the standard Titanic brew. can't say I've ever encountered the ladnlord. One day maybe I will and be able to judge the comments but so far I've found it a reasonable enough alehousae serving a good pint.
Snarling_Mallard - 14 Feb 2014 17:58
Personally, I've always found Dave to be a decent bloke. He keeps an orderly pub which is usually full of happy punters and he sells ales of the highest quality. I always try to visit the "Dizzy" for a few beers when out in town. I've heard some of the tales about him and know that he "discourages" randomers from using his toilets without buying a drink first (which is fair enough to my mind). However, you can only report on what you personally experience, so on that basis I am happy to return again, and again!
founddrunkinyourgarden - 16 Dec 2013 17:31
Still the pub that our group tends to visit the most when in Liverpool. The ales tend to be consistently well kept and turn over quite rapidly. The pub still has a nice interior and Dave is a reasonably friendly bloke, if you stay on the right side of him. Yesterday's selection was George Wright Mark's Mild, Titanic Plum Porter & First Class, Saltaire Hopfen IPA, Fernandes Rum For Cover, Cascade Torrent & Swift One & Salopian Shropshire Gold. Addlestones is still the cider. The Rum For Cover at 6.5% was very tasty. I do like the Ship & Mitre and the Cracke. But the Dispensary is still in the running for the best pub in Liverpool City Centre.
blue_scrumpy - 15 Dec 2013 15:40
As is our custom when visiting Liverpool we made for The Dispensary as soon as we were in the town centre but unfortunately it was, being Friday evening, absolutely packed, (Dave must be doing something right), so we went across the road. We tried again on Saturday evening and this time we managed to find ourselves a little niche. First Class Titanic and Acorn Blond fitted the bill. We were passing on Sunday evening and couldn't give up the opportunity of a couple pints of Matador and First Class. We rounded off our sojourn in Liverpool with one last visit and downed a few pints of a very hoppy Fernandez Simcoe and the ubiquitous Matador. We bade farewell to Dave and Pauline and made tracks for home.
shouldersarms - 11 Dec 2013 17:18
Had a few pints of a lovely brew on Friday night - 'Oracle' from the Salopian Brewery.
The pub was crowded and I didn't experience any of the unpleasantness described below.

wirraldrinker - 8 Dec 2013 13:46
I've got a special place in my heart for this place. I was asked to leave for asking for water. Since then, I've heard countless stories of Dave being a total arse to both his regulars and casual customers. Shouldersarms, we get it! you love the place. Your devotion is really touching but your multiple reviews only reflect your experience. It's wrong of you to dismiss or criticize other peoples reviews based on their experiences. If you read reviews on this site and others (Trip advisor) you'll see that the vast majority of reviews all refer to poor service from one member of staff. If you think that being verbally abused, bullied or humiliated should be part of your night out for such serious offences as drinking too slowly, asking for loo roll for the ladies toilet, drinking soft drinks or any other mind boggling reason, then I suggest you are in a very special minority. Anyway, I hope you continue to enjoy visiting The Dispensary and I look forward to reading your glowing reviews in the future. Cheers!
Nightwatch - 10 Nov 2013 11:47
If you read previous reviews and not just the last one, people have been kicked out or refused service even for BUYING a soft drink as part of a round. Like the last reviewer before Shoulders says it is irresponsible. If I am 'DES' for the night drive the lads to and from the Dispensary, why should I deserve this treatment for looking after my licence and my job, as well as bringing business to what is otherwise a great pub. That Dave character is the only obstacle to a great session. I have drank in pubs all over the UK and never seen owt like this.
jamie.nakin - 8 Nov 2013 08:58
What a carfuffle over a glass of water! A couple of quid and you can drink water from the Isle of Sky in the Dispensary, after all we all pay for our poison and mine's real ale. The gentleman's age has got nothing to do with it nor has a load of legalistic twaddle about one's rights. If the gaffer says no, he means no, so go home. Recently we spent several visits to The Dispensary and found Dave the perfct host. His wife, Pauline is a marvellous person. The staff are hard-working and the pub is usually busy. If I had been in Dave's place, I'd've told them to go to the toilet to get a glass of water or go across the road to Sainsbury's. Tap water indeed!
shouldersarms - 7 Nov 2013 17:16
The issue with Dave behind the bar goes back years, but it still needs sorting out as a matter of urgency. Some people might not be able to drink for needical reasons, or may be the driver taking a group to the pub. To refuse service on the request of a glass of tap water as part of a round is not only irresponsible. It is an offence. The only way this man's behaviour will be stopped is if it is made as public as possible. I urge anyone experiencing this in future to record the conversation, or video it. If the round has been poured, and water is refused, simply hold your money until the water is poured. It is a reasonable, lawful request, and remember, the law is on your side as a customer if any threat is made. If Dave foolishly refuses, simply leave. The tap water was part of your order, available free, by law. By not serving it, the pub has not fulfilled your order, and you are under no obligation to pay. And if Dave is reading this: I wish you and the pub no harm. It's a place I have drunk in before the days of BITE. To help a customer who needs a glass of water as part of his or her round will cost you nothing, and will do great things for you and the pub's reputation. Reflect on the benefits you will reap from keeping your drinkers happy, and spending money in your pub, and look forward to the day all these unnecessary complaints stop, and you are no longer the focus of people's criticism. Of course it is your absolute right to choose the alternative, if you believe it's worth it.
Phucough - 29 Sep 2013 17:20
I have been to this pub several times, and never previously experienced any problems- in fact, I would always have been happy to give the Dispensary a good 8 rating at least. However, I must second Leeby's post below, I'm afraid. The actions of the manager (and not the licencee, as he claimed, unless he has changed gender) were an absolute disgrace- putting his face an inch away from the face of an elderly man and screaming foul-mouthed abuse at him, whilst barring our group because one of us had the sheer audacity to ask for a glass of water, is an absolute disgrace. I shall be writing a formal complaint to the brewery, and telling everyone in my local CAMRA branch about this incident, and I will NEVER set foot in this establishment again (as I said, I have never had a problem here until last night) whilst this aggressive, rude individual is in situ. Luckily, the incident did not spoil my 40th birthday celebrations, but it did leave a bad taste in the mouth. I have never been moved to write a review on here before now, but I felt that I had to, after the disgusting events of last night. I take pride in the fact that I have never had occasion to be barred from a pub before, but to be thrown out and sworn at because one of our party asked for water is utterly bizarre. The actual building is fine, the other staff are friendly and efficient, and the beer here is usually spot on, but the place is ruined by the attitude of the manager, I'm afraid...
BigMattV - 29 Sep 2013 16:52
Aggression, abuse and being barred for asking for a glass of tap water. Dave, the manager, is a nasty piece of work. After ordering 5 drinks, and then asking for a glass of tap water, he became extremely aggressive and asked all 5 of us to leave, including my 73 year old father. We were totally shocked and disgusted, and have written formal complaints as a result. Please avoid this pub at all costs! Have a look on Tripadvisor for the catalogue of similar incidents that have occurred.
leeby - 29 Sep 2013 15:25
We always visit Liverpool in June and we never leave without visiting the Dispensary several times. This time was no exception and our Fernandez Centenial and Titanic First Class were spot on as always. On this ocassion Dave used his public relations skills to persuade me to try the Crazy Rat 6% American Style IPA which was very hoppy and at 4 pounds a pint was worth it but I consider 4 pounds rather exessive but there you go.
shouldersarms - 15 Jul 2013 17:52
Excellent old school boozer a short walk from Lime Street - great selection of well kept beers. Very friendly bar staff. You could miss your train back home in here ...
alebarry - 3 Jul 2013 19:03
One of the best pubs in Liverpool. Friendly staff. Lively and traditional Ale house. Great selection of ale and a drink to suit all types of boozer!

