skip nav  

Roscoe Head, Liverpool

back to pub details

user reviews of the Roscoe Head, Liverpool

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

Probably one of the best pubs in the city. Bar area and three small rooms - convivial and never had a bad pint here. The sword of Damocles is still hanging over the place so might be an idea to get a visit in while you can.
Snarling_Mallard - 26 Apr 2019 12:30
Haven't posted on here for a couple of years, but have to put in a word from down under about this pub. Liverpool is blessed with this old charmer, a pub of the sort rapidly disappearing in Australia & also in your country.
My last visit was August 2018 and I experienced the customary friendly service, a satisfying pint of Tetley's cask & a great chat with random folk. Fingers crossed it will still be there in August 2019.
Queenslander - 18 Jan 2019 21:01
Thankfully still with us and still selling good ale. Still under threat which seems crazy given all the vacant plots that could be used for even more student accommodation..
Snarling_Mallard - 18 Jan 2019 02:06
Absolute cracking pub. Just to endorse the last two entries. Still under threat sadly, one of the best pubs in town; great beer, friendly staff and locals, classic old Liverpool pub.
mike_s - 9 Aug 2018 15:46
First trip back in years, to my favorite Liverpool pub. Small bar with three small rooms off. No music or T.V. on. Just friendly conversation and good ales, the selection of which, has improved since my student days in the 70's. By the way the words luxury, student and accommodation should never be used in same sentence. Save the Roscoe Head.
captaineric - 15 Jul 2018 16:46
Still one of the city's best pubs and still under threat from redevelopment. Surely if they build around Zorba's Greek restaurant round the corner (which isn't the most aesthetically Victorian buildings) they can build round this one.
Snarling_Mallard - 26 May 2018 15:24
Have been here a few times in the last few months. With the site being down, I haven't been able to review this pub (along with countless others around the country). Yesterday it was my second pub in Liverpool after the nearby Drunken Scholar (not listed on here). As usual, there were at least a dozen people in here and despite there being 4 small rooms, each room apart from the bar area felt full. The ale range was decent - Timothy Taylor Landlord, Tetleys Cask, Scarborough Trident & Stout, Conwy Rampart & George Wright Resolution. Weston's Old Rosie in the real cider. Apart from a slightly short measure, the Stout I had was pleasant enough. Still a traditional and reliable Liverpool city centre boozer.
blue_scrumpy - 21 Jan 2018 17:02
This is a traditional pub that retains an excellent multiple room layout. As others have mentioned there are no juke boxed, gaming machines or televisions here, just six well-kept beers and three characterful spaces in which to drink them. There are two main rooms and a small snug and we chose the back room with its comfortable banquette seating, a few nice mirrors and small fireplace.
Alongside the usual TT Landlord and Tetley Bitter, Salopian Oracle, Peerless Brewery Langton Spin, Tweed Black Shire Stout and Faith Hope and Charity from the Rock the Boat Brewery were available on the other four.
We bagged a table in the back room and went through the four guests, all of which were in excellent nick.
The Roscoe Head is a Liverpool gem that is sadly under threat from Development. The people of Liverpool will be all the poorer if they lose this one to another student accommodation block.

Gann - 15 Sep 2017 13:14
You could easily miss this pub.  Off of a side street its quite small with a few rooms off of the main bar area.  6 ales on, Tetleys cask (very rare outside of Yorkshire), Timothy Taylors Landlord, Frosty Nip by Peerless Brewery, Dragon's teeth by Rock the boat, North Pole by Settle Brewery, and George Wright's Hoppy Ending.  My pint of Hoppy ending was clear look, a bit pricey at 3.40 though (at 4.1 percent abv for the pint).  This is a very interesting pub to be fair and you should visit it.  Bar staff friendly and the noise of people having a laugh all about.  Does various pies for 2.50 as well.  Barman saying his girlfriend was a 'wool' and talkimg anout the boundaries that define if you are one or not, which was certainly interesting to listen to, very professional though? I'd be more inclined to say no, I would come back though.
Wezzielad - 17 Dec 2016 12:10
After a visit to one of Liverpool's newest bars (Hard Times & Misery), I dropped into one Liverpool's best pubs. It was quite on this Saturday afternoon. But there were a few people in the room to the right as you enter and a couple more in the rear room. Ales were Settle Earl Grey IPA, Tetley Cask, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Ossett North/South Divide & Rock The Boat Liverpool Light. Old Rosie is on a pump these days, after they did try selling other real ciders last summer. But the Old Rosie was off on this visit. The pub has received a lot of publicity about its sell off. It would be a devastating blow if this place was to close.
blue_scrumpy - 19 Sep 2016 21:08
Simply had to come, when in Liverpool.

