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Castle Green Inn, Taunton

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user reviews of the Castle Green Inn, Taunton

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

Empty on a recent visit. They had 3 ales on , but all 3 were from greene king so I went elsewhere
cellarbuoy - 21 Apr 2016 19:52
Now open again. Interior layout is much as before, but the decor is a bit weird. They
have a number of sort of wire cages dotted around, not quire sure of the significance; but seems somehow reminiscent of a prison.
Also a number of movie quotes painted onto one wall but little else in the movie theme.
Staff are new and inexperienced and the one I took to be the manager seemed to be a tattooed thug who struggled to be polite despite calling everyone Sir or Madam.
Menu looked fairly standard, and already a group of prats seemed to be making themselves at home. The test will be whether the manager decides to chuck them out or sit down and befriend them. Time will tell
cellarbuoy - 30 Apr 2015 17:18
The thing about this pub is that it has always attracted scum bags, dossers and those who have refused service by wetherspoons. Changing the name of the pub ain't going to make a difference, the same unemployed benefit scroungers will continue to use it, thereby ensuring that decent members of society will avoid it at all costs.
Until someone is prepared to grasp the nettle and chuck out all of the dross, things will remain the same.
cellarbuoy - 2 Apr 2015 14:44
Having been Clarke's Tap, Rat & Parrot, Firestone and the Castle Green, it appears that the next name on the list will be the Hideout, when it reopens. Somehow I feel it may not be a specialist real ale bar. I think I may prefer to Hideaway rather than use it!
beerpilgrim - 1 Apr 2015 15:16
Like the last 2 reviewers have mentioned it seems to be attracting unsavoury characters/dossers these days. Popped in for a quick one before catching a bus the other day and like cellarbuoy got ignored by the bar staff who, in this case, were more intent on encouraging the two stinking halfwits at the bar to swear even more loudly and regularly than they already were.
beggarsbanquet - 23 Aug 2014 13:27
Waited patiently to be served while the barman totally ignored me. Instead he went across to the other side of the bar where a stinking old dosser was waiting. At first I didn't mind the delay as I assumed he was going to chuck the dosser out, but no. Instead he shook the dossers hand, had a good old chat before serving him, all the time while I was waiting, as I had been since before the dosser turned up.
Reluctantly the barman then turned to serve me, but decided my money was too good for this hole of a pub.
cellarbuoy - 19 Jul 2014 18:15
Was left a bit uninspired by this pub really.
It is in a cracking position on castle green yet found it rather dull and seemed to attract a rather unsauvory bunch of characters.
My meal (bangers and mash) was too small and my partners ploughmans terrible.
However the ale here was very cheap around £2.50 a pint which is a price i love!

