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Railway Arms, Alton

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user reviews of the Railway Arms, Alton

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

Handy for the station. TripleFFF beers on, but fairly average, quite busy for a Saturday lunchtime, mainly due to the Beer and Bus rally going on.
ellisref - 14 Jul 2018 20:46
Nothing but good things to say about this pub, the beer is great, its always very busy and the landlord is great. People are friendly and the staff on the whole are efficient and polite. Probably the best drinking pub in Alton.
CameraCam - 22 Oct 2016 12:25
It's the Railway Hotel that is closed not this place.
In here last Saturday and had a very nice pint of Alton Pride
bjbrummiejohn - 19 Feb 2016 08:05
Closed? I don't think so! Open today, handy for the station, quite busy, serving more triple-f ales than we knew existed.
Trev - 15 Jan 2016 19:14
The Railway is far from closed, not sure why it shows as that. Still serving great beer, no food, a little music and good bar chat.
alen - 29 Apr 2015 12:18
Best Pub in Alton plenty of Ales on including a couple of Dark Beers easy access to Train Station.
lowerbourneshot - 1 Oct 2013 13:30
As previously mentioned this is a Triple FFF brewery tap that is in the GBG, only the 2nd one in Alton currently.

After supping 3 different Triple FFF beers in the football clubhouse my choice here was Out of the Ashes @ 5% from the 7 ales that were on and it was good quality

Pub was busy with most punters around the over side of the pub to where the 3 of us plotted up. Only stayed for 1 pint as we had a train due but this is a good pub, not sure about the previous negative review but we're all entitled to them.

lezford - 5 Aug 2013 13:46
Worth mentioning that Thursday nights are open mike night. Always a friendly crowd, never any trouble. Best priced beer in Alton and although I'm not an ale connoisseur, the pride is quite drinkable; in fact, all the beer is quite drinkable ! Top marks Adam.
georgey48 - 2 Aug 2013 11:09
Okay - have had better pints of Triple F brews though.
anonymous - 25 Jul 2013 18:05
Decent pub selling Triple FFF beers which were of a wonderful quality.
pwilkins - 18 Mar 2013 09:00
A Triple fff Brewery owned pub, five of their beers on ,the ones I tried were as you would expect in supremely good condition, the pub itself was really basic and the service was just plain awful. This pub was a major disappointment.
slerpy - 30 Sep 2012 21:46
I have to agree with previous posts that this pub provides good beer, well kept and I have always found that to be true on the 2 visits I make each year at the end of a day on the Mid Hants.

Was there on Friday, no different apart from the bloke openly snorting his stuff in the gents. Will not be going back unless the druggies have been cleared out .

Hope the owners make more careful checks with regard to what is going on on in their premises.
glen1606 - 9 Sep 2012 20:27
Old school pub with great beer. Look out for the three-legged greyhound.
loveleedshatebates - 12 Aug 2012 10:06
Triple FFF beers and a guest ale on offer, all very well kept and reasonable priced at £2.90 or £3 (the ones I had anyway)

Always busy but the bar staff are efficient and ervice is always prompt and pleasant.

A short walk from the train station and always worth starting or finishing a crawl in here.
beershot - 23 Jul 2012 09:42
A pub that knows its beers, full stop. Just 3/4 minutes walk from the station, this is an ideal spot to get lubricated prior to getting the train. Ramble Tamble was top notch, Moondance likewise. A credit to the town which boasts a few 'GBG' entries, make sure you avoid the scruffy Railway (Hotel) pub on the opposing corner (it looked as though the builders were in when we passed by).
pkrp - 29 Jun 2012 22:34
If real ale and the products of Triplefff are your thing there is very little more to say than excellent. Just have to find ways of visiting from a distance that does not involve driving.
J_Peasmold_Gruntfuttock - 12 Jun 2012 21:22
Pretty decent pub for beer drinkers including stout and mild on draught The "Treacle stout" was quite superb. friendly staff, a real drinkers pub for the more discerning and knowledgable drinker. They had a small selection of Belgian beers, which I wished I hadn't had (they are 9%). Interesting that when the train from Farhham came in, just how many people headed straight for this pub after having been to the Farnham beer festival. Looking forward to a return visit sometime.
THATOLDMAN - 1 May 2012 11:50
Excellent pub !
Great beers from Triple ff- well it is the tap after all.......and guests available too !
We tried a couple and they were both great condition- good price and pleasant service.......pity they don't doo any food, even a pie would be something........as in a pie & a pint..........perhaps.......!?