Back Street boozer with very friendly clientele. Instantly engaged in conversation and it was a struggle to get away. Even with four missed calls from the Mrs.

Landlord chosen from the beer board. In good nick.

Would love to come back.

Photos at my blog -
Mappiman - 5 Sep 2016 12:02
Absolute stunning boozer that is under threat with a wide spread save the Roscoe Head campaign currently in full flow.

Small bar with 6 ales on across the 6 hand pump's. I opted for a pint of Salford based brewery First Chop Brewing Arms' Cha @ 5.0%. Every beer I've had from this brewery has been top draw and this pint of Cha was no different.

A tiny snug is through the glazed door on your left and there's another snug at the front with an open fireplace. The back room is similar to a reading room and is a bit of more peaceful. Original tiled floors throughout the pub, this place just oozes charm it’s a cracking boozer from the décor to the bar staff to the amusing clientele.

This pub has to be saved from the bulldozers, it would be a tragedy.

I would score this pub 11/10 if I could
lezford - 19 Oct 2015 18:14
Can only agree with the positive reviews of this charming pub. I have a mate back in Australia named Roscoe, so I had to have a pint here (& at the Roscoe Arms around the corner). Friendly, bantering locals & bar lady and a nice pint of Rev. James (3.30). Not as grand as the nearby Philharmonic but miles ahead as a comfortable water hole.
Queenslander - 10 Sep 2015 22:16
Dropped in here yesterday after the Dispensary's ale range disappointed. Seven Brothers Stout, Porter Street Oval 6, Dunscar Bridge Dunscar Gold, Oceanic Steam White Star, Tetleys Bitter & Timothy Taylor Landlord was the selection. Excellent as usual. Old Rosie was advertised. But I could not see the box that has been sat on the side of the bar on my last few visits. So perhaps they had run out. But real cider is becoming more of a feature her.
blue_scrumpy - 25 May 2015 19:52
Always worth a visit. Good old fashioned boozer with good ales. Would recommend.
pwilkins - 2 Apr 2015 10:52
Always on the 'drop in for a bevvy' list when in town. What a pub should be a small convivial local as opposed to the cavernous drinking barns we get all too often. Ale was good and as it is a old school alehouse they refused to serve someone too drunk to stand.
Snarling_Mallard - 25 Nov 2014 17:38
A bit disappointed people have been in and experienced bad ale/service, I can honestly say in the years I have been going in, I have never had an issue. This part of Liverpool has some gems within walking distance, The Dispensary, The Fly, The Phil, The Belvedere and more, for me The Roscoe is part of a very elite group of pubs.
McLovin - 1 Oct 2014 12:55
After 35 years visiting this delightful "watering hole" - it is still as good as it ever was.

Spotlessly clean, very friendly "Liverpool" welcome and most of all the beer is served in excellent condition.