montie49 - 24 Jun 2014 19:45
Excellent ale & good selection of styles including an interesting dark lager. Very busy with huge band singing good renditions of Sinatra & co. Food was very good I enjoyed my English roast beef.I took photos of the band & dinner on my cell to show folks at home. Served by polite young women. Interesting to note this was by far the busiest pub on my taunton crawl but received the most attentive service (also quikest surprisingly)
I remomend to all.
florisgriotte - 25 Nov 2013 11:52
Nipped in to avoid weather found Jurassic to be in good condition as was the animal brewery mioung, I then had a chicken wrap which was excellent. Found the staff were very good. Only downside was the big group of women have an over coffee cackle very annoying........!
batman - 12 Oct 2013 11:58
My daughter reluctantly dragged me in here for lunch, I'm now glad she did. It's changed hands and the landlord is very knowledgable on real ale. I tried a Dorset best and a dark star pale, both of which were in perfect condition. The beer descriptions and the jars on the bar are a great idea to see the colours of each ale. My only gripe is that there was a small wait on the food as it was very busy, but we were told this when we ordered. it was worth the wait however, try the three times cooked chips I've not had better.
jmattinson - 10 Oct 2013 14:02
Went in today and was glad to see the Jazz bands had returned and the place was bustling. The beer was good although Im not sure of the purpose of the small sample bottles they have beside the pumps on the bar; surely a small taste of the beer would be a better option for those who want to try the beer.
On a down side, they have let back in all of the tossers, vagrants and benefit scroungers who blighted the pub before. At £3.30 a pint one wonders how they manage this, and realise what a grand job Ian Duncan Smith is doing by reducving the amount of tax payers money given to this lowlife.
Get rid of the scum bags and this could be a decent pub.
cellarbuoy - 29 Sep 2013 19:42
It re opened in April as already stated but has closed down again in the blink of an eye. Now acquired by the Dorset Brewing Co (never heard of them) who intend to open it as "The Beer Society". Time will tell. Another new name (previously Castle Green Inn, before that the Firestone, before that the ferret & Trouser leg before that Clarkes Tap etc.
One to watch
cellarbuoy - 8 Sep 2013 09:01
Reopened in April; barely changed at all, except being a lot more welcoming than previously thanks to a change of ownership (and attitude). Good selection of real ale and a great sun trap at the side (by the newly positioned Green).
anonymous - 13 Jun 2013 20:43
Well, a series of scruffy signs in the windows asking for bar and kitchen staff suggests that this will be opening again soon.
The notices themselves appear to have been written by a six year old using old scraps of paper retrieved from the waste paper basket, which does not indicate a great deal of proffesionalism and I expect the pub will we run with in the same way.
No doubt the new owners of the business will feel compelled to change the pubs name again.
'tis a pity as the pub is in a nice setting but the signs aren't good. (excuse the pun)
cellarbuoy - 13 Apr 2013 09:17
'fraid to say Paris has got this one wrong; no pizza parlour or anything else (for a while at least) as I reckon it'll be closed for a while despite being right on the newly refurbed castle green.
cellarbuoy - 15 Mar 2013 13:58
No sad loss TBH. Has become far too complacent in just about all aspects.
anonymous - 4 Mar 2013 19:38
Sold, closing, turning into another pizza parlour
Paris_Hilton - 16 Feb 2013 14:49
Was okay before they won Pub of the Year. Good beer and good food. Afterwards they're attitude was 'we've won now so why bother'. Poor, generic, boring beer, grumpy staff, poor atmosphere. Would avoid.
Dean23_ - 11 Oct 2012 11:16
Barking dogs, crying kids, drunken idiots shouting and swearing at each other across the pub, drunken pikeys singing traditional Oirish songs out of tune, and all at 1:00 in the afternoon. Camra pub of the year? do me a favour
cellarbuoy - 9 Jun 2012 13:47
Went in here recently. Advertised closing time (in Good Beer Guide) is 11:00, so was surprised when last orders were called at 10:40. Surely last orders are 10 minutes before closing time, with 20 minutes drinking up time afterwards. The staff had been more concerned with putting everything away for some time before, and I was beginning to feel unwelcome. Expecting to be slung out at 11:01, I went somewhere else, and was made welcome! Something here needs to be addressed, I think.
beerpilgrim - 11 May 2012 23:22
