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Malthouse, Reading

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user reviews of the Malthouse, Reading

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

My second new pub of the day in Reading and I really enjoyed this one. It's really handy for the West entrance to the station. There are 6 real ales, 1 real cider and a good selection of craft beers too. CAMRA discounts of 20% per pint (and I think 10% per half) are offered on the ales. The number of pumpclips on the wall testify to the decent selection they've had on here since it re-opened. On our visit, they had Hogsback HBB, Salopian Shropshire Gold, Red Squirrel Redtail Citra, Animal Snarl, Ticketybrew Pale Ale & Dancing Duck Dark Drake. The Dark Drake was excellent. Cider was Farmer Jim's Medium. Well worth a visit.
blue_scrumpy - 23 Sep 2015 21:34
Been The Greyfriar now for well over a year - not that I'd expect the admin of this site to notice or do anything about it!

Beer quality consistently good. Open all day Mon - Sat from noon and 1200 to 1900 (ish) Sun.

CAMRA discount still 20% - a bargain!
cheshirecat - 24 May 2015 18:58
Have been back a few times since my comment below and am pleased to report that things have improved immensly. Beer quality good, 20% CAMRA discount, staff friendlt and effecient.
cheshirecat - 20 Sep 2014 10:23
How do you get changes made to the pub information given on BITE? Another one which had not been updated. It is quite obvious that BITE does not actually exist and only keeps going because WE put in the details!!!!
mcroyal - 24 Jul 2014 22:31
Whilst I don't totally agree with everything the last 2 reviewers have posted, I have similar, and mixed, experiences.

i agree that the place lacks character and certainly looks "unfinished". Can't say that I find it expensive though - especially with the "unadvertised" discount for card carrying CAMRA members.

Have visited, or tried to, 5 times since the Greyfriars reopened, My first was a few days after it opened - beer selection and quality were good. On my second visit, early on a Saturday night, I walked out having not been served after 7 or 8 minutes despite it not being terribly busy and there being 3 staff on. A total lack of organisation.

My third visit was on a weekday shortly after opening time. the staff all seemed to be involved in some sort of tutored gin tasting and I was not really made to feel welcome although, once I had been served, the beer was very good. My 4th attempted visit, on a Saturday afternoon, found it closed.

My most recent visit yesterday was a disaster. The first beer selected was quickly returned as undrinkable - I was given some excuse about cellar temperature problems and "it's OK just not settled". The replacement pint was far too warm and, at best, could be described as indifferent. I was not tempted to try anything else and left,

So, very mixed feelings about this place. It has little character but good beer selection if the quality can be controlled. It possibly doesn't help that the radiators always seem to be on full blast with all the doors open! Seems very disorganised and poorly managed.

Haven't given up totally but, unless things improve, I may well do so.
cheshirecat - 30 Mar 2014 12:01
Sadly dissapointed by the shambolic serving staff, the uncleared glasses and the, to but it bluntly, cheap finish. It still needs a lot of work to look half decent. Where is the promised food? The website says no Sunday opening but I have been served on a Sunday so that is one redeeming feature. The beer list was not that extensive. The Nags Head does a far better selection that is, in my mind, far better looked after as well.

The landlady, when I saw her, looked totally out of her depth with a sense of panic on her face. Maybe she is more suited to being a barmaid than a landlady.

In any event, until they finish the bar off (there is no joy in wondering where the next splinter will come from when you're at the bar) and the price comes down I suspect I won't be back.
Realalefella - 18 Mar 2014 16:36
Newly refurbished and opened as the Greyfrairs. The choice is very good indeed with five, largely local, cask ales on offer as well as a number of craft lagers and a couple of decent ciders.

The landlord has perhaps skimped a little on the finish - it feels a little bare and slightly lacking in character - but that may just be me being snooty: I've been twice since it opened last month and it's been very busy on both occasions.

All in all a good alternative to the Oakford, the Nag's, Allied Arms, the Alehouse etc in that it's focusing on the beer and is perhaps more welcoming to a wider group than ale enthusiasts only. I hope it's a success.
plymouthpirate - 3 Mar 2014 13:25
Now reincarnated as the Grey Friar and spectacularly good on a first visit. The ale range was great including the mighty Darkstar and London Porter while quality 'craft' lagers from Belgium and the United States were also present. Quite blokey as you might expect and it's very close to where the buses leave for the Madejski Stadium so that won't change on match days. Quite a nice stripped down feel floorboards-wise so a quality addition to the Reading drinking scene.
BoehmBawerk - 28 Feb 2014 13:50
Dear Lord J - if you enjoy drinking in an aircraft hanger where it takes forever and a day to get served and where the additonal handpumps are simply used to sell more of the same instead of increasing the guest beer range and where the food comes straight from a boil in the bag recipe and where there are more fruit machines than customers then by all means get yourself down to the BOB. However, some of us actually enjoy a good pint of ale in a decent boozer - that's why we use The Greyfriar; Nags Head; Allied Arms; Alehouse; Hop Leaf; Eldon arms etc etc etc et.........
mcroyal - 21 Feb 2014 13:05
turn it in lord jason, everyone knows you are in fact that chris geez who spends all day every day in bobs. you got shares in the spoons son?
chelsea_greg - 17 Feb 2014 14:37
Well - here's a surprise! A new pub will open in Mid-February and it will be a mix of real ale and "craft" beers. It will be called The Greyfriar and wll be run by a young landlady who has had experience with The Nags Head and local Greene King pubs so we wish her all the very best with this bold project
mcroyal - 7 Feb 2014 17:57
The proposal - flats above/convenience store below. Another pub lost in Reading and considering where it is situated (near the station and buses etc) this is yet another example of a perfectly good pub closing to become a shop where no doubt cheap booze will be sold to take away. It's wrong you know!!!!
mcroyal - 21 Dec 2011 12:21
Fancy owning a pub? This one is up for grabs (freehold) at around 375K It was closed and boarded up but it looks like squatters have broken in. Try The Three Guineas up the road at the station instead.
mcroyal - 13 Aug 2010 13:41
malthouse? sh*tehouse more like it! used to be a good footie pub now gone all dale winton. i remember a time when could come in and watch match now just pet shop boys videos! i should ruddy cocoa!
chelsea_greg - 19 May 2010 16:14
Closed and boarded up.
cheshirecat - 2 May 2010 08:36
I must admit that reading the most recent post made me and my friends giggle, we go to the malt from Newbury on a regualr basis and im not stupid enough not to know that there are NO lagers whatsoever which are priced at 3.40.