Its one of those Liverpool "gems".
figured1 - 19 May 2014 14:50
On our first visit over Easter, we entered the Roscoe Head expecting it to be chocker but we were pleased to find plenty of space in the back room. However, like the previous writer I was appalled to discover that my pint was as murky as The Mersey up in Runcorn. Like vicpark, I went back to the bar and enquired as to whether the brewers were intentionally making murky beer. The grumpy barmaid's riposte was that the beer was the end of the barrel.For the sake of me I can't think why they should want to palm off bad beer onto their unsuspecting customers. However, the following day we popped in again and this time it was more like the Roscoe of old with a very pleasant and helpful lady behind the bar.
shouldersarms - 28 Apr 2014 20:19
Got served a horrid tasting, cloudy real ale. The landlady exchanged it for another drink but with very bad grace claiming it was meant to be like. I was so miffed I contacted the brewery to ask if that brew was meant to be cloudy, which they said it wasn't and were disappointed that it was being served in such a condition. Won't be going back. I get the impression it is still in the Good Beer Guide because it has always been in the GBG and it would a shame to not keep the tradition going.
vicpark - 27 Mar 2014 16:49
The Roscoe Head is still a great, little pub. For the first time, we managed to get into the small front bar yesterday. There are no tables - just a couple of stools. The real cider trial I mentioned in my last review didn't last too long. Apparently it wasn't selling. So the ales are the only decent option. Yesterday they had Exmoor Gold, Castle Rock Harvest Pale, Timothy Taylor Landlord, JW Lees Manchester Pale Ale, Tetleys Bitter & Jennings Bitter. It was a shame they had no dark beers. Still a nice pub. But the nearby Dispensary is still a better option.
blue_scrumpy - 12 Jan 2014 12:16
Had a really enjoyable visit. Seems to do everything well. Good beer and prices. If your in the area worth a visit.
AleMan70 - 2 Oct 2013 05:02
A throw back to the good old days. Recommend a visit if your visiting the city.
Scoops - 14 Jul 2013 22:06
Nice pub with moderate beer. Still worth a visit.
hartlepool - 4 Apr 2013 21:40
I have asked for my earlier comment to be removed, but it hasn't happened several weeks later. I indeed got this place confused with the nearby and similarly named Rosco.
saido - 1 Apr 2013 12:06
Not a comment really just a word to correct what "saido" wrote, he was obviously in The Rosco which is opposite The Dispensary and sells the most wicked pint of Doombar you can imagine. It also has a dummy Elvis which moves about the pub. Racing is all day on the telly. I go in there when it's raining and Dave across the road is still mopping out. It's curious but over the last couple of years, it has consistenly got worse but I still patronise the place so that I can say to Dave across the road that I've had a Doombar in the bar of doom.
shouldersarms - 18 Mar 2013 18:06
Another Liverpool classic - plenty of beer on when we went (twice) and a very friendly atmosphere inside. Jennings and Tetley's are regulars but there was a nice selection of other ales - we did also try the Big Bog beer which was fine. Multi roomed pub which has been a CAMRA favourite for years and really is well worth a visit. Part of a good little pub crawl in this part of the city.
mcroyal - 5 Mar 2013 14:44
Went in here midweek and drank some continental lager or other, might have been San Miguel. Fine. They advertised Doom Bar outside and on several posters inside - all out, no real ales on at all. No blonde either through pump still on bar. Lady serving was quite apologetic and friendly, customers all seemed a laugh, but when the first few attemts to get a drink are met with apologies, it isn't brilliant. So, fine for what it is, but it doesn't seem to know quite what it is, given it is a pub supposedly liked by real ale crowd but out of real ale, a community pub with TVs on and music loud. I wouldn't go back when next in Liverpool, but did experience very friendly service, and it seemed a neat, clean and friendly pub.
saido - 3 Feb 2013 03:30
Crowded last night. Had a lovely pint from a brewery I'd not heard of - the Big Bog Brewing Company. This pub is well worth a visit especially if you can get in the snug.