Totally agree with the previous post. The beer is always tip top but otherwise the place has lost its mojo. Cant understand how it got to be Somersets pub of the year, bribary probably plays a part.
As for the undesirable specimens of humanity, I dont know why they are llowed into the pub as the are driving away other punters in droves.
cellarbuoy - 28 Apr 2012 17:32
my only previous visit was made worthwhile by a choice of ALL of the Moor Brewery beers ( probably the best brewery in the country with national and international awards to prove it ) .
This time they had all gone ( why ? ) but the Otter Pilgrim I had was excellent.
On a plus note the service was good and the beer in excellent condition.
BUT .... the place was scruffy, dirty and totally devoid of atmosphere.
Some of the characters hanging around you would"nt want to meet on a dark night either.
Amazingly this is the current CAMRA Somerset pub of the year.
This beggars belief and makes you wonder how their voting system works.
It certainly does nothing for positive CAMRA publicity.
There are worse pubs in Taunton but plenty of better ones as well.
westbound - 12 Apr 2012 11:09
I remember this place when it was an out-of-use warehouse next to a bog-standard cafe that had an amusingly ill-tempered washer-up. It has improved somewhat. On first impression it does look like a Wetherspoon pub with a similar atmosphere. But the prices are more average and the food is much, much better. The range of beers is pretty good as well.
The service is good (my daughter had a meal off the menu made for her as she didn't like anything else available), the surrounding reasonably attractive and comfortable. What ios there not to like?
rikton - 28 Aug 2011 18:21
Large pub opposite the imposing Castle Hotel. St Austells Dartmoor Best Bitter & proper Job, Exmoor Fox and Otter Amber were the real ales. Thatchers Heritage was the cider from a polycask on the bar. Large pictures of old Taunton can be seen on the walls. You could almost be in a Wetherspoons! Locals were all gathered on one side of the bar, with tourists and families spread out along the other side. Reasonable service, but lacked a little bit of atmosphere.
blue_scrumpy - 9 Dec 2010 10:03
Still maintaining reasonably high standards (for Taunton anyway). The beer is usually pretty good which is the main thing, and Sunday jazz always enjoyable.
Dr_Pangloss - 3 Nov 2010 14:22
Paid my first visit to this pub to attend a beer festival. Twenty beers on stillage - highlights were the Bristol Beer Factory's Southville Hop, an American-style IPA and Moor JJJ IPA - a powerful 9% beer - both were delicious.
The pub itself is a large, barn-like structure - wooden-floored, oak beams, ceiling spotlights with a very modern feel. Four pumps - the only beer I can recall being Wickwar Bob.
The place doesn't really have the atmosphere I look for in a pub but the beer was good and I will visit again next time I'm in Taunton.
holbornboy - 19 Oct 2010 20:31
Has improved a lot over the past year-the new manager is a very nice chap and the service pleasant-Had a meal in here with famly and it was very good-they sell a great cider called Rattlers from Cornwall
hammers101 - 28 May 2010 11:47
...much much better back in the 90s, must have been toned down so not to upset the toffs in the Castle opposite?
kitchenightmares - 5 Mar 2010 23:28
Renamed the Castle Green Inn and much better. 4 handpumps selling real ales. There is a questionairre on the bar asking which beers/breweries the punters would like them to sell - lets see if the management take any notice as Taunton needs a change from the Exmoor, Cotleigh, Otter, St Austell and Sharps etc breweries.
Paris_Hilton - 24 Feb 2010 12:02
Went in here tonight, it was quite busy with a very good atmosphere with friendly bar staff, seems like it is beginning to pick up and become a place to relax in again at the weekend-keep up the good work!
hammers101 - 12 Jul 2009 00:31
7.30 Saturday popped in for in for a pint- empty not a soul in sight-left at 7.45.
hammers101 - 14 Jun 2009 13:17
Popped in the other day for something to eat with friends. Nice meal and friendly staff that smiled. The ales on offer where from �2.20 and there was a nice atmosphere. Would return.
suavegeezer - 8 Jun 2009 11:15
Went in here on Sunday afternoon-empty at 5pm-refurb looks ok but nothing special. But as I have said before the decor was fine previously it was the management that needed refurbing- havent been in yet in the evening so reserve judgement till then.
hammers101 - 31 May 2009 21:05
Despite the continuous scaffolding outside and badly hand written posters stuck in the window, I decided to call in.