cott1 - 14 May 2013 14:42
On our regular Easter visit to Liverpool we paid several visits to the Diss and on each occasion we found the hospitality first class. But what I must also add is the White Rat really made it exceptional. What a beer! Knocks spots of the rest.
shouldersarms - 5 Apr 2013 07:28
This is the best pub in Liverpool. Great beer served by great staff. Tasted White Rat and Marble Logonda which spot on.
hartlepool - 4 Apr 2013 21:32
I popped in for my first ever visit on a Friday evening and was met with a smile from one of the barmaids who was clearly enjoying her work! Great range of beers which change on a very regular basis - liked the Blonde ale from Backyard Brewery and stayed for a couple. Not a huge pub but there is a small raised seating section as well as the main drinking area. I didn't get any hassle from the landlord/landlady or customers (as others seem to have) and in fact I thought the staff were great fun. So much so that I recommended that our footie crowd met there next day before the game - which we duly did and enjoyed White Rat as well as Fernandes' beers from Wakefield. There was Sky sports news on the telly but it wasn't intrusive. They have a sign asking customers not to bring there own food but they weren't doing any on a Saturday which was sad as they could have made some money from us (just a roll or meat pie?). Anyway I can only speak as I find and I found this to be a very good boozer with terrific beers and a nice atmosphere - I shall return.
mcroyal - 5 Mar 2013 14:13
On a recent visit to Liverpool we made our way to the Dispensary as soon as we could and it coincided with the England-Ireland rugby and the Man Utd-Everton football. We punters could watch both at the same time in a packed house and it was easy to keep our glasses full, which is not an easy task. It needs a well organized, hard working and at times a ruthless landlord to keep things under control, not to mention keep us all supplied with the likes of White Rat, Titanic First Class and Addlestone cider. Monday lunchtime was quieter, so without the distraction of sport more serious drinking was possible.
shouldersarms - 14 Feb 2013 09:00
I've been drinking and watching the football with my dad and mates in the dispensary for a couple of years and have always enjoyed the beers and atmosphere, until today. Dave, the landlord was very rude about my only drinking shandy and basically told me i wasn't welcome. I was gobsmacked. I witnessed him being really rude to some other casual punters a couple of weeks ago but didnt think I'd be on the receiving end! I sadly have to say this is turning into a locals only pub and is going down the nick. I'll be staying away in future....


davo_e - 13 Jan 2013 17:01
Footy was on when we arrived so the place was jam packed but Dave the landlady's hubby saw us and found us a little niche and a pint of Wakefield Pride and an Aspall's cider were soon being imbibed.Still the best pub in Liverpool by a long stroke.
shouldersarms - 12 Dec 2012 17:02
The Dispensary is now our regular port of call in Liverpool. It's a fairly old-fashioned interior and the beer range is not only good, they turn over quickly too. George Wright Mark's Mild is always on and there are generally one or two beers from Titanic. Yesterday, they had White Star & First Class. In addition, there was Oakham Citra, Hawkshead NZ Pale Ale, a stout from Fernandes and one other beer. Addlestones is the cider. The landlord is certainly not to be crossed. But he's quite alright when you get to know him
blue_scrumpy - 10 Dec 2012 20:56
The final pub of our mini-crawl. The place was very crowded.
I had a nice pint of White Rat from the Rat Brewery.

