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Three Tuns, Hotwells

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user reviews of the Three Tuns, Hotwells

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

traditional pub, single roomed interior. Banksy style artwork on the outside walls.

Beer was well worthy of their inclusion in the 2020 Good Beer Guide. St Austell Cornish in perfect condition.
Mappiman - 6 Jan 2020 17:47
The Three Tuns was closed until 4pm yesterday, as it was close to the central riot zone and all of the police baracades. But I made the journey back here before starting my way towards the station. This is a larger pubs than it looks from the outside and has a courtyard garden. The ale range was mostly golden type beers - Vibrant Forest Vienna Rye Pale, Dorset Piddle Piddle, Arbor Motueka & Hoploader, Beerd Gambit, Black Flag El Dorado & Firebrand Graffiti IPA. Ciders were Westons Rosie's Pig & Worleys Mendip Hills. The latter cider was enjoyable. Another place offering CAMRA discounts and another good Bristol pub.
blue_scrumpy - 5 Jun 2016 18:42
More low key than I expected although the range of ales was as good as billed, leaning towards the darker end of the spectrum. We enjoyed a truncated game of dominoes given the small number of pieces in the box while Friday afternoon is not perhaps going to be the busiest time. Worth a stop and conveniently located.
BoehmBawerk - 24 Feb 2014 08:12
Second in a trio of pubs before and after the mighty U’s visit to Ashton Gate where we managed to salvage a draw from a winning position. The CAMRA guide describes the Three Tuns as beer nirvana, hyperbole in my view but an excellent range of Arbor ales and I’d certainly be happy to have this pub near me. I had a couple of pints of the excellent Blue Sky Drinking a best bitter which was very pleasant and then finished with the Breakfast stout, which was not bad but I’m glad I only had a half. The rest of the boys were drinking a yellow beer which also seemed to go down well. Pleasant interior and surprisingly few customers for a Saturday lunchtime, well worth a visit. 7.5/10
Monkdawallydahonk - 1 Oct 2013 13:01
kernel on cask is a fairly good pint , that said at £4.10 after a camra discount its a bit stiff.
beatles38 - 11 May 2013 22:05
Spartan and negative reviews are bad are they?

What about yours? Are they acceptable because you leave them, especially if you are trying to berate all the pubs in the area to make yours seem better?

Hogshead, Bristol "I used to go here. It was horrible. " 2 Jan 2012 18:25

The Lizard Lounge, Clifton "Horrid student nightclub." 15 Sep 2011 18:48

The Hill, Clifton "This is Cotham, not Clifton. Nondescript large pub that I cannot imagine going to unless I really wanted to watch a football match with three hundred students". 15 Sep 2011 18:45

The Coronation Tap, Clifton "Had a horrible time when we last went here. Can't see why I would return. The bouncer seems to be having a laugh as well, and not in a good way." 15 Sep 2011 18:43

The Bishops Tavern, Bristol "This place is still vile. Sorry." 26 Jul 2011 14:45

And I could go on, especially if I included the reviews you leave with one of your sock puppet accounts.

Now, as I said, back in your cave you nasty little troll.
nova7 - 30 Apr 2013 18:46
Nova7, I am not the one who is hiding behind an anonymous username. I saw two very spartan and negative reviews, of the only two Arbor pubs they have, and a user who had registered just to leave those two reviews. The two pubs are on opposite sides of town, & I find it a coincidence that those were the only pubs that you chose to comment on. You didn't bother to post which beers you were drinking, just slagged them both off, which is not helpful, constructive criticism, as it is impossible for the landlord to know what you were drinking.
LukeD - 30 Apr 2013 12:14
So, LukeD, I'm not allowed an opinion?

I travelled to Bristol, I went in 4 public houses, two were so ordinary it was not worth leaving a comment and for two it was.

I'm sorry if that is a mystery to you. Your history on BITE is one of telling people who have left comments that they are wrong and then using a variety of sock-puppet accounts to back you up.

I reported what I saw, an empty pub and an uncommunicative barman. I hear from friends in the area it is a bit busier now, but I stand by what I said.

You weren't there when I was and you have no right to rubbish my review.