P.S. Moon dance is really lovely & full of flavourrr........
ladiesview - 6 Feb 2012 11:29
A quiet, traditional pub. The beer is an attraction - and the atmosphere is great while waiting for a train! The Triple fff I Don't Remember was on fine form.
meurglys_iv - 27 Dec 2011 16:06
Not to be confused with the Railway over the road.

Triple fff Alton's Pride, Moondance (£2.80) and Stairway (£2.90) plus Surrey Hills Ranmore. Beer quality was excellent. Reasonably busy on a late Saturday afternoon.
GuideDogSaint - 29 Sep 2011 21:16
Visited for the first time in a few years on Sunday afternoon. The pub was reasonably busy with a selection of locals having a quiet chat and laugh, along with a few visitors from the nearby Mid Hants Railway.

The pub is done out in stripped wooden funature, mainly high benches with a low table and chairs in each bay window. There is a wooden floor but there isn't the hollow echoing that you can get in some pubs with similar flooring. The place was clean and tidy. A notable feature was that the booth we sat in had it's own individual mini tv. In a blast from the past, there were a couple of the dreaded Watney's Red Barrel advertising barrels hanging from the ceiling.

There were the usual fff ales avaliable: Alton's Pride, Pressed Rat & Warthog, Moondance and Rock Lobster with Vale Temptation as a guest. Addlestone's Cider was avaliable, along with Stowford Press on keg.


flashharry1965 - 28 Mar 2011 08:34
Very nice atmosphere with a fantastic range of beers. Some unusual local brews as well as some classics. Great place to start before moving up into the town centre, or waiting for a bus/train.
SweeneyRegan - 7 Oct 2010 17:14
Always use this pub when visiting the Mid Hants Railway. Always had good beer and enjoy the ambience of the pub.
nidger50 - 16 Aug 2010 22:53
fff Dazed and Confused was available on Saturday and was a perfect pint. So good I was quite dazed and confused when I left. Question to the brewery - why is this magnificent beer only an occasional brew?
GazzaTheBeerMan - 29 Jun 2010 10:10
one other quick comment was i always loved the shamrock!!!!!
lovefoodpubs - 10 Jun 2010 23:26
found the landlord adam, i think, to be a cocky little boy. i went in on a saturday night and if i wasnt mistaken it looked like he was taking some kind of drug!! all in all the beer was ok but did find the pub a bit dirty and loud,rude customers it sort of ruins the night for everyone else.
lovefoodpubs - 10 Jun 2010 23:25
Another great town boozer that makes it's name from wet sales with no food excepting snacks. fff beer in cracking condition according to my colleague and I was on the Pompey Royal by Oakleaf.
Colleague recommends a mix of Pressed Rat & Alton's Pride - have to say it works well. The boss is Adam who was knowledgeable & friendly. Big recommendation given that it's my first visit.
Tracerfire - 10 Apr 2010 16:07
Friendly pub with excellent beer from Triple fff. A few rough,swearing divvy customers. Otherwise, ideal. For food try the excellent Station Cafe over the road.
baxterfish - 16 Mar 2010 16:18
I have been here on many occasions over the years, and the beer quality is so good and the ales so varied, as I think the FFF range is amost second to none. I rate this about the best beer pub I know (and I have been to a lot) second perhaps to none. Second maybe to the Square and Compass in Dorset, however, that is half a cider house and half a beer pub. Although the Railway does real cider. It is also a nice pub, right by the station and the Real Ale Train on the Watercress Line.
robinsong - 15 Feb 2010 10:03
Consistently good beer recently, and some cool events arranged for October. Keep it up and the pub will be the best in Hampshire again!
Monstermash - 19 Oct 2009 14:48
criminal that the brewery tap for FFF doesn't give a FFF when it comes to looking after it's ale.
ericthered - 9 Oct 2009 15:29
Very good pub, traditional at front and a new extension out the back. Beer very good and friendly locals. Had a couple of lovely pints of Dark Star Hophead and tried the Strawberry beer, wow, couldn't drink a whole pint at £4.10 but would certainly try a half next time we're in town. Very nice and reasonably priced at around the £2.50 mark. Another 10/10
THEALMIGHTYLALA - 27 Sep 2009 15:05
A great pub for locals, visitors and beer enthusiasts alike, with a wood decor that imparts a sense of warmth and rustic charm, and a respectable collection of ales kept mostly in good condition.

