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Eight Bells, Alton

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user reviews of the Eight Bells, Alton

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

Very few people in, but a good selection of ales, Flowerpots, Bowman and Dark Star but I went for West Berkshire Magg's Mild which was pretty good. Friendly bar staff, was advised it will get busy later as a result of the Bus Rally.
ellisref - 14 Jul 2018 20:48
I have used this pub intermittently since the Stroud family owned it. It has had it’s ups and downs like any pub but it’s a real shame that the current owner has driven it down to the level it is now. I remember listening to the locals complaining when Phillip owned it but now there are very few left to complain. I look through the window some Fridays and Saturdays on my way to the Railway and there is no one in there at all. I don’t think there is anything wrong with how the beer is kept, its just horrible beer. On top of this, the guy has absolutely no people skills, he is very rude and I get the impression that the customers are an inconvenience for him. Real shame.
CameraCam - 22 Oct 2016 12:20
testing innit
alebear - 21 Oct 2016 21:16
Any landlord who offers a variety of real ales deserves praise. But Be Warned the landlord of the Eight Bells is now asking customers to pay £1 to have a small taste of a beer they may not have drunk before. I drink real ale wherever I go but have never been charged anywhere else in the UK to have a small mouthful and will not be visiting the pub again
otters - 20 Oct 2016 10:30
In a word boring, 4 ales on tap plus doom bar, all 3.8 and tasteless only one guest beer and i got told off by the land lord for requesting a taste! He is new to the business, hopefully he will be forced to move on soon, this used to be a friendly pub. There are so many better pubs in Alton I would recommend you go there.
maw4y - 27 Mar 2016 10:01
Now in the Good Beer Guide
bjbrummiejohn - 19 Feb 2016 08:07
Traditional-style pub slightly off the main road (actually opposite the church) and surprisingly with a railway theme even though it's nowhere near the station! A few beers to choose from, and plenty of seats. All-male clientele.
Trev - 15 Jan 2016 19:12
New licensee (though I believe Phil still owns the building). Not too many changes thankfully, though there is music playing rather loudly, which is a change for the worse.
peewit - 16 Apr 2014 15:44
A new landlord and some new ales. A more relaxed atmosphere now, and the quality of ales is back to the high-standard that was once expected of the Bells.
Monstermash - 16 Jan 2014 21:42
Cracking Pub tucked away up by St Lawrence Church .5 Ales on tried Ranmore Ale and Old Dick both well kept ,one of my favorite Pubs in Alton.
lowerbourneshot - 1 Oct 2013 13:27
First pub of the day in Alton brought me to the Eight Bells a short walk from the High Street.

5 ales on the 4 pumps with my choice being Old Dick from Suthwyk Ales, a very pleasant pint. Though all 3 of us had dirty glasses but to be fair this looked more like a problem with the dish washer than actual dirty glasses!

This is a friendly local with a chatty landlord and bar maid.

Apparently this building dates from the mid 17th century, internally it has low ceilings and an inglenook fireplace.

Horse brass is prominent on the walls and there are copper table tops which are really nice.

A decent pub for a few beers with friends is my opinion.
lezford - 5 Aug 2013 09:42
This pub has a particularly warm atmosphere and the locals are very friendly. Positioned opposite a large Church, it has no outside ,straight in the door from the pavement. I asked wether or not they allowed dogs( I had my neighbours Terrier) and was assured that dogs were welcome, four or five were already inside. Four ales,Ballard's Best Bitter, two from Bowman's Swift One and Nutz plus the dreaded Doom Bar. My two pints ( the Bowmans) were really good. Shelving around the pub has a collection of bottles and water jugs,seven bells hang from the ceiling in front of the bar. I would be very lucky to have this as a local.I'm looking forward to my next visit.
slerpy - 30 Sep 2012 21:39
Had a nice pint of "skew" summer ale in here, served by a pleasant barman.

Has a nice outside drinking area with wooden tables which is good for a summers evening drinking.

Locals pub but worth the effort in finding it.
beershot - 23 Jul 2012 09:37
Funny entrance - you wouldn't know it was a pub and when you go in people turn and stare. However, very nice place, good selection of real ales if a bit pricy. Would go again if in the area.
THATOLDMAN - 1 May 2012 11:44
In here on a Saturday afternoon. Bowman Swift One and Wallops Wood, Doom Bar, Ballards Best and Goddards Ducks Folly (3.20). The latter wasn't in great condition. Good chat with some of the locals, seemed friendly enough.
GuideDogSaint - 29 Sep 2011 21:19
A great traditional pub, once renowned for its beer quality. While the previous comment surprised me, I have been to the pub recently and on two sequential occasions received bad pints (one flat and and the other distinctly beyond its use-by date). The pub is a favourite haunt of the local CAMRA group - I can't see why someone doen't get on top of it.
Monstermash - 14 Jun 2011 15:19
beer quality awful, three of us each had a different beer, none were finished
littlecon - 1 Jun 2011 09:42
Old fashioned pub situated in a side street in Alton, excellent choice of real ales at reasonable prices on my visits never had a bad pint.

One small bar and a outside drinking/smoking area with it,s own well.

Always a pleasant evening, the "large" barmaid does have her own opinion on everything and tells everyone about it at length!