Crawl back in your hole you nasty troll.
nova7 - 29 Apr 2013 10:24
I agree with previous post and well done LukeD for spotting the grudgebearer. I have always had excellent beer and service here, and thought the post by Nova7 a bit odd, but didn;t realise he left another negative one for Arbor's other pub, the Old Stillage. Nova7 obviously has an axe to grind and, message to other punters, don't let this put you off a visit to this pub. You could also walk up the road to visit the Bag O Nails too, but don't be too drunk when you get there (hey, LukeD, only kidding!)
Dandillus - 12 Apr 2013 20:18
I'm sure LukeD is correct as Nova7 has only ever commented on these two pubs and Arbor is one of the best breweries in the country. Since the new landlord has taken over the beer in this pub has always been of exceptionally good quality. I decided against going in on Saturday because it was absolutely rammed, so is it "on its last legs"? Ridiculous!
MrKiA - 10 Apr 2013 19:16
nova7 registered only to slag off this pub and Arbor's other pub in Bristol and has left no other comments at all. His comments appear bullshit to me and it would seem that it is somebody hiding behind anonymity with a grudge to bear.
LukeD - 10 Apr 2013 11:39
Visited on Saturday evening 6th April, pub busy with people eating and drinking, Roosters beer very good, didn't try the Arbor beer on offer as it was described as malty.
sat outside under the heaters, pleasant evening.
pwilkins - 9 Apr 2013 12:50
Deathly quiet on a Saturday evening, cold bar area with no heating on, not very welcoming. Nobody serving behind the bar. Waited for several minutles before a chap appeared to mumble at me. Had a pretty awful fint of some amber ale, badly kept and flat.

Barman vanished again.

Drunk pint and left, another pub on it's last legs it would seem.
nova7 - 17 Feb 2013 15:04
Great Ale ,as said before. However with the amount of keg craft beer on sale, and the coming of Brewdog in Bristol, does this not cast the mighty shadows of Apocalypse and Armageddon on Cask Beer, can this irrepressible force be stopped before Cask Beer just becomes a festering yellow spew.
Cliftonclive - 6 Feb 2013 19:37
Visited for the 1st time on Saturday afternoon. I can see why this pub is the current Bristol CAMRA pub of the year. Excellent range of Arbor Ales plus a couple of guests. Four craft keg ales also available. Just shows what can be done to turn round a pub with the right management and great beer.
PoorBeerHater - 21 Nov 2012 10:45
Cosy, more modern pub with lots of pale wood. Great selection of excellent Arbor Ales. Busy place of lunch, which is excellent too.
MarkVP - 26 Sep 2012 08:48
Yes, a great improvement on the Tuns as I knew it in college days. The Arbor beer was excellent, and there was a good beer and cider range, and some interesting bottled beers from overseas. However, I don't entirely agree with the comment about friendly staff - on my visit the service was business-like but not overly welcoming. A minor quibble perhaps, but this aspect of the pub could perhaps be improved.
beerpilgrim - 20 Jul 2012 19:08
Probably the best choice of beers in this part of Bristol. I sued to think Aramis was a kind of aftershave but it's also a gold, hoppy brew from Arbor and very nice too. The pub manages to be quite trendy and intimate at the same time.
16jamesdoc - 5 Jun 2012 10:50
Don't be put off by the slightly "seedy" location of this pub in Hotwells. Once inside the interior is more country local than city pub! The staff behind the bar are friendly and knowledgeable about the beer. And what a range of tasty real ales! There really is a beer for everyone here, whether you like dark stout, or pale IPA. With a selection of local and national beers, many from independant brewers, you won't be disappointed!
pubscouter - 4 Apr 2012 18:30
Another visit saw four ales tried and all four were in perfect condition, our favourite being the Yeovil ales Lynx Wildcat - sublime! Why can't more pubs - and I also mean the ones listed in the GBG - just try to get this right. There was a lovely 'country pub' atmosphere in here early on NYE. Cannot be faulted on any level.
Dandillus - 2 Jan 2012 21:52
Arbor Ales pub with their own beers + guests at reasonable prices. Not afraid to stock srong/unusual beers. The 7% Mammon was particularly welcome. Now one of Bristol's finest.
baxterfish - 7 Dec 2011 07:02
Can only echo what has been said before exemplary beer condition possibly even better than the seven stars.
There are some including myself that thought when ned left there would be a decline in the quality, but they've done a great job , well done everyone.
beatles38 - 6 Nov 2011 09:34
Fist visit for ages and what a pub! Tastefully refurbished, fantastic choice of ale: tried the VPA (Vale Brewery) and Dark Star Original - both were sublime. Really good atmosphere and knowledgeable bar staff. Faultless 10/10
Dandillus - 29 Oct 2011 12:49
Neds has left the building! It is a great shame that Ned has left the Tuns. However, thanks to the hard work of the previous incumbents there should be little to change about this pub. Thankfully this seems to be the case. Gypsys Kiss still grace Mondays nights and the very impresive Arbour Ales still provide the backbone of the offerings from the bar. Keep up the good work!
Neverlovedelvis - 7 Sep 2011 16:50
What's happened to Ned? He was doing a great job here!
richard_parker - 28 Aug 2011 19:01
The Three Tuns has had a new manager since Saturday 23rd July 2011.
MrKiA - 24 Jul 2011 21:00
Sad days at the tuns , what ever you like to say about ned he's a perfectionist when it comes to quality of beer.was in the other night great choice premier league at least top four . Dark star was readily supped the other night along with snuffy jack , great quality great beer. 9.999./10
beatles38 - 24 Jul 2011 16:24
One of Bristol's great pubs.
A real serious rival to the seven stars .
Most of the Beers are changing, Arbors Brigstow seem to be regular though.
Quality exceptional.
Bar staff seemed to be very knowledgable of the product they were selling.