wirraldrinker - 8 Dec 2012 15:17
Visited with Mrs M whilst the mighty U's were throwing away another 2 goal lead at Crewe. Only had one pint but it was very good, the something Welter from Fernandes of Wakefield, they also had Titanic Stout on. Very nice friendly pub, and definitely worth a visit. 7.5/10
Monkdawallydahonk - 12 Nov 2012 15:25

We spent a very pleasant Sunday lunch time in The Dispensary a few days ago. I supped Fernandes Swift One, a remarkable pint and my wife partook of her usual tipple in this establishment; Aspall's Suffolk Cyder. I was informed by Pauline, the publican, that The Dispensary has always been a pub since its inception in 1878, thanks to Walkers Brewery. It changed to Cains in 1998. However I couldn't see any Cains on draught. There were about six real ales on offer though, so we were spoilt for choice.
shouldersarms - 25 Oct 2012 18:55
I had a super pint of Atomic 'First Lightning' followed by Rat Brewery 'White Rat' which although very bitter was pleasant. A mate had Titanic 'Plum Porter' which he said was different. A couple of other ales were available.
We stood outside on a warm evening and watched various Saturday night characters pass by.
Well worth a visit.
wirraldrinker - 8 Jul 2012 20:43
During our recent visit to Liverpool we had the pleasure of visiting the Dispensary again and found it as good as ever. Dave and his staff performing miracles as usual, a tremendous selection of real ales and ciders and a quite exceptional friendly atmosphere. We paid a second visit at mid-day on Sunday after a dismal pint of Doombar in the pub opposite. What a relief it was to enter the Dis and see the bar packed with ales from the length and breadth of the UK. Visitors to Liverpool only have to ask for the bombed out church, St Lukes and the bus or taxi driver will drop you off almost on the doorstep.
shouldersarms - 27 Jun 2012 07:34
I went to the Dispensary to meet a friend on Good Friday evening. My friend was sitting surrounded by the Kop. The bar was six deep,I couldn't get through that lot I thought,so I signalled to my pal to make his exit. We ended up across the road where it was much quieter. I paid another visit the next day when it was full but bearable but Dave had seen me sneaking out the night before and gave me a bollocking. By Monday lunchtime he had forgotten my slight and we were all chums again but I wont get on the wrong side of him again as you know his reputation has spread far and wide. Still the best pub in liverpool
shouldersarms - 18 Apr 2012 17:33
I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the people who have negative things to say about Dave appear to be either first time or very irregular visitors. Those of us who use the pub on a regular basis know just how hard Dave works and how much pressure that puts him under. Even the most saintly amongst us would have our moments. I never have a problem with him and most of the time if he's run off his feet he'll say "hang on a minute, I'll come back to you" or its like. This is by far my favourite pub in Liverpool - beer, staff, craic - its got the lot.


pintofplum - 23 Dec 2011 10:14
2011 POTY? I can only assume The Dispensary were awarded triple bonus points for having the most aggressive barman in Liverpool. A party of 8 of us went in there on a very quiet Saturday lunchtime, ordered our drinks (George Wrights Mild for me) and then went to sit in the raised area where 1 other chap was already sitting. One of our party then had the temerity to put his coat on a spare table "TABLES ARE FOR DRINKS AND SEATS ARE FOR BUMS AND COATS" blasted the aggressive one, pointedly slapping the table then the seat with the palms of his hands just to confirm to us what a table and seat looked like. When politely questioned as to why he was so angry he growled more pearls of wisdom about being able to do as he likes. And with that we were off, drinks untouched. I guess he could be a novelty act in these parts?..I'm not sure.
Crooked_Canary - 20 Dec 2011 08:46
We paid a couple of visits to the Dis during a short visit to wintery Liverpool last week. We were very amused by a note beside the fireplace asking people not to hog it. Dave also, in no uncertain terms, invited one gentleman lozicking (sic) in front of the fire to take his feet off the stool; quite right too! On a cold blustery Wednesday the list of guest ales was as follows: Fernandes Stairway to Heaven, Hawkshead Windermere Pale, Salamander Golden Salamander, Titanic Plum Porter, George Wright Mark's Mild, Ossett Silver King, and last but not least Outstanding Standing Out, which I must say really did stand out and proved to be an outstanding beer. The rest was history so to speak.

shouldersarms - 15 Dec 2011 06:57
Hadn't been in here for nearly 2 years until yesterday. We were the first to arrive on a Sunday lunchtime. I see nothing to change my recent positive review and rating. Service was find and the range of cask ales was good - Allgates Caskablanca, Cotswold Spring Stunner, Salamander Golden Salamander, Titanic Cappuccino, Cains Bitter & George Wright Mark's Mild. The Cappuccino was wonderful. Addlestones is still the only real cider and served flat, unlike the newly-opened and nearby Bier, which adds gas. Still a place to visit on any decent pub crawl of Liverpool.
blue_scrumpy - 5 Dec 2011 19:49
A bit crowded last night especially after our party of 14 arrived!
Good selection of ales available. Everyone commented that they were well kept.

wirraldrinker - 26 Nov 2011 16:45
When we spend a few days in Liverpool, we always try to spend an evening and a lunchtime in the Dispensary. We recently spent a very nice Friday evening there with a friend. My friend and I supped Cains bitter and my wife enjoyed a cloudy cask cider and then a clear one. The following Sunday lunchtime I had a couple of pints of a guest beer which was very pleasant and my wife said that she was addicted to the clear cider. As always , Dave was very convivial and good for a laugh when he isn't rushed off his feet. He was quite chuffed because The Dispensary had been praised and recommended in the official magazine of the Ryan Air low cost carrier.
shouldersarms - 13 Oct 2011 09:07
In my experience, the Dispensary is head and shoulders above its local competitors in terms of ale quality. There's always a good range on offer which is well looked after, I have never had a problem with the beer here.