The place gets rammed at weekends with its 6am license and brilliant cabaret, i've seen Tina Cousins there from Sash and my friends have all seen Amanda Wilson from the Freemasons, Kelly Llorenna, Rachel MacFarlane and Alison Jier perform there, which is a lot that can be said for any other venue in Reading.

The staff apparently are always sat at the bar eating their dinners? whats that about? I thought this reviewer had only been in the once, if they didnt like it, why go back?

They also seem to hire aggressive bouncers???? I've only ever seen one in there! and to me he was pretty hot although I am admittedly merry when I see him.

I reckon the review was done by a competitior as I know the place has had trouble in the past from bullying nightclubs that also cater for the gay scene.

Me and my mates give the Malt 100 out of 10 for effort and the places just gets better and better, when xmas is over I will be back!
godalmightly - 1 Dec 2009 02:29
This pub has been badly run from the start. It regularly charges you different, varying prices for the same drink in one night, and this can include 3.40 for a pint of lager!

You rarely get your drink in an appropriate glass [pint of Fosters in a Guiness glass, anyone], which may not be the worst thing ever, but just shows a lack on attention to customer service.

The staff are often sat at the bar eating their dinners as you are waiting to be served.

And to top it off, they have hired aggressive bouncers on the door, who I have witnessed unjustifiably manhandle a guy and literally throw him out onto the street for "looking too drunk".

It's website attempt to trick you into thinking it's going to be a trendy, large club. It's far from this. Enter The Malthouse at your peril!
the_ghost - 10 Oct 2009 23:27
Now a gay pub but very friendly to non-gays. No real ale.
cheshirecat - 30 Jan 2008 11:42
Was in the Malthouse last night for the first time. The staff were really friendly and helpful. The beer was a resonable price and they had fairly good selection of drinks.

The decor was ok, I liked the fact that it was a gay pub without attitude and had a nice mixed crowd. The quiz machine is good too, if not a tad addictive!

I'll definately go back and hope that it keeps going.
FuzzyKipper - 6 Jan 2008 22:43
I am bitterly dissapointed in the state the Malthouse is in now. Staff are friendly and welcoming as ever, in particular the assistant manager. HOWEVER the landlord continues to leave the inexperienced bartenders to fend for themselves on busy nights, a problem which causes long waiting times for service. In addition to this,the refurbisment that is in progress and the fact the landlords dog roams freely (whilst food is being searved) after biting TWO customers already makes me wary to return.

On a more positive note, the selection of cocktails is good, as is the selection of beers.
anonymous - 20 Sep 2007 09:34
Not a bad place, staff are friendly and welcoming, larger selection is good, and price is not at all bad for a gay venue in Reading.
Bracknell_bear - 5 Sep 2007 18:33
Have been back here again recently, what a mess the landlord is making of the place, there was no draught beer the other night, just bottled, you have to wait for 10-15 minutes to get served, longer when its busy. At 9pm on a friday, they had one member of bar-staff, everyone was waiting and waiting, the landlord swanned in and swanned upstairs leaving him to it. The landlord is bloody useless, and a lazy fat bastard to boot, I give the Malthouse 6 months before its gone
Nero - 23 Aug 2007 10:24
A straight-friendly gay bar. Done a nice job on the inside, though it does remind me somewhat of the Careless Whisper video. Well it's George Michael, who knows what the designers were thinking...?

Sadly there's no ale (not even a decent bottle), which is a bit unfortunate if you're a gay/lesbian/whatever ale drinker wanting that particular (and rare outside London and Brighton) kind of atmosphere.

Fairly good for what it is, could be better though.
Quinno - 28 Jun 2007 18:08
Recently been declared the new gay pub for Reading. Popped in a week or so ago, very quiet, though it was a BH Monday early evening. Seems ok, will visit again perhaps.
Nero - 16 May 2007 15:26
A haunt for postmen which lets face it is reason enough not to frequent.
Trapdoor - 2 Jan 2006 14:17

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