Cliftonclive - 22 Apr 2011 15:36
Re-revitalised city pub now selling a constantly changing and surprising range of guest beers in addition to Arbor Ales offerings both regular and experimental. What could be (and has been) a rather four-square and barren place is made warm and inviting by low lighting, a real fire and just-the-right-side-of-wacky blackboards advertising their wares. Top marks to this regular Friday afternoon pit-stop.
WebelMC - 30 Mar 2011 21:50
Flick of a coin for the best real ale house in town for me , this or the seven stars , currently inthe middle of a festival , the quality is superb.
beatles38 - 5 Mar 2011 08:21
I can only really echo what others have said a massively improved pub and now part of the Arbor Ales stable. The interior has had a bit of a makeover as far as I recall, and with its reclaimed wooden flooring and a chunky wood tables has a suitably rustic feel to it. The paint scheme is mostly (gastro-pub?) grey, and theres even a little exposed brickwork at the rear along with some comfy leather sofas.

Landlord was friendly and chatty, and volunteered a couple of samples of the cider without any prompting. Im not sure they do much in the way of food, although there were a couple of notices up regarding Sunday lunch.

I didnt note all the beers, but then I suspect most of them were guests and would be totally different by next week anyway. There were half a dozen of them to choose from, and rather surprisingly, none from Arbor. The landlord said that theyd sold out of their stock over the weekend. I did spot one from Teignworthy and another from Oakham, which is a rarity in these parts. The regular cider on tap was Thatchers Gold, but there were no less than five boxes stacked up in the end of the bar to choose from.

All in all a great pub, well worth a visit.
Blackthorn - 7 Feb 2011 21:07
A regular haunt of mine now , probably Bristol's most improved/ transformed pub.
Much of the credit for this must of course go to Mark Farrel , who I know had to stick to his guns when establishing this as a real ale pub.
Now run by ned formerly of the Portcullis , in association with Arbor Ales, has really put the icing on the cake , the range preponderated by Arbor , but not predominated by them . the only regular is arbor Brigstow , contains a great range of beer's , and often includes something from Dark star , quality is always immaculate. Food now served , carry on with the good work

beatles38 - 27 Dec 2010 09:40
A Real Find, close to College Green and the Cathedral, great beer (arbor Ales plus loads of Guest Beer) and very friendly bar staff. Comfortable and welcoming atmosphere, only complaint - I wish it was my Local!!!
bristolsteve - 4 Dec 2010 09:05
I was pleased to find this pub as the nearby Bag O'Nails has now closed. Tried Arbor Ales for the first time and was well satisfied. Friendly chap behind the bar and I shall be using this place again when in Bristol.
mcroyal - 24 Nov 2010 22:44
Saltaire Triple chocaholic Dark star hophead, go on ,arbor ales Pacific jade ,apollo,one from y valley and AA transpacific , i don't know i'd say that was a pretty good start.
beatles38 - 6 Oct 2010 19:43
Great pub.......

Great ale.......

Great brewery........

Can't go wrong then......