The pub is effectively the brewery tap for Tripplefff, the nearby microbrewery responsible for a collection of award winning ales. As such, it's a pity that all the ales aren't consistently served in excellent condition at the Railway Arms. On occasions I've seen some pretty marginal pints served, and wondered why on earth the landlord hadn't checked them before serving them to his customers. I've never been served a questionable pint at the Eight Bells in Alton, and I have tasted Tripplefff's Alton Pride served better elsewhere in town, so it can be done!

There is also a lack of any sense of anything happening at the pub, other than a monthly music evening which gets good reports.

I love everything about Tripplefff and the Railways Arms, but the pub needs to up its game.
Monstermash - 24 Jul 2009 14:49
Intriguing to see the variable character of reviews for the Railway, not just of late but further back in time as well. Plainly it is a pub that ale-suppers will wish to seek out if anywhere near the NE Hants region, as it is effectively the Triple F brewery tap, and the addition of various guests makes it a must in terms of diversity. As to quality, one might sense a trait for variability in conditioning of the beer, although I am happy to report that this has never been apparent on the few visits I have made over the last 5 years or so. Was here most recently on Saturday and found the cask selection to be plentiful and well-kept.
If I were to level any criticism, it would have to be the general state of the place. A previous commentator quipped that he liked "rustic" but "dirt is dirt"; perhaps a little harsh, but there is no question that this pub could and should try harder on the cleanliness front. The choice of decor is not out of sync with the building but does lean a little too far towards "student". And the exterior is not exactly pre-possessing; it lacks the more obvious and arresting outward charms of some of its nearby competitors and if it weren't for its ale selection I have to say I wouldn't otherwise be drawn in (perhaps this is the one area that the poor old Railway opposite manages to trump it?).
I can't NOT commend this establishment, because the positives to my mind clearly outweigh the negatives. However, comments from others regarding cleanliness and beer quality will make punters wary, and I do hope they don't imply a complacent approach to the way it is managed.