wirraldrinker - 8 Dec 2012 15:13
I have to say that this pub has gradually been going up in my estimation. I've been here a few times in the past year and the beer range has been getting better. On a visit yesterday, I now also discover they are offering a real cider and a real perry for a trial period. Beers on yesterday were Ascot On The Rails, Tetley Bitter, Jennings Bitter, Brodies Citra, Maypole Little Weed & Blakemere Deep Dark Secret. The cider was from Ampleforth Abbey and the perry was Two Trees from Gwynt y Ddraig. The interior is still just as quaint as ever and you've generally got a very good chance of getting a table. Service is good and I would say that it is fully deserving of the Liverpool pub of the year award. I will continue popping in here as often as possible, especially if they perservere with the cider. With the Dispensary just around the corner and Ye Cracke and the Philharmonic also not too far away, we find ourselves increasingly in this area, instead of the Dale Street pubs.
blue_scrumpy - 30 Sep 2012 13:07
The Roscoe Head, besides being the Liverpool pub of the year, is one of those places where everyone seems to be able to squeeze into a very small place and get on famously together. All the real ales on offer are chalked up high on the wall, which facilitates the ordering of drinks no end.
shouldersarms - 27 Jun 2012 11:39
CAMRA Liverpool & District Pub of the Year 2012.
mattbeer - 6 May 2012 12:07
A rack of 3 x third of a pint is heaven for beer tasters. Lovely small, cosy, friendly local with good attentive staff, great atmosphere for real ale lovers and their friends.
melita666 - 16 Jan 2012 21:53
The Roscoe Head is a gem. We were the first people in on a Saturday morning (the door magically opened as I walked around the corner) and found the 3 room pub to be in excellent condition, everything in its place, fires on, menus out with a smiling, friendly lady waiting to serve us. 6 beers to choose from and I tried the Tetleys, Rudolph Reward and Rosey Nosey - all in splended condition. Well worth a visit.
Crooked_Canary - 20 Dec 2011 08:59
An excellent couple of pints the other weekend. Highly recommended.
founddrunkinyourgarden - 5 Aug 2011 11:38
Visited here for the second time yesterday after a first visit to the Roscoe Arms. The Roscoe Head is still a very pleasant backstreet pub with plenty of character in its features. Service is friendly. Beers on yesterday were Six Bells Cockschafer, Castle Rock Preservation Ale, Adnams Lighthouse, JW Lees The Governor and Tetleys.
blue_scrumpy - 23 May 2011 20:54
As usual on my visits to Liverpool, I called in here. Quiet Easter Monday morning. Enjoyed a "Surreal Ale". No hassle. Usual polite and friendly staff. This pub does not have its famous reputation for no reason. It's a real cracker and at week-ends, as it's so small, you have to squeeze in but it's well worth the squeezing. You soon get into conversation with someone about something.
shouldersarms - 26 Apr 2011 12:07
End of the day, those of us reading these reviews are on this site for a reason - we like our pint, and we like our good pubs. Well, this is one of my city's hidden gems and to be perfectly honest it hasnt been in the Good Beer Guide for near 3 decades for nothing.
Heres hoping the Roscoe never changes!
Scousefire - 15 Feb 2011 13:33
A proper pub, clearly devoid of all gimickery. Beer quality & service was excellent. A must.
Wilson_MacDonald - 29 Jan 2011 15:38
Remains one of the better unspoilt city centre back street pubs with quality ale - though I wasn't too impressed with the pint of Kings Regiment but would say thta wa smore down to the taste of that particualr brew.
Snarling_Mallard - 27 Nov 2010 13:10
As the Grapes on Roscoe Street was closed at 2pm the other week I came here instead.

Haven't visited the Roscoe Head for a while - stupid me!

I had a pint of William Roscoe (forget which brewery) served by a very nice landlady.

Excellant beer quality, excellant service, excellant little pub.
mattbeer - 25 Apr 2010 12:58
The third and final pub on my brief visit to Liverpool.
The layout of this pub has been perfectly described by previous reviewers.
The two bar ladies were efficient, chatty and pleasant. Two guest beers available. I had Cumberland which was very good.
An older clientelle at this pub compared to other nearby bars.