Or can it......

so_sad_but_true - 2 Oct 2010 14:27
Just relaunched by Arbor Ales. Run by Ned & Natz, formerly of Dawkins Ales/The Portcullis so expect great beers and atmosphere. Check out the extraordinary hop 'machine'! Buzzing opening night, looking forward to developments.
curioushistory - 2 Oct 2010 13:01
Indeed, this pub has been vastly improved by anyone's measure in the last year, and is a true testament to how much of a turnaround can be achieved with the right people, right ideas and a bit of cash, however hopeless the future seemed in its previous incarnation.
In the late '90s the 3 Tuns was a bog-standard Ushers house as far as I can recall, and although to my knowledge not exactly a dive, it was certainly nothing to write home about and clearly was nowhere near reaching its potential.
Happily, a good team is now on the case and although it won't be everyone's idea of a perfect hostelry, it serves a plainly strong demand amongst the local community for a simple pub, serving good basic grub, a wide range of predominantly local cask ales, and which has an unpretentious, yet cosy atmosphere to it.
Popped in on the last Bank Holiday Monday, to find an earthy group of punters all enthralled by some live folk music being performed in the corner. It is not my usual bag, but nevertheless I found myself genuinely drawn in by the solid performance of these local musicians, who sang soley from the heart and honoured the folk traditions of old England in an authentic and lusty style.
The ales were on stupendous form, and every customer was furnished with ham and cheese sandwiches by the landlord as we whiled away the evening enjoying the free-spirited vibes. Even one of the barmaids did a brief turn on the mic at closing time - who'd have known she could sing?

One of the most honest and endearing of revived pubs not only in Bristol but anywhere, and judging by the popularity of it I can only hope it will continue enjoying its revival for some while.

TWG - 9 Jun 2010 16:33
Mark has turned this pub , from being one of the biggest dives , into one of the best real ale pubs in Bristol. He has made this somewhere where you could take your mother . A good choice of real ales . The pub has a nice interior , and a great smoking area out the back . My only slight critiscism , is that perhaps the real ale choice could be a teensy weensy more imaginative. But that said qality excellent . Incidentally as from 9th of April the food is planning to do food .A must visit on any trip to Bristol , in an area strongly represented in the GBG , And this pub if mark keeps going the way he's going , will be a strong candidate for the guide.
beatles38 - 6 Apr 2010 12:59
Friendly staff, another pub that is making lots of effort to please the discerning real ale drinker, Bristol seems to be filling up with these type of pubs, long may it continue! Beer quality was excellent.
Abteilung - 8 Feb 2010 17:57
Went here as it was mentioned in 'Pints West', was not disappointed - Box Steam COG (spot on beer) and Golden Bolt, Arbor Otster stout amongst the 6 ales on. A pleasant pub which I hope to look up again.
Booze_Allen - 8 Feb 2010 17:32
What's not to like?

Here we have a guaranteed warm welcome, and our little oasis of sanity in what used to be a long, dry walk from the centre to Hotwells Road.

The beer is excellent, but for those with more specific tastes, I can recommend the forthcoming attempt to gain entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for the greatest number of Irish men named Mark in the same room. Date to be announced.

What the hell. It's good. Go there, if you like pubs.

Evil_Gazebo - 10 Jan 2010 00:36
Yes - as documented in our local rag, Pints West - the LL from the Plume of Feathers has taken over here. Really nice chap, and a friendly welcome was had. The beers had Arbor Ales dominating with three from that brewery - Brigstowe, Beech Blonde and Oyster Stout plus TT Landlord and one from Cotswold Spring. Not sure which were guests and which were permanent fixtures. As others have commented, it was also really quiet, with only a handful of punters in which is a pity as this place has huge potential and in a good location. I wish them well and will be back to offer my support by drinking as much of their perfectly kept beer as possible. You should do the same.
Dandillus - 29 Dec 2009 15:06
good beer, bad atmosphere.
make.mine.a.blonde - 18 Dec 2009 22:20
After for years being a place you'd hardly want to go into,the Tun's is reopened and much improved. The TT Landlord last night was impeccable. The landlord and the barwoman are friendly sorts,sure why wouldn't they be!!!

For the record the ales are 2.30 to 2.80,with the TT LL being the latter price-HOPE AND ANCHOR TAKE NOTE AND FECK OFF WITH YOUR 3.40!!!! Like the previous poster said worth supporting and I wish them all the best.
an_ecunemical_matter - 17 Nov 2009 15:57
Great to see this pub re-opened again having been up to let for some time. Layout is pretty much unchanged, it just seems to have had a lick of paint and the pool table has made room for some more seating.
Unfortunately it was very quiet on a recent Monday night, with just two other punters sat at the bar, and I think they may have been staff they certainly knew the barmaid. Perhaps word hasnt got round yet that it has re-opened. Its worth popping in as they are obviously making an effort and deserve some support otherwise it will just close again and probably not re-open next time.
Eight hand pumps on the bar, although only four in use on my visit but they were a pretty good selection: Arbor Ales Brigstowe Bitter and Beach Blonde, plus TT Landlord and Bristol Beer Factory No. 7. Also Ashton Press cider.