The little things make all the difference though, from the flawlessly polished brass pumps to the attention to detail of the staff when pouring pints, it all makes for a great atmosphere.

As for Dave, I think he does a great job, he is always chatty and, to me at least, polite, and he should be allowed to run his pub his way. It's not easy working in a city centre pub (speaking from experience), as you get a lot of undesirables through the door. The scum-of-the-earth tend to congregate around this part of town especially, and why should any landlord or employee have to put up with that under their roof?

Keep up the good work, The Dispensary well worthy of its accolades.

sirpsychosexy13 - 19 Jul 2011 15:47
Now CAMRA Liverpool & District pub of the year for 2nd consecutive year!
mattbeer - 12 Jun 2011 13:05
I drink in the dispensary now and again and I have to agree with the comments stating that the landlord Dave's behaviour is becoming beyond the pale. He can feel free to run the pub however he wishes but his belligerent attitude will simply drive his customers to the Roscoe arms.
H2O - 28 May 2011 23:03
I really must apologise for the use of the expression " snide " in my previous posting in answer to Mazzini's contribution. I didn't realise it had such a high connotation on the Richter scale of insults and I take it back.It was a joke on the spur of the moment and wasn't meant seriously. In fact I am in a bit of a quandary as I think this type af of forum should be used to praise and not to criticise.One can give a place a low score on, say, it's toilets or loud music,which is being objective, but critisizing a landlord on a perceived slight is always going to be subjective.As far as I am concerned the matter is closed. I hope one day to be rubbing shoulders with Mazziniand sharing a joke with Dave over a couple of pints, but unless my doctor prohibits my consumption of beer, you will never see me in a pub with an orange juice in my hand as I am allergic to citric acid. My wife says I'm stubborn and have to have the last word, perhaps Mazzini and I have at least one thing in common
shouldersarms - 23 May 2011 08:51
I'm glad you were paying attention to my original post which stated that two of 7 or 8 people were drinking soft drinks and paying for it. The others in the group were drinking beer. So why would there be any need to make an issue out of it as a landlord of a busy pub?

It wasn't a snide remark about you or your Grandad. I am making a point about the state of the customer service in a pub, which is what this forum is for. Keep drinking in the dispensary by all means, tell people how great Dave is. I'm only telling my own personal story of appalling customer service, which has happened on numerous occasions.
Mazzini - 22 May 2011 22:47
I don't wish to take umbridge with Mazzini's snide remark about my poor dear Liverpool supporting long dead grandad, but what I was trying to put over was that no landlord would complain about anyone supping four or five pints of orange juice at say three pounds a pint while he takes up a table for four during the big match. What any landlord would object to is six punters drinking two soft drinks between them during the big match. Grow up Mazzini or Big Bad Dave will give you your marching orders.
shouldersarms - 20 May 2011 16:31
The truth of the matter is that pubs these days do sell non alcoholic drinks, we are not living back in the day of shouldersarms grandfather!

If Dave has a problem with selling people non alcoholic drinks then do not sell them at all. I'm not disputing the fact that the pub serves great ale and I wouldn't expect him or the rest of his staff to stop and chat when the pub is busy, all I'm saying is that he loses his rag far too often over very little things.

It has put off far too many people for it to be irrelevant. As for saying that half pints and soft drinks won't pay the bills, the prices of those drinks these days are comparable with beer so that does not stand up as an argument. Everyone who walks into the pub should be treated equally and only 'real' trouble makers should be kicked out.
Mazzini - 19 May 2011 14:42
I am a tad perplexed about some of the comments regarding the licencee. I work in the pub trade and have never found him and Pauline to be anything but friendly and courteous. All of a sudden there appears to be a concerted effort to make dismissive comments about the pub, mainly regarding Dave's personality. It has not gone unnoticed that this plethora of il-will has come about after he won 'Pub Of The Year 2010'.I know from working and drinking in pubs in town that in certain areas the Dissy is seen as an upstart in the Real Ale market, it doesn't serve enough different beers or bottles of foreign lagers like some of the more established CAMRA pubs. There has since been a scurillous magazine doing the rounds personally attacking one of teh bar maids.Well enough of this, the Dissy won its awards on quality of its ales, everything is mere back-biting by hacked of regulars of pubs that were lucky to make the top five pubs in Liverpool.
DNADAVE - 13 May 2011 10:47
Well I must say that poor old Dave the publican seems to have been bitten by a vampire or something going by what some complainers are going on about. Personally I think some of these whiners have got off at the wrong bus stop.In my repetoire an alehouse is just that, an alehouse and alehouses up and down the country make their money from serving just that, ALE. My grandfather who worked the docks in the bad old days would have been ashamed if anyone in his company drank water, coca cola, orange or what have you,not because he had any thing against soft drinks, but because he respected the landlord and all the hard work he put in to make the pub attractive. Good beer needs alot of care,staff need training and sometimes a bollocking, and half a dozen tellies with Sky need paying for. Water, coca cola or an orange juice or half a pint of Cains won't pay the bills.
I was in the Dispensary not long ago on a busy evening and Dave was rushed off his feet, didn't have time for polite conversation nor was it expected. Four pints later I left feeling great. The next day I returned at lunchtime when it was quieter and we struck up a conversation. My wife likes Dave and that's good enough for me. Oh, and I forgot to say that I fly a thousand miles for one of Dave's smiles.
shouldersarms - 12 May 2011 16:32
This used to be one of my favourite pubs in LIverpool. Whenever I had friends and family visiting we would venture down there as a starting point for a night, only to end up staying for the duration.