wirraldrinker - 21 Mar 2010 16:58
Tucked away down a backstreet, maybe a bit pokey, although cosy and with definite character. Good range of beers but a bit too frothy for my liking (typical southerners complaint). Locals not the most welcoming (typical Londerners complaint in Liverpool). Not as good as the Ship and Mitre.
alebarry - 10 Dec 2009 15:03
wonderful pub, beer and staff! A visit here is a very rewarding experience.
critch - 13 Nov 2009 13:05
What more can I add - friendly staff, excellent beer (tried a strong mild from the lakes) and a perfect multi-roomed small backstreet city centre local the like of which has almost disappeared. One of the very few pubs to have been in every edition of the good beer guide and on this visit rightly so. This place is a must for those who like proper pubs with real ale and real people behind the bar.
Snarling_Mallard - 30 Oct 2009 12:28
Yesterday was my first visit to The Roscoe Head. It's a virtually unspoilt backstret local with a number of small bars/snugs. There is a friendly welcome with conversation encouraged. Yesterday the two guest beers were York Constantine and Betwixt Dark Matter, in addition to the regular Jennings Ale, Burton Ale and Tetley Bitter/Mild. I'd certainly come here again.
blue_scrumpy - 17 May 2009 12:01
Visited here for 1st time in 2 years. Had a pint of one of the guest ales which was well kept. Landlord was very welcoming. The Roscoe has a good reputation and is popular for all the reasons that people have commented on below. There was a couple from the Isle of Man who chose to come here for a few pints before their flight back home.
mattbeer - 1 Mar 2009 15:30
The Roscoe Head is by far my favourite pub in Liverpool. This is a traditional multi room pub that can only be described a classic. Excellent, well kept beer - with the Jennings Bitter being particularly recommended. As other reviewers have already said, this pub has been in all editions of The Good Beer Guide and once there, it is easy to see why. What can I say, just brilliant!!
DoctorBarfly - 24 Jan 2009 22:15
There have been some recent changes in the small snug to the left as you enter, no tables or seating now except three bar stools, and a drinking shelf complete with foot rail installed down one wall, coat hooks on the wall and a small wall mounted TV complete this make over. God knows why; I suspect the telly is the clue but it will never compete with Sky Sports on big screens at the Fly and the Flute up the road. One other make over is a thinning out of the stools in the other small front snug, at least you can move around in there now. Beer on offer was the usual complement of Jennings, Tetley Bitter and dark Mild, Burton Ale plus two guests. All I tried in excellent form as usual, you can see why this has been in the Good Beer Guide for 35 years.

anonymous - 16 Jan 2009 17:35
Little locals pub with a small but well kept range of real ales. Has a couple of tiny rooms that mean if you sit in one of them you're almost obliged to talk to the other people in there as you're nearly sat on them. Very friendly, got talking to a couple of locals plus a visitor from Nottingham. Good pub.
ROBCamra - 12 Jan 2009 15:53
One of my favourites in Liverpool, this highly traditional multi-roomed is always busy, and with good reason. It is just off Hardman Strret in a part of town that has superb pubs on almost every street. Friendly welcome, unspolit surroundings and excellent beer. There is also unpretentious pub grub on offer at times. It has appeared in every edition of the GBG. Arrive early to get a seat!
Carlurmston - 20 Oct 2008 13:16
Excellent little side-street pub - tiny bar surrounded by multiroom layout with front snug sectioned off. Good choice of well-kept real ales. only yards off one of the main drags for the circuit crowd, but a calm oasis even when full of punters, who tend to be the more mature ale-drinker.
Gristy - 20 Oct 2008 13:04
Great little pub, our first time here, recommended by one of our local lads. Beers excellent. (I rarely use that now-popular, much over-used word, so I really do mean 'excellent'). They certainly take a pride in looking after their ales and it pays off. Pleasant and friendly staff, customers too. An all-round good experience..! So... now off for the obligatory curry and then to the Grapes in Mathews St. to complete our crawl with the customary alcoholic musical finale..! I can't remember ever having a decent beer here, so it'll be lager for me..!
Glenco - 8 Sep 2008 12:59
The first thing to say about this place is that it is very clean & well kept - a credit to the staff. Very small & cosy (or cramped whatever your take on it is). Its a bit like going into someone's house.
happytyskie - 15 Aug 2008 11:21
Nice traditional pub. A bit too cramped for my liking though, but the real ale on offer was good.
mattbeer - 10 Aug 2008 17:22
Another fine, but smallish traditional Liverpool pub in a side street a couple of blocks away from the Philharmonic.

The Roscoe Head has been in every edition of CAMRA's GBG to date and I enjoyed a reasonable pint of Jennings in here last Friday lunchtime - 27 June 2008. There's 3-4 real ales on in total.

Perhaps unusually for Liverpool, there are several side rooms off a central drinking lobby ( rather similar in layout to Manchester pubs such as The Hare and Hounds on Shudehill )

The pub offers good honest lunchtime pub grub ( eg - steak and kidney pie, chips, peas and gravy for 4.75p ) . None of this poncey gastro food nonsense here !

The pub is named after William Roscoe, a famous anti-slave trade campaigner in the 1780's.

Read more about the pub in the Liverpool Historic Pub Guide, which is well worth getting hold of.