Blackthorn - 17 Nov 2009 10:17
I can do nothing else , but agree with downender , especially as I was drinking with him last night , , i went for a couple of different one's, arbor's beech blonde , and Timothty Taylor the latter of which was fairly priced at 2.80 a pint , as said shows great promise. not bad for an opening night.
beatles38 - 5 Nov 2009 21:24
Early impressions suggest a huge improvement. Great pints of Arbor Brigstow and Codrington Codger and friendly staff too. Keep it up!
downender - 5 Nov 2009 02:22
do this on facebook

beatles38 - 24 Oct 2009 01:24
Friendly people knew a few people there.Lived there for 4 years then moved away.Miss all my friends.From hotwells if ya know me contact me pete
petesunjammer - 20 Oct 2009 11:45
latest news 3 tuns is to open as real ale pub , from november . mark farrel known to many from the plume of feathers ,and merchant arms in h/wells is said to be taking over
beatles38 - 19 Sep 2009 13:10
As long as it's not a cans of Natch type of cider pub. One Myrtle Tree is quite enough........
downender - 18 Aug 2009 22:07
Rumours are it's reopening up as a cider pub
beatles38 - 10 Aug 2009 21:56
Please don't offend Belcher...........
downender - 2 Apr 2009 23:18
Went in there last week , business as usual . naff
beatles38 - 29 Mar 2009 11:58
reopening tomorrow night
beatles38 - 15 Mar 2009 09:56
Closed again.
downender - 9 Dec 2008 23:13
Has recently , reopened , after a period of close , little has changed , except the pool table has gone , and now doing sunday roasts . Problems are seems to be a sort of working mans pub , in an area that has largely outgrown that type of pub. That said there are other pubs in the same genre and same area of this pub , that have a better atmosphere.
beatles38 - 13 Aug 2008 21:56
Pubs just been reopened under new managment
gas4ever - 11 Jul 2008 09:23
Closed, thankfully, as this was a terrible pub with poor products and neanderthal customers.
downender - 17 May 2008 14:29
It was a shame to see that the couple who were running the pub after christmas had gone... It had become quite a good pub to come with your partner or friends for a drink. here was a relly good, happy and relaxed atmosphere and you picked up on that as soon as you walked through the door. But it has changed now, back to almost what it was like before christmas... dead!
anonymous - 21 Aug 2007 12:44
Where do you begin with this pub? A mixed bag would be fair but far too kind. The Three Tuns is in reality a truely dreadful pub. I'd heard a mixture of comments about this pub before i visited but keeping an open mind i ventured in. On dear!!! The pub itself is a curious throw back to years gone by but unfortunately so are the punters. A group of young hoodies were swarming around the pool table grunting at each other, the bar was propped up by the residents from the local old peoples home and one lunatic was running around doing biggles impressions stopping only to salute anyone coming into the pub and greeting them with a cry of "alright matey!!"
On a positive note the beer seemed well kept and the seargent major manager obviously agreed judging from the red face and shaking hands. On the whole this pub can be summed up by the poster on the door. 'Please don't drop your cigarettes on the floor as it burns our customers knuckles'
SirLancelot - 2 Aug 2007 16:01
As a neighbour of this pub, I agree with the comments about its atmosphere. Unpleasant.
downender - 16 Feb 2007 09:25
Seems like it might be a bit rough, but was good and friendly when I was there. Guiness was reasonable and it makes a nice change from the numpty bars in Clifton. The missus was scared though, so probably not going to be back for a while.
gbiddlegbiddlegboh - 21 Jul 2006 13:54
On first inspection, a terrifying boozer, if with some attractive bar staff. Situated next to the home of the Oxbridge rejects of Bristol Uni in their own mini-Fulham, it is very definitely a Bristolians revenge on the Tarquins and Susannahs that defile our great city with their poshness. Perhaps because it marks the boundary between the posh colony of Clifton and the rest of Real Bristol it has this undoubted edge.

BUT - if you are prepared to respect the locals and have a good conversation with them on their terms, especially if you are from out of town they will respond in kind, especially if you want to talk about Bristol rugby club, City or Rovers.

This pub is a little rough and ready round the edges, but all the better for it. It is Bristol with a bar.
BigPete - 30 Sep 2005 14:44

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