There have been a number of incidents that I have directly faced and others that I have witnessed in the past few years to make me not only refuse to drink in this pub but also tell others to steer clear.

The customer service from Dave, the manager, is appalling, possibly the worst I have ever encountered. He is incredibly bossy to his staff, has next to no manners and treats all the punters with contempt. As soon as the pub began to get busier and busier he just got worse.

A couple of years ago I went in to watch a football match with 7 or 8 of my friends. Myself and one other were drinking soft drinks, the others were drinking beer. There had already in the past been an altercation regarding tap water, which Dave refuses to serve for free, so for water you are charged a stupidly high amount. I was drinking cola and my friend, bottled water. Now Dave didn't like this so waited until my friend was away from the group at half time and kicked him out for refusing to buy alcohol! We not only left, but will never go there again for the football and are very unlikely to go at all. I have since heard that there is a policy of alcohol only during match day.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, I could be here all day typing out stories of him turfing people out for no good reason and massaging his own ego. He needs to sort out his life and as soon as the awards stop coming he'll begin to notice the huge amount of past 'regulars' who no longer set foot in there.

No consideration for anyone but himself, this once great pub has been ruined by one man.
Mazzini - 11 May 2011 12:52
Went here last Friday. The Cains bitter was putrid. Asked the friendly barman to change it. This difficult request went right over his head and he called the boss. Also a very friendly type. He reluctantly changed my pint moaning while he did so. I asked him to taste the original pint of muck that i was served, but he did not. He's not soft. !!! I wont be back, the bloke that runs this pub is resting on his past laurels. If you cannot keep your beer in tip top condition and be a bit cheerfull, then sod off and become an undertaker. This pub is now garbage.
grizzlygus - 26 Apr 2011 14:55

I hope Dave the manager is reading this because he really needs to sort himself out! A few weeks ago Dave refused to serve someone I know. I don't even know what my work colleague had done but he hadn't caused any trouble - he was just sat there keeping out of trouble because he had his arm in a sling but was refused service at the bar and was then told to leave. And another time Dave banned a regular and told him not to f*@#n come back because the regular had insulted Dave's favourite football team!
mattbeer - 11 Apr 2011 03:22
I used to really like this pub, i'd come here on a weekday evening with my girlfriend when it's nice and quiet and you can have a good pint of cains lager, or for the football on a saturday at 3pm kick off. Unfortunately i don't think i'll come back after we were very poorly treated by the bar manager this weekend who thinks he has the right to abuse punters because his pub is busy. We had only just entered the pub and were looking for a suitable place to watch the match when the barman asked us what we'd like. If the place wasn't so packed i would have said two cains straight away but instead i asked my mate if he wanted a pint there. The barman said straight away if you're not going to order a drink you can f&*k off, we are both 6'4" so we didn't want to get in anybodies way as the place was packed. When my friend said that we wanted to make sure we could see the match before we ordered, he shouted and pointed at the various screens that we couldn't see because of the overcrowding, he then with no hesitation told us to leave, making us feel like school children! He had no right to act like that and it seems like he rules with an iron fist, as i turned to another punter and said is he serious, he replied quite cowardly: he's the manager! Wont be going back here for a long while and won't be recommending it to friends like i used to!
mick84 - 4 Apr 2011 10:46
Liverpool Camra POY 10 so had to be worth a visit as we were in the area. Great selection of beer but visit spoiled by uninterested staff.
LickeyEndBooze - 6 Mar 2011 19:10
Agree with mattbeer, really nice pint but the fella with the glasses on behind the bar was more interested talking to the people who insisted on standing right in the way of people trying to get served. Pub 7/10 Service 4/10.


anonymous - 17 Feb 2011 15:25
Great pub, nice ales, very friendly staff, good range of Cains in here and well worth a visit if in the area.
Can get busy, but not uncomfortable.
Scousefire - 15 Feb 2011 13:30
Fine, bustling and basic ale house, with a nice choice of ales from which I veered happily from the Ossets to the Salopian. For an early Saturday evening it was a little too popular for comfort but that's hardly a criticism, and although the atmosphere was boisterous it was above all very friendly and congenial. Striking up conversations at random seemed the most natural thing in the world with this sociable lot. Plus the service benefits by employing one of the most full-on cheerful barmaids I've ever encountered. Definitely on the list of must re-visits.
ILooklikeme - 31 Jan 2011 16:21
Decent beer, but when I went it was very much a "Club Camra" stereotype evening.
Wilson_MacDonald - 29 Jan 2011 15:29
Currently the best pub in Liverpool (mine and the CAMRA branches opinion), with 4 guests (one dark) and Cains' range (as it is) and good range of bottled beer. Beer quality is always superb, and I can't remember not enjoying a pint there in years. Small/medium pub with several TVs showing footy (including the games that shouldn't be on telly), scally-free atmosphere. Good shopping pub but no food. By the bombed-out church.
paul_ove_walldner - 18 Jan 2011 13:33
Been in here a couple of times since Christmas, still as good as the first time I called in years ago. Probably the best pint of Cains bitter I have tasted. Am due in here again on Saturday for a pub crawl (mates birthday).

