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Masons Arms, Warminster

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user reviews of the Masons Arms, Warminster

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

Had 20 mins to waste before my train, pub is in the process of changing hands so nothing on the handpumps but had a perfectly acceptable bottle of London Pride. Friendly (leaving) landlord.
ellisref - 13 Mar 2016 09:25
Well, as promised I went back yesterday.
The barman had changed for the better.
The Funky Monkey was on its last legs. Temperature better.
My wifes chips were a very strange colour, the taste was also a bit indeterminate.
I stuck to the carpet in the hallway to the loos because of spilt food: the kitchen is at the end of the corridor.
Better, but needs to take a serious look at itself.

JDW have taken the Bath Arms in the center so to succeed the MA has to raise its game now !
Honeybadger - 1 Aug 2012 17:34
I was interested to read the previous comment on the quality of the beer served in this pub by honeybadger, especially as he is an ex award winning publican.
It puts the early disagreements between the masons arms themselves (and others) and Dr pangloss. It would seem that on this occasion Pangloss has been proved right (as usual). I only hope that the suppliers of the ales served in this pub are aware of the low standards and lack of knowledge of the landlord.
cellarbuoy - 11 Jun 2012 12:47
Well, to dip a toe in the water on this one................
I recently returned to Warminster to see an old drinking buddy and went here to see the improvements since the last disastrous pair behind the bar.
This was a Sunday afternoon and had maybe 8 people across the bars, however the barman couldn't get his phone out of his ear the whole time I was there, (3 pints), and that included whilst serving. I returned the first pint due to the large number of 'tadpoles' in it; you would have thought an apology? You would have thought I was asking him to perform an indecent act! The next pints were all way above optimum temperature. My companion drank lager, now I can see why.
Advice? Sack the barman, fix the cask coolers, train staff in correct service and offer ice with soft drinks. Oh, and control the language of the muppets in the public bar.
Good points? My wife insisted I check out the ladies! 11/10, very good indeed!!

And before anyone gets picky, I'm a retired ex-South West Camra winning Landlord!

Honeybadger - 11 Jun 2012 10:07
Excellent pub with good home-made food and good local ales - unfortunately only two on during our visit, but I think they normally have four. At £3.00 a pint it's more expensive than the Organ, but nonetheless highly recommended.
baxterfish - 28 Oct 2011 19:49
Went in here whilst on holiday in the Wylie valley earlier this month. Excellent pub with well kept local ales direct from the cask (see earlier comments), very busy on a Thursday evening; however, the excellent front of house service still found room for my family and I and we enjoyed a fine meal. My wife recommends the steaks which are served on hot stones so that you can decide yourself how well done (or not) you want your meat, they also catered for our children. If I lived in Warminster this would be a regular port of call for me.
GuidoMerry - 25 Aug 2011 15:55
Visited on bank holiday Monday afternoon with 9 other people all looking for food. The Landlady was very friendly and helpful, we thought we would want sandwiches until we saw the pie menu. Really good short crust pastry pies. Top class.

I drank the Plain Ales Innspiration which was in very good condition. Finished off by getting 4 pints of real cider to take out for 8 quid.

If i lived in Warminster I would visit this pub a lot.
hillsidepaul - 31 May 2011 19:00
Whenever I'm anywhere near Warminster, will definitely visit this pub.
Arbitarily_down_the_pan - 17 Apr 2011 07:47
It's hardly WW3, just a load of old men talking about beer, that's all. By the way Nigelthebeer, you are not the only ex publican (or stocktaker) on this site. Don't know what "facts" you think I have skewed
Dr_Pangloss - 1 Apr 2011 23:55
Wow, just looked to see if anyone had followed up my short report to find WWIII had broken out! For the record, I stand by my comment, ale from properly installed and maintained stillages is always preferable to having ale being forced through yards and yards of plastic pipe. It seems to me (an ex publican) that Dr_Pangloss may have a bit of an agenda here, apologies if you don't mate but you do seem to have a few facts skewed and are passing off you views as if they were industry facts. Nevertheless, enjoy your beer no matter how it's served, as long as it's cool, clear & bright.
Nigethebeer - 1 Apr 2011 15:14
It will be a great pleasure to meet folks who are willing to engage constructively to this adventure we have chosen to take at the Masons Arms.

We love serving Real Ale full stop, its exciting for the drinkers as they engage directly with us over the casks and also get to ask more questions about the beer.

I thank warm heartedly the support we have received from brewers and drinkers alike it is through this support that we thrive and continue to show support back to them.

We have made mistakes and received criticism for our work but mostly our team has come back with solutions and I applaud them for doing this.

As I sit here and type this note there are real ale drinkers trying out new local beer from the stillage system and that drives me and I feel honoured that these are all repeat patrons.

This is a clearly thought through market analysis and applied business strategy introduced at the Masons Arms and its working and if it needs tweaking then I will tweak it and keep it working. I however do support any form of real ale dispensing however this works for all of us in this Pub the Masons Arms in Warminster.

We love the trade and we are planning hopefully soon a second pub opening with a behind the bar stillage system there too I will carefully place and select local ales in front of my good patrons to engage about and yes excitedly talk about the brewers whom brewed them just like they would do at beer festivals.

I am sad to see some of the comments descending into insults on this forum and do not want to part of a negative debate. Let’s be positive about our trade in whatever “form” of value we may add for our punters!

Thanks to the contributors!

Masons_Arms_Warminster - 13 Mar 2011 15:15
I feel I need to step in here.
This pub was failed before the current landlord stepped in. He has turned it round and it is positively thriving. Does that tell you something. CAMRA obviously approve.