TWG - 20 Jul 2009 15:09
Thought this was the best of the 3 pubs i visited yesterday the other 2 were the 8 bells and Kings Head 6 real ales on 5 were Alton which you'd expect from a Brewery owned pub had a nice pint of Mild (pressed Rat) which was really really well kept. Friendly Locals but the Barmaid wasnt the friendyist but the pub was quite busy.
superseagulls - 5 Jul 2009 11:26
Another pub in town where the beer quality varies. Having said that, the Moondance was excellent on Saturday evening. There has been a variety of different bar staff on my occasional visits but I have always found the service to be efficient. One of the "rough" types mentioned below was forced to leave before causing trouble.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 8 Jun 2009 13:44
excellent beer range and quality as you would expect as the local brewery own the pub
CaptainDave - 3 Jun 2009 14:34
Very locals pub. Not welcomed by staff or anyone. A few "rough" types and lots of swearing. Beer was passable....not sufficiently brilliant to try a second visit.
southfields - 22 May 2009 20:25
Pressed Rat on top form, Alton Pride sparkling, Dazed and Confused excellent. Guest beers from Hidden. Atmosphere, welcome and service as good as I remember from the last visit.
MrLloydEvans - 12 May 2009 10:56
In for a drink they have a promotion on at the moment tried the Alton Pride but didn't taste it's best finished my pint and left, might be a while before i go back in here again not impressed.
oldaledrinker - 8 Apr 2009 21:16
Best pub in town......apart from the Eight Bells!
alebear - 5 Apr 2009 17:55
Best pub we tried in Alton and very close to the railway station. I think there were 6 handpumps on - 4 from fff brewery and two others I can't remember. Great atmosphere and locals who didn't seem to mind you invading their space, despite being regularly raided by excited 'Rail Ale Train' tourists and steam enthusiasts.
chick - 8 Mar 2009 20:03
Smelly bus or smelly pub................discuss! ;-)
From my experience I have never noticed a bad smell in here but then maybe my olfractory senses have been dulled by too many pints of Moondance.
alebear - 28 Oct 2008 22:07
Sorry to be the dissentor but I visited the weekend of Alton Bus Rally. Our group could only be described as beer monsters. The pub stank. When the cellar trap was open it stank more. There was yeast in the Moondance,the Pressed Rat was moderate and the the Pride was hazy. The floors hadn't been swept for months. I like "rustic" but dirt is dirt and beer is a foodstuff. Not what i was expecting at all from this legendary pub. The contrast between here and the Cheriton pub out the road was enormous. I will have to revisit but I'd need to find the place to be paradise the next time to change my opinions.
an_ecunemical_matter - 6 Oct 2008 13:30
Get in there and try a pint (or two) of Alton Pride.....Champion Beer Of Britain 2008! Failing that maybe one of the several other fine brews on offer. Generous seating at rear and back coupled with friendly staff and a relaxed ambiance equates to a must visit pub. Well done to all involved.
alebear - 6 Aug 2008 18:47
Popped in for a quick one after the triple fff brewery opening ceremony and had a wonderful Dark Star Over the Moon. Friendly pub, well-kept ale and near the station.
metrology_man - 20 Jul 2008 10:55
After being suitably impressed by Moondance a while back, I decided to google Triple fff brewery and head for the source, and the Railway Arms is certainly the place to enjoy their marvellous product. fff Alton’s Pride, Moondance, Hallelujah, Pressed Rat & Warthog, Stairway, also Dark Star Old Ale & Addlestones ‘Cloudy’ on handpump. An early visit and beers were drawn thru & inspected before serving, the best indication of proper care. The hop adorned horsehoe bar is surrounded by barstools & will no doubt be a focal gathering point for returning train travellers, post work. Some breweriana (watneys barrel hangs from ceiling), various old bottles & advertising plaques, ‘Spratts Ovals’ the best small-dog biscuit! I love the picture to the right of the main bank of pumps – 3 old boys enjoying a drink at the bar in a former, rather simpler & preferable era. Larger room to the rear with plenty of seating plus a dartboard &, beyond this, an outdoor area with picnic sets; a virtually illegible note from my later rtn (hic!) suggests a covered pergola or summer-house construction(?). Small outdoor seating area at the front below a flowered post carrying barrel-bearers on a plinth. Notices advertise local breweries ‘fest at Medstead Green (5m) 12July, & Vic’s Buskers open mic nt, 29Jul. Staff were still ensuring beer quality when I returned late afternoon, great stuff!
trainman - 6 Jul 2008 11:18
An excellent pub, good friendly service and great selection of Triple fff and other beers. An ideal start to the Watercress Line's RAT (Real Ale Train). Highly recommended.
julestrainspotter - 3 Jun 2008 13:46
A lovely way to finish a trip on the watercress line with a couple (or four)very nice pints before Ale. Fantastic.
trains2064 - 7 Mar 2008 18:33
Now refurbed with another bar area oot the back.....lovely job. Normally 6 real ales on (four Triple fff brews plus 2 guests?) Bitburger and Fruli for the 'fruitheads'. Happy days
alebear - 19 Dec 2007 18:44
Excellent drinkers pub with a beer for everyone, and lovely, cloudy Addlestones cider. Highly recommended.
fromedrinker - 3 Oct 2007 16:31
I would fully endorse the comments below. The pub has real charm, and the real ales are very reasonably priced. When I visited yesterday the conservatory was being rebuilt, but it looks as if it will be really nice once it has been. Friendly staff and locals.
SpeedyTuft - 26 Aug 2007 17:15
Like other reviwers, I looked at the Railway opposite and would have entered if it had been open but fortunately I happened to look across and see the Railway Arms and I'm glad that I did. Heavily modernised with loads of pinewood panelling. This might sound offputting but in fact this pub encourages one to linger. Perhaps its the hops surrounding the servery or the beer range (TripleFFF and guest in excellent condition) but with the preserved Mid-Hants railway Watercress Line 200 yards away, it could prove irresistable.
Alerover - 9 Jun 2007 00:02
Excellent pub. All the Triple FFF beers plus guests, welcoming and efficient service even when busy.
MrLloydEvans - 21 May 2007 14:09
An agreeable place to sink a few of the Triple FF breweries wares.

Worse for wear during my brief visit, but did enjoy the train bursting forth from the pubs frontage.

Definately worth a stop, especially if boarding the Real Ale Train!
Quinno - 14 Apr 2007 17:29
I was confused with the pub over the road as well! But the Railway Arms turned out to be a bustling and friendly locals pub with a good selection of Triple fff beers and a guest from the Surrey Hills brewery. Very efficient barmaid and well kept beers and very handy for the station.
ed.spbw - 10 Mar 2007 21:31
Am I right in thinking the beer festival was held around here? Very confusing as there is also a place called The Railway just opposite.