Never had any problem with staff attitudes dispite the recentish comment. Always find them friendly. Probably in my list of top 5.
jaseyb76 - 13 Jan 2011 10:52
Very enjoyable couple of beers. Busy bar not helped by customers blocking access for service. Seems to be a popular choice for beer drinking football fans before travelling by Merseyrail to the game.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 10 Jan 2011 13:22
Very nice pub. I had Holdens Black Country Special Bitter @5.1%. My mates had a Salopian beer which is always good and hoppy. The Holdens was exceptional - very nice brew indeed. Will be back.
kernott1 - 23 Dec 2010 15:05
Dropped in with the missus on a quieter evening (doubt we'd get a seat from Thurs to Sun). The Titanic Stout was excellent and the missus had a decent measure fo Baileys. The answer to what the place used to be called was staring at me above the bar.
Snarling_Mallard - 22 Dec 2010 14:49
Very busy replica of an old style pub. Can't recall the original name for the place. Had a nice pint of Dark Star American Pale here though. A bit too manic at busy times - think I'd like it better on a quiet Tuesday afternoon.
Snarling_Mallard - 12 Dec 2010 01:44
Spent a happy evening here yesterday in the company of "Real Ale Tiger" - who spent much of the time Tweeting !

Nice pub, but nothing special. It's only small and easily gets crowded, due to layout. Central door, bar to the right, seating in front of that, and round corner, raised seating area to the left. Shows Sky Sports, so avoid on matchdays - (which is pretty much everyv day these days !!).

Usually 5 or 6 real ales on - never had any problems with quality myself. Yesterday I had George Wright Mark's Mild and Cains Bitter. "Tiger" had Blonde Moment, Titanic Wreckage, and beers from Ossett and Fernandes whose names I forget.

Passage to toilets decked with old enamel signs. Gents could do with being spruced up.

This is the 2010 CAMRA Liverpool Pub of the Year. I don't know why, though it's pleasant enough. I'm told the award is very political ...

Pub - 7/10 Barmaid - 10/10 !!


Martinsh - 10 Dec 2010 23:17
this pub is a joke the manager is an idiot and needs to be sorted out!!!
IIJESUSII - 7 Dec 2010 10:04
I called into this pub along with some mates prior to watching West Ham get hammered at Anfield. West Ham were crap but this pub was superb. The barman acted like quality control and would not let any beer be dispensed without it being spot on in quality... and trust me it was !!

A superb range of real ale, sky sports and food what more does a man want eh... this pub is well worth a visit when in Liverpool. Not as plush as some other pubs it more than makes up for it with the beer...


Enigma35 - 25 Nov 2010 12:05
The Cains Bitter wasn't well kept when I came here last week. I didn't dare complain to the landlord though!
mattbeer - 18 Oct 2010 14:57
Visited This pub on 24/09/10.Liverpool & District CAMRA pub of the year.Beer was kept well,espescially the Sarah Hughes.However after a friend asked for a glass of tap water things took a serious turn for the worse!The manager ranted that we should buy bottled water from him as we wouldn't go to a shop and ask for free water.He went on to shout how he is on a water meter and there was no way we were getting water unless we bought a bottle from him.We've never experienced anything like this before,having always been given a glass of water in every pub we've ever visited.As of 6/04/10,this year,by law,any premises with a license for drinking on site has to make available free tap water to it's customers.When we explained this we were asked to leave!Great pub ruined by an idiot manager.See previous post about a guy who was told to buy another pint or leave after watching most of a football match but made the mistake of finishing his pint with 10 minutes of the match left.Priceless!
Nightwatch - 29 Sep 2010 12:55
The Dispensary was busy during our early evening visit yesterday with all seats taken and the bar area crowded with standing room only. Beers were turning over quickly. The range was Kelham Island Point Blank, Brew Dog Punk IPA, George Wright Mark's Mild, Brimstage Scarecrow, Ossett Summers End and Cains Bitter. Two beers from Fernandes - Cathedral Bitter & Cascade were added by the time we left. Addlestones and Aspalls are the draught ciders. There are also several different bottled varieties from Thatchers and other producers. The evening Premier League football match was being shown. Still a handy pint for a drink.
blue_scrumpy - 19 Sep 2010 13:19
Fairly small, architecturally unremarkable, split-level layout with some original features and a selection of pharmaceutical memorabilia about the walls (and the former name displayed above the bar). However, it has a good atmosphere and is obviously a proper beer-drinkers pub with a excellent range of Cains beers and local guest ales (e.g. a first-class pint of Brimstage Trapper's Hat Bitter at 2.65) and a cider from the eight handpumps. Rightly popular with the local CAMRA branch.
rpadam - 20 Jun 2010 11:20
CAMRA Liverpool & District Pub of the Year 2010.

Can't argue with that - well done to Dave and Pauline.

Probably THE best pub in Liverpool!
mattbeer - 17 Jun 2010 03:24
This place is okay. Good beer, decent mix of clientele. Visually it's fine if unspectacular. Last time I was in there were a couple of blokes having a big argument about politics, which was a little annoying, but I'm sure this isn't the norm.