Nice refurb, the place looked well set up and the staff seemed to know what they were doing, if a little too busy darting about with no customers.

Good wine selection, real ales tasted half decent and the bar man (possibly manager) seemed to know what he was talking about. Could be a really decent pub, but was almost empty except for a couple of odd bods seated nervously in corners. Asked if about opening hours, but they seem hampered by the hotel. Lacking atmosphere, but otherwise a decent start.
mm101 - 29 May 2009 17:49
The more mature customer base seems mean that this has become an old farts pub.
It closes at 11;00 at night which is a no go for a town centre pub.
Having said that it's not bad for a lunchtime drink.
Beers and food good, Music terrible.
Dr_Pangloss - 23 May 2009 20:41
Will have to give it a look, sounds promising-fingers crossed!
hammers101 - 10 May 2009 18:08
I have to revise my last posting. This place is a definate inprovement on the old Firestone. I agree it couldn't be any worse, but is now well worth a visit.
They seem to be going for a more "mature" customer base, just hope that the chavs and idiots that the previous regime went out of thier way to attract get the message.
A good selection of ales available @ �2.50. Mostly local brews together with the now ubiquitous Tribute.
Food was reasonable, service has room for improvement, although by no means poor.
Taunton has recently become a wasteland as far as discerning pub goers are concerned, so there is a gap for anyone ready to cater for such. It's early days but this place could be the answer.
Watch this space.
Dr_Pangloss - 10 May 2009 15:15
Well, this place has now re opened and is now called the Castle Green Inn or some such. It's been given a lick of paint and a minor cosmetic make over, but as has been said before, there was nothing much wrong with that side of things; it was the management's attitude that needed changing.
Alas, although the manager might have changed, the standards still haven't . The same "couldn't care less" attitude of the staff that made this place so poor in the past is still there. The beer is just as bad as it ever was, and just as pricey.
I'll give it another try in a few days to see if thing have got better. Something tells me they wont
Dr_Pangloss - 4 May 2009 16:52
Agree with previous comment regarding the managers, there have been a succession of disasters with no idea how to manage a pub, the pub itself was actually very pleasant, particularly with its location next to the Castle Hotel- should be a goldmine in the right hands.
hammers101 - 18 Apr 2009 12:01
Someone has finally decided to put this pub out of its misery, and about time to.
It's undergoing a refurb, but there was nothing much wrong with the pub itself; just the succession of totally incompetent managers that the owners employed to run the place, making it a first class example of how not to run a pub.
Will things change after the re furb? I doubt it.
Dr_Pangloss - 17 Apr 2009 19:23
went passed here the other day-looking more sad and run down, can please someone sort this place out
hammers101 - 2 Feb 2009 18:30
This place seems to have a different manager every couple of weeks which is strange as it's such a nice pub, but each manager is worse than the previous one.
The manager of about a year ago was a complete tosser but head and shoulders above the latest incumbent. God only knows what the next one will be like, the company that owns this place must really be scraping the barrel to get such poor staff.
Dr_Pangloss - 2 Jan 2009 22:46
Such a shame that this place is not thriving, given its proximity to the Castle Hotel it could be a very prestigious bar-what are the owners thinking about by continually accepting mediocrity and missing out on a potential goldmine??
hammers101 - 2 Jan 2009 10:41
Half empty is a pretty good turn out for this place. It normally seem so be all but empty.
It has had a history of poor management which explains its current state, which is a pity as it's a nice looking pub in a good position.
Some one needs to sort this shambles out.
Dr_Pangloss - 11 Dec 2008 21:16
This place should be a lot more busy than it is, good setting, very comfortable seating and cosy ambience, why is it always half empty and a different manager every time I go in? Lost potential because of incompetent management?
hammers101 - 1 Nov 2008 12:00
nice place to escape the masses with decent folk and good value food
bellas - 16 Aug 2008 01:34
much better now they have security, friendly staff and the atmosphere is more like it used to be with good music. Hope it maintains the new culture, still a bit pricey though
hammers101 - 4 May 2008 11:46
From an Avon and Somerset Police bulletin issued today:
Taunton Deane Borough Council's Licensing Sub Committee heard and application for a review of the Firestone's licence on Tuesday, March 4.

Police sought the review after problems with management at the venue and a glass related assault.

The venue has now pledged to work closer with police and the licensing authority, train staff, employ registered door supervisors, improve CCTV and supply toughened or plastic glasses.

Taunton Town Centre Team Neighbourhood PS Mike Griffiths welcomed the Firestone's pledge to improve its safety to those using the venue.

He said: "Ourselves and Taunton Deane Borough Council are pleased that the licensee has pledged to improve their management of the venue and make it safer place for all concerned.

"Training staff and having properly registered doorstaff is a vital part of managing a venue and ensuring it is safe and compliant with the law and licensing regulations."

somertel - 5 Mar 2008 21:44
Glad to see that they're trying to make new start and even a grumpy old man will be safe. I've only been in at lunchtime and find it a pleasant and relaxed place to go to. It seems to be a place to eat and drink rather than drink, and I don't think too much here for a CAMRA member to enthuse over.

Staff still seem to be on another planet (or do they enjoy themselves every evening???) but nonetheless friendly and courteous, just disorganised!!!

Old_Todger - 28 Feb 2008 21