Very wide range of beers, mainly triple fff (this has nothing to do with the professional wrestler Triple H. It is a brewery based in Hampshire). If you're a smoker, probably best to bring your own tobacco though as the cigarette machine doesn't provide change

Will2 - 21 Feb 2007 17:58
Great pub. The beer range is excellent. All sorts of interesting ales to try, the scenery and general entertainment of this pub make it well worth visiting. It even has a special room out the back but we never tried there in the end. 10/10
aleman - 18 Feb 2007 02:19
Superb pub; had a few "Rock Lobster's" at Christmas. Left in a mellow mood. Great place to wait for a train, although I missed one!
Ale_Argonaut - 29 Jan 2007 10:51
Very crowded in the bar area when we visited (midweek but just before Christmas) but the non-smoking room out the back was a nice surprise - big sofas and plenty of space. Great beer!
smartberry - 1 Jan 2007 19:23
Stream trains and brilliant ales within a whistle away from each other. Never had any Triple F beers before, but having tried Moondance I'll be back for more.
SteveinLondon - 30 Oct 2006 00:35
I don't know what you mean by 'lack of a quality ale', there are several and a mild (Pressed Rat and Warthog) to choose from. This is an excellent little pub that escapes being the nearest pub to the station by the proximity of the 'Railway'.
beeronaut - 16 Jul 2006 19:49
Visited here at end of March. Beers excellent (as they always seem to be when I come here). They now have a new convert from Manchster who was with me. Could have stayed all day, and nearly did.
alen - 28 Apr 2006 19:12
i was really surprised by the general lack of a real quality ale, i dunno about anyone else but i have ventured up to the gentleman jim in recent weeks and i gotta say i might get a bit of stick from the bar staff but if your in for banter and u can take it so can they! very reasonable price's aswell! i definatly give it a go
anonymous - 16 Mar 2006 14:16
this is another easy going pub, a lot of the time, decent ale, if you enjoy FFF beers (go for teh stronger ales they have a better taste.)

again worth a visit, for a quiet one anyways.
Stovold - 4 Jan 2006 17:33
We visited this pub purely by chance on Monday (5th September) and loved it - the staff were very friendly and the beer very good.

Unfortunately we only had time to stay for one pint (Moondance), but that tasted great to me.

It was pretty full for a Monday night, mostly younger people.
Keenes - 8 Sep 2005 10:05
Oh dear. We visited the Railway 10 months ago and all was well - excellent beers and all well kept. But our visit this week was extremely disappointing, and things have evidently been allowed to slide. Of the three pints ordered, two (different barrels) were off. The FFF brewery really do need to pull their socks up.

More disconcecting has been the pub's marketing of itself as having the lowest local prices. While this might seem quite nice - £1.90/pint anyone? - it's had a disastrous effect on the clientele. in the same manner as Wetherspoons, it now attracts anyone who wants to get pissed for the least money, and encourages others to over indulge. On our visit, there was an aggressive and violent 'regular' with a dog he clearly mistreated. Think hard before paying a visit. The French Horn up the road is much better.
sparky747 - 31 Aug 2005 08:54
Visited last weekend. The staff were friendly and efficient, the regulars were cool too.

The beers were FANTASTIC - very well kept, obviously their landlord/cellarman knows his beers. My favourite was the 'Moondance' - light, with a good hoppy flavour. The cider was above par too - I'd certainly travel the 40 miles or so to Alton just to drink in this pub!
LittleNicky - 31 May 2005 21:05
This Pub is fantastic. Even for a small place its got a really big atmosphere- real friendly. A good place for real ale, as it has a good selection. It also has a cosy beer garden which is good for sitting in the summer months, and at an arms length from the train station- a convinient place to go after/before a long train journey. The train sticking out the wall and the dildo on the toilet pullchain also gives the place a unique feel to it. Good stuff.
ginmarinthedon - 19 Jan 2005 16:59
This pub is an absolute gem. I visited after riding the Watercress Line last Saturday (20/11/04) and can vouch for its friendly hospitality, convivial buzzing atmosphere and above all its excellent Triple fff range of beers.

The Railway Arms is visible from Alton station, and it is worth visiting Alton for the pub alone. Try Alton Pride and Moondance, you will not be disappointed.

Another recommendation, if you are doing the Watercress line, do it first. The earlier journey (beginning 1930) allows time for a couple of pints in the Railway Arms afterwards! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

Recommended, 10/10.
lad_newton - 22 Nov 2004 02:08
I have heard a lot of stories about the quality of the real ales in this pub. Sounds quite good.
Alexh1982 - 30 Nov 2003 14:03
Its a real ale pub owned by the brewery in the village of fourmarks. Nice atmosphere and good ales with nice prices for the town.
Sean kellie - 26 Sep 2003 18:55

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