Visit recommended - try and make time to do this one if you can.
JohnBonser - 7 Jul 2008 13:35
cosy, friendly atmosphere and fantastic quality ale, consistantly excellent. nice decor too, a perfect pub for after work pint-and-paper situations.
Munkyboy - 10 Apr 2008 18:29
bit like a street corner local..well run..well kept beers and a friendly staff and clientele..situated off the main rd..but quite easy to find..pubs like this are a godsend to beer efficianados..quiet and respectful..worth a visit while in liverpool.
graybagsinburyonceagain - 9 Apr 2008 22:51
Great little pub, traditional layout with bar serving into open entrance hall with 2 rooms off and a screened snug at the end of the bar. Serves Jennings and a few other real ales, look for blackboard on right of bar and food. Agree with the comment about the refurb deserving an OBE, sitting there one night and it slowly dawned, after a bit of discussion about the place, that it had been refurbished.
Wirral_RealAlians - 24 Mar 2008 21:43
Recommended by drinkers outside a crowded Dispensary as somewhere without football on the TV. What a lovely cosy friendly pub. We sat in the snug area, and enjoyed our real ales and chat with the locals. Smashing pub.
gillhalfpint - 6 Nov 2007 12:26
Nice little back street boozer...worth seeking out
LickeyEndBooze - 29 Oct 2007 16:41
Superb, traditional, multiroom pub. Friendly welcome, excellent ale and good value food. Not to be missed.
wobblybob - 10 Mar 2007 14:12
great place got wasted in there in 2002 on a double gin, double martini rosso and double chinzano bianco with drop of angastura's bitter.
BeerBolshevik - 23 Jan 2007 09:44
A decent friendly pub and a good selection of ales.
anonymous - 29 Oct 2006 19:07
Whoever handled the refurb deserves an OBE - it's in the same style and spirit as before but if you look closely you can see it's all clean and new. Got to admit, this is the first time I've seen a refurb improve a place - the best has just got better. Now serves food if you're into that sort of thing.
anonymous - 29 May 2006 14:01
The Roscoe has been refurbished and is even better than ever. Some fine Belhaven and Black Sheep to be had on my recent visit. Visit The Fly en route to here for a very pleasurable 'double'
in4 - 9 May 2006 09:41
Timeless, classic 'Pool boozer. Untouched by the vagaries of fashion. Has been in every edition of the Good Beer Guide. Reputed to have the smallest bar-room in the City. A must see establishment of the highest merit.
founddrunkinyourgarden - 24 Feb 2006 16:43
Classic Liverpool pub - highly recommended, but it's a bit small so don't go in all together in a large group
JohnBonser - 20 Dec 2005 14:40
I never went in this place when I was a student here, always being dragged to Ye Crack and the Phil. What a shame. I went in recently and was v. impressed with the beer, the unspoilt layout and friendly staff. Probably the best pub in Liverpool for well kept ales.
Terry_W - 29 Nov 2005 23:50
Like drinking in someone's front room listening in to the conversations. All come thickly buttered with Scouse wit. Beer selection is quite decent and impeccably served
Joe_Cundy - 30 Oct 2005 09:47
Good place. Clean and friendly. Excellent beer.
joegreen - 30 Aug 2005 12:38
Friendly backstreet local,which looks like its been unchanged for decades...Decent beer.The daytime punters aren`t too young.You do (unintentionally..!)eavesdrop on other peoples conversation due to the pubs layout
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 29 Aug 2005 19:12
Feels like someone's home. Always a good welcome wioth good ale and simple plain food. Very difficult to walk past
weetwood - 11 Jan 2005 23:31
Been in every God Beer Guide since its first publication. Tiny bar area, two tiny rooms, and an even tinier snug. Not the place to go for a private conversation but well worth a visit. It's amazing how it's survived unspoilt all these years, but then why change something which works. I don't know if the same woman is still doing the food, if she is you might get to sample her latest experiment - usually a treat.

Quiet during the day after lunch so good for hangovers. Stay there and create a new one.
palmwinedrinkard - 24 May 2004 15:26
A classic unspoilt backstreet local gem. Usually two Jennings beers plus a changing guest beer. I have only visited once in the late 1990s, but if it hasn't changed since then it's definitely worth a visit. A compartmentalised pub featuring all sorts of snugs and drinking areas. Go and see for yourselves!
Lee Newton - 14 Apr 2004 17:32

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.