Handy location near the train station, and within walking distance of other good pubs such as the Philharmonic, Doctor Duncans and the Ship and Mitre.
Northern_Ale_Monkey - 19 May 2010 11:50
beer is usually reasonably well kept but the manager is a nightmare! a much better bet is the roscoe head round the corner or the little grapes on roscoe street.
critch - 4 May 2010 12:51
Good pub near Lime Street BR. Cain's range, IPA special offer at 2.00, mild 2.30. Rooster was a guest and there was at least one other. Narrow bar with a raised mezzanine. Three large flat screens showing Cheltenham Festival footage wherein small men ride horses very quickly towards a pre-defined finish line. Nice internal tiling and stained glass, seem to be original late Victorian/early C20th. Appears to be one of the central CAMRA pubs in Liverpool.
BitterShurn - 22 Mar 2010 17:28
Visited this place on a recent stag do in the City. Probably the best pub we went to. Great service from a lovely barmaid, who didn't bat an eyelid as I mumbled an order for 12 pints of various beers, ciders and stouts. Plentiful selection with various guests, plus it had the football on.
plymouthpirate - 21 Mar 2010 13:38
The best place to watch football in Liverpool - multiple TVs, multiple tuners to avoid fixture clash problems, 3PM Saturday games, good atmosphere without the prat/scally problems many others suffer. Beer is excellent - Cains owned pub (previous reviewers please note) so most of their range with 4 guests, one a dark such as Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby or Hawkshead Stout and some good bottled beers and Weston's Cider. Wood panelling and glass give an excellent mini-gin palace effext, busy most evenings but a quiet place for a shopping pint on footy-free days. Dave the manager can be a bit grumpy, don't tell him you think Benitez is doing well for a start.
paul_ove_walldner - 29 Jan 2010 13:39
Should have mentioned it gets crowded in here when they show footy on the TV. Probably due to the good selection of ales and that it doesn't attract the scally element that you get in other city centre pubs and bars!
mattbeer - 23 Nov 2009 23:22
Not a bad place to start if you are after Cain's beer and happen to be up that end of the city centre. There were three Cain's ales on when I visited including dark mild. Also two or three guest ales on handpump. Interior is interesting, made up largely of old chemist shop memorabilia (hence the name I suppose). Bar staff not the friendliest but efficient enough, didn't take long to get served even on a Saturday night.
amosbriz - 19 Oct 2009 17:02
Cains Bitter - 2.30 a pint and always kept well.

Strangely it's 1p cheaper here than at the Cains owned Doctor Duncans.
mattbeer - 27 Sep 2009 12:39
Cain's pub and former CAMRA Pub of the Year - another good atmosphere if possibly catering for a slightly older clientele than the nearby Fly in the Loaf. Cain's Mild on this occasion but a better choice might have been the guest IPA. (Hardings? Can't remember). Interesting and reasonably cosy interior.
rainlight - 1 Jul 2009 22:02
I'll rate the Dispensary as the best of the 11 Liverpool pubs I visited this weekend. I've passed it many a time without going inside and have always suspected it would be a grubby old mens type of establishment. However the interior was quite impressive. The pub is quite small with limited seating. Also getting served can be a challenge with many people crowding around the bar. Cains Bitter, Dark Mild and their beer for June (Sundowner) were available, alongside guests - Outstanding Stout, Titanic Iceberg, Blackwater Bandit and Thornbridge Jaipur IPA. Aspalls and Addlestones cider are available on draught. I was suitably impressed by this place and will undoubtedly return.
blue_scrumpy - 7 Jun 2009 15:39
Some excellent beers on offer that are constantly changing. Tried the Strawberry ale which was excellent, but really it should have been at 3.90 a pint. Pleasant pub and well worth a visit.
DixieLand - 7 Apr 2009 15:03
Went here last weekend and it was crowded. Lots of people who had been to the Liverpool Beer Festival popped in here. Had a pint of Festive Stout. Not sure which brewery. Landlord got a bit stroppy because some people sat at the back next to me had their coats on the seats and he said it was stopping punters from coming in (!?!?) so everyone was ordered to hang their coats up and we all ended up crammed in like sardines. Would have stayed for another pint but impossible to get to the bar due to those strange breed of people who drink their drinks at the bar making it impossible to get served!! The landlord was more interested in making as much as money as possible instead of making it a pleasant environment!
mattbeer - 1 Mar 2009 15:13
Currently having one of its beer festivals, only three Cains beers but five guests, sadly I was too far gone to note them down in readable form! Festival finishes on Sunday 22nd February.

Comfortable old high ceilinged and dark wood pub selling well kept beers, mainly the Cains range plus two or three guests. There is a lower seating area round the bar with a TV for sport, and a lounge like upper area with softer seats. Service is always good and it's a freindly place. It is quite popular with us coffin dodgers.
anonymous - 20 Feb 2009 10:18
Well worth a visit. Good selection of beers. Gets crowded at weekends.
Not far from the Fly in the Loaf and the Philharmonic.

wirraldrinker - 14 Feb 2009 12:17
Went here on Saturday - despite a power cut affecting the whole Bold Street and Liverpool One area they were open. Bizzarely the power cut only affected the lights and fridges! Football on the TV was still on which I watched while drinking a pint of Cains Bitter in candle light!
mattbeer - 28 Jan 2009 00:50
They had a beer festival last weekend that I didn't know about and it wasn't advertised in the local press. Had a pint of Ossett Black Bull bitter. Would have got there earlier and stayed longer if I had know about this beer festival but I had a train to catch. There loss! Try advertising more next time!
mattbeer - 23 Jan 2009 20:42
Pleasant enough pub serving Cains and a couple of guests. We called in on a Wednesday early evening and it was very quiet. Has some nice bits of panelling etc around the bar. Friendly guy behind the bar who let the other half try one of the guest ales to see if she liked it. Seems fine to me.
ROBCamra - 12 Jan 2009 15:47
Popped in here on new years eve at 2pm and it was empty. This meant I could have a better look at the interior and so I must disagree with gerrydoyle and Gristy. There's nothing wrong with the interior and it definately isn't "grubby" or "shabby". Toilets were clean (and the hand drier works!)
mattbeer - 1 Jan 2009 23:52
My favorite pub in liverpool, love the Cains range including Raisin beer and Cains Pilsner on draught. I always end up chatting to someone in here, very friendly. Great place.
acrylic - 15 Dec 2008 20:33
Late visit for last knockings on a Saturday night - decent Cains range on and a friendly welcome from the barman, even at the fag-end of a long night. It does appear somewhat shabbier than the last time we visited, although that was about 8 years ago...could do with a spruce-up, although Cains probably haven't got two ha'pennies to spend on decor at the moment...
Gristy - 20 Oct 2008 13:09
Looking pretty shabby these days,the Dispensary is a shadow of the pub it used to be. Shabby for a few years the place is now just grubby. Facilities are basic - toilets leave a lot to be desired - and the place is cramped and uncomfortable.