Good mix of people who like a relaxed beer.
beershot - 30 Dec 2010 16:31
My favourite pub in Alton, the Eight Bells is a little off the main street but is very popular. We recently walked in on a beer festival where there were 16 different ales on simultaneously. The home made sandwiches are excellent, and the beer quality is very good. A glass of the wine for the other half nearly bankrupted me, however. Attracts a friendly type of customer and there's some interesting articles about the history of Alton on the walls.
SweeneyRegan - 7 Oct 2010 17:17
Second time in a row that I have had a poor pint of Ballards Bitter in here. Very inconsistent quality for some years now. Is it just me?
GazzaTheBeerMan - 29 Jun 2010 10:03
Can't add more to the previous except to endorse all of it (including Toby & the 'cuddly' barmaid) - and this was my first visit. Not the last.
Beer: My colleague had excellent Bowmans Swift one and i a Palmerston's Folly. All good stuff.
Tracerfire - 10 Apr 2010 16:03
Great little atmospheric pub with good beer from Bowman's etc.Very friendly landlady. 10/10
baxterfish - 16 Mar 2010 16:14
Definitely echo most of the comments made in recent months; this certainly is a contender for Alton's best boozer. The ale selection is both interesting and well-kept, the atmosphere is lively and friendly and the food (such as it was - only tried a ham roll) seems to be in good order to boot. Arguably, it has an edge over the Railway Arms - its obvious local rival in the real ale stakes - due to its chraming traditional interior and off-beat, pretty location. The solution is, inevitably, to ensure that one gets to both if out and about for more than a couple!
TWG - 20 Jul 2009 14:52
Agree with the last comment.
Lovely warm feeling to this pub as well, only down fall was the Language of the rather 'large' Barmaid working which put me off a little.
superseagulls - 5 Jul 2009 11:27
Proper pub, excellent beer, great atmosphere a credit to Altons brewing heritage
CaptainDave - 3 Jun 2009 14:33
Just what a pub should be. Fine range of well kept beers - mine was Bowmans Swift One. Open friendly hosts as well as welcoming local regular chaps and resident dog Toby. Delightfully old fashioned and perfectly shabby. Very good clean toilets.
southfields - 22 May 2009 20:12
Great find off of the main drag. Comfortable,one bar pub withplenty of conversation going on, full but not crowded in the evening. Ballrds, Goddards, Doom Bar, Stonehenge and the supurb Bowman Swift One.
MrLloydEvans - 12 May 2009 10:59
Best pub in town....apart from The Railway Arms!
alebear - 5 Apr 2009 17:54
Comfortable old town pub with dark beams and banquette seating. Good selection of well kept beers.
chick - 8 Mar 2009 19:45
Really relaxing pub. Just sit back and chill out. The beer is of good quality and a reasonable selection. Seems like a great locals pub and being just off the town centre also attracts other drinkers (like me). Will go back next time Im in Alton. 8/10.
tommyn11685 - 13 Feb 2009 09:15
Romsey IPA, Bowman Wallops Wood & Swift One, Ringwood Best, Ballards Best. Carpetted bar, partly divided into front & smaller rear sections, low then very low beamed ceilngs, mix of wood & copper-topped tables, slightly 70s retro feel, some banquette seating & stools, dartboard at far end although corner table would need moving. Nice little paved beer garden with light pine picnic sets, some umbrellas, trees & shrubs attractively complement the scene. The stable door allows the pub to be aired in nice weather but prevents the Lancashire Heeler (Toby) from making his escape. There is the story of the local, horrific, murder of Poor Fanny Adams in 1867 & check out the photo above the real fire Farnham United Breweries, Fine Ales & Stout Drawn from the Wood. I have a note that this is local Camra poty, but a couple of others I visited on the day would be serious competition.
trainman - 6 Jul 2008 09:30
Would disagree about the the variable beer quality Gazza but know what you mean about the grumpy old gits! Would hazard a bet that you called in at lunchtime??
alebear - 8 Jun 2008 17:02
The beer quality varies a bit in here but what really bugs me is having to ask for our pints to be topped up every time. Some of the customers do there best to emulate Grumpy Old Men.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 3 Jun 2008 17:11
Up the main drag and turn left by the Crown Hotel past the church and then on yer right........job done. Cracking selection of beer, always well kept and always a varied selection. Beware 'crossword corner' and political bores tho! ;-)
alebear - 27 Nov 2007 20:23
This may be a very good pub. But finding this pub is something out of a treasure hunt challenge!
aleman - 18 Feb 2007 02:23
Great pub, great atmosphere and probably great beer as well (but as a Lager drinker I can't really comment there!). Yes it's smokey, but of course that's going to change next year. No background music, no rowdy teenagers, but still plenty of hub-bub in the evenings. Landlord's a great bloke and the dog's happy as long as he can stretch out in front of the log fire.
peewit - 30 Oct 2006 15:16
yeah, great pub if you don't mind being choked by the smoke, the landlord and staff all smoke and then serve without washing there hands. also good if you like little yappy dogs that get under your feet. used to be good but now a faded star
littlecon - 16 Jun 2006 16:48
Good pub and the land lord is a decent bloke, serves very good ale if thats what you like staff are very friendly and a good starting point for a night out especially if you fancy a quiet one on a Friday or Saturday
martin85 - 4 Jan 2006 17:17
ok, gotta admit i am biased here.

a lovely pub, log fire of a winter and a quiet little beer garden for the summer. Without a doubt it serves the best real ale in Alton itself (unless you are a fan of FFF which it doesn't serve).

come and have a pint, the locals are all easy going, and you do not find trouble here!
Stovold - 4 Jan 2006 17:01
yeah mostly decent this....did a yard of ale here on my 18th birthday; chucked it all back up of course....but that was in the days when john and pat ran the its run by the wimpey looking bloke who tried to throw me out for swearing too much when i was actually leaving anyway! big man.
tanderson7 - 1 Jun 2005 15:29
This Pub is great. It is a small pub close to the town centre, and has a very "aged" feel about it. The pub serves a selection of quality ales that change often. It managed to pull me through my college time, and left me feeling merry after a miserable day. The landlord and staff are friendly and i would recommend this pub highly to anyone who wants a decent quiet drink.
ginmarinthedon - 19 Jan 2005 16:19

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