Real ale is naturally conditioned (cask conditioned), not carbonated. that is what Kegs and most bottles are.

Gravity dispense is the best way to taste our beer. Putting beer through a beerline and pump does several actions (assuming the lines are clean of course). It will agitate the beer. This knocks out the condition, actually making a pint flatter. The same mechanical beasting causes frothing due to proteins and glycoproteins in the beer being driven into the head. This actually makes the beer taste less bitter. Northern breweries design their beers to be more bitter due to the preponderance of swan necks and sparklers there. Aroma is also knocked out by agitation. Swirl a 1/2 pint in a pint glass - you will notice the effect on the aroma released.

There is also the small matter of wastage - a good publican will draw off the first few pumps out of the engine if they have been sitting there overnight - this could be a few pints (depending whether it is a 1/2 pint or a 1/4 pint cylinder and length of line). Plus there will be wastage due to froth spilling over.

We leave the publican to do his job, whether with a traditional cellar or a gravity dispense. All we want is our beer to be served in the best condition possible. If we think our beer is being served badly we consider that to be harmful to our reputation and we will consider whether we want to continue to trade with that pub in the future. We have had nothing but positive reports about the Masons Arms and long may they continue doing what they are doing.
Yeovil_brewer - 10 Mar 2011 10:03
I haven't been to the Masons Arms for many years, but this exchange has made me more interested in having a return trip.
I don't have a problem with the method of stillage/dispense, as I think that done properly and carefully monitored, it should work fine.

I'll be there when I can.
The_Final_Arbiter - 9 Mar 2011 23:21
Or even Pitney!
The_Final_Arbiter - 5 Mar 2011 23:29
Which is another good reason to have a session at the Halfway House at Pintey!
The_Final_Arbiter - 5 Mar 2011 23:29
Dr-Pangloss sounds just like a retired landlord doesn't he ?
hoonkerama - 5 Mar 2011 17:36
I have to disagree with Nigelthebeer on cask ales on stillages.
Rather than all pubs using this system, it should be realised that most pubs that do use it do so because they have insuffient celler space or in some cases no cellar at all.
The fact of the matter is that the beer is rarely in better condition. The beer should ideally be kept at a constant temperature, and even with a cooling jacket and chilled water, this is rarely achieved, also it should be noted that whenever a pint is drawn off, and equal amount of air is sucked into the cask through the spile. In a cellar this is (or should be) clean sterile air. In a bar, what gets drawn in is nothing of the sort, consisting of farts, bad breath, cooking smells and the smell of stale beer that these systems always produce through spillage.
As for being quicker, I doubt it very much.
The main beneficiary is the publican who doesnt have to bother with line cleaning, but if he or she cant be bothered with that they should be in a different job.

Dr_Pangloss - 5 Mar 2011 10:28
We popped in here for lunch on Friday. I had two great pints of Star Gazer and the Cow burger, my wife had a real cider (can't remember which one) and the spag bol, all of which were lovely. Well served in a very pleasant pub. As others have said the beer is on stillages behind the bar, every pub that has room should look into this, the beer is always in better condition and quicker to serve, a win-win situation.
Nigethebeer - 5 Mar 2011 09:14
Happened to pop in as I was waiting for my train connection and the pub was a revelation! Excellent real ale served on gravity dispense, sympathetically restored pub decor, pleasant locals and a friendly outgoing landlord. I was really impressed. 9/10.
SotonAleDrinker - 14 Feb 2011 21:42
Superb pub in a town dominated by dives.
Excellent gravity-fed cask beers which are changed approx every couple of days.
Lovely old rambling rooms and reasonable outside seating.
Good food at reasonable prices.
Very helpful and friendly staff. Not a posh clientele but very friendly.
Haven't tried the Organ Inn yet but this could be the best pub in Warminster.
davystokes - 12 Oct 2010 18:36
`as promised I thought I would let you know what beers the Landlord, Richard, had on. The one that I drank was Amarillo by the brewery in Frome. Quite delicious and really well kept. It is a joy when beer is kept that well. I am also happy to say that the steak was incredible. One daughter and I had 8oz Rumps that were soooooo tender and full of flavour. My wife and my other daughter had fish and chicken pie respectively. Please fast before going to the pub for supper.
Give the pub a chance
Stadders - 31 Aug 2010 22:08
PLease reset this pubs average. The first 2 were written when it was a real dive with the most dire reputation. The new owners have really worked hard to change the attitude of the people in the local area and have made the pub a little gem. Colleagues of mine travelled over from Essex and popped in for a bite to eat. On hearing this I questioned their sanity. They then told me that I was missing a little gem on my own doorstep. I have subsequently been there twice. The food is great and the beer is really well kept and much loved. Going again tonight and will publish what they have on tap.

Please, please reset this average.

Stadders - 31 Aug 2010 17:24
Ignore the other two comments, this place has changed 4 the good if u like ur real ale,they had Plain Brewery "innocence" and "Inspiration" both straight from the cask when i popped in here back in October. Apparently they have plans to turn it into a great real ale pub, not returned since but i have high hopes 4 this little pub, 7/10
fat_beer_badger - 2 Jan 2010 20:03
A locals pub alright, a mixed clientel, Bass was ok.
justdarkbeer - 1 Feb 2009 20:30
What an awful pub. Horrible people, horrible atmosphere, horrible pint.

Best avoided. If you are looking for a lovely pub, go further afield to The Beckford Arms in Tisbury.

Hope this avoids dissapointment.
anonymous - 18 May 2007 17:16

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