The beer is Cains - while it lasts - with one or two unexciting guests. Last time I was in there the guy behind the bar was so obnoxious and offensive we ended up leaving. Do yourself a favour and walk the extra few yards to the Roscoe Head or the Fly in the loaf. It's time the Dispensary put the towels on.
gerrydoyle - 27 Aug 2008 22:09
Cains pub but also has guests. Nothing special about this place in my opinion I would rather walk 15 minutes to Dr Duncans.
happytyskie - 15 Aug 2008 11:15
Has full range of Cains beers and is well worth a visit. Landlord and bar staff are friendly.
mattbeer - 10 Aug 2008 15:52
quite good
flashahahah - 18 Jul 2008 00:38
This city is the city of culture 2008. try its name sake beer you can see why.
ticket - 13 May 2008 19:51
I think I saw that gangster that wanted to blow away Stevie G in here. He had his arm's around an assortment of Liverpool's finest ladies. I was more scared of his harem then of him.

The barstaff were very friendly and most of them spoke in pidgeon english which I found easier to understand than the scouser accent.
Chav__man - 22 Apr 2008 09:03
my favourite pub in Liverpool. city centre, well kept Cains (plus guests), quality service, friendly atmosphere, reasonable snack selection and they even have the footy on when there's a big game (and you can usually get a seat). great stuff.
Munkyboy - 10 Apr 2008 18:25
Fantastic pub, friendly locals and talkative barstaff, one of the only places i found to sell all of Cains' in the city, including the Cains lager on tap. Excellent.
acrylic - 16 Mar 2008 22:56
Always worth popping in here - proper old style pub with dark wood bar, planety of space and a raised seating area towards the back. Usually more of an older crowd in attendance, but that's alright, it'll usually mean there's a better, friendlier atmosphere than certain other pubs not far from here. I've been coming here off and on for about 10 years or so now and I've never once had a bad (real ale) beer in here.
anfieldjet - 26 Nov 2007 14:28
Lovely Cains pub, and there were guests on too. Enjoyed the friendly atmosphere.
gillhalfpint - 11 Sep 2007 14:46
Fine Cain's beers and always friendly welcome.
wobblybob - 27 Dec 2006 03:43
It's a decent pub with good beer.
anonymous - 12 Sep 2006 22:31
Re previous posters comments concerning Australian beer. Granted the most well known Ozzy beers are uniformly dreadful. However, there is hope. Try a Boags Premium or a Coopers Sparkling Ale. They are delightful beers, akin to UK summer brews. Best of all you don't have to travel down under to get one. Both are available in Rigbys, not cheap though. Onya Mate!
in4 - 30 Jun 2006 08:53
Nice selection of Cains, and a real cider on handpump. Crowded, but had a pleasant atmosphere... I seem to remember it was a CAMRA pub of the year a couple of years ago...
(and Australians know nothing about beer... only the British brew fine cask ale, the ONLY definition of beer)
bensonby - 22 May 2006 15:41
I couldn't quite work out what I thought about the Dispensary, but the previous post hits the nail on the head. It's a little bit soul-less. Good staff and beer, though.
joegreen - 30 Aug 2005 12:45
one of my favourite pubs. its wonderful. or rather it was until they redectorated and now it's lost its soul.

its heartbreaking to see such a grand old lady fal from grace.
spudfish - 7 Jul 2005 20:18
this was the first and best english pub i had a beer at.we australians think we know about those matters !
tad kuczek - 7 May 2004 04:25
Could be the best pub in Liverpool at the moment. As some have dipped, for various reasons, this place has taken off. I've spent many nights and afternoons in here. A regular haunt of the Black Heart Society - their rules and regulations may still be behind the bar somewhere.
palmwinedrinkard - 14 Apr 2004 17:23
I was there a few years back when I missed last train back to London. This is one of the friendliest pubs I have been in. Superb Cains bitter and mild were on, and the pub had (the same day) been awarded North West Camra Pub Of The Year - well deserved. The head brewer from Cains attended, and there was a buffet laid on and a good old sing-song! Superb!

I forgot the names of the two friendly locals who took me on to the Roscoe's head for afters!
lad_newton - 13 Apr 2004 12:36
This pub tends to attract a clientele of over 30s, meaning you avoid a lot of the idiots that frequent some of the bars in the vicinity. Nicely done-up, and it did not sell Aftershock when I was there - always a good sign.

Lagers are nothing to write home about, mind you, and it has been hammered every time I was in there. Don't know if drunk teenage scroats or drunk grave-dodgers are more annoying.
mdma - 10 Apr 2004 14:14
A proper Cains Brewery Pub made up with old Pharmaceutical items - has a young friendly and enthusiastic bar staff. There are several guest ales and Faxe and Red Eric.
Liznrich - spkagency@blueyonder.co.uk - 23 Sep 2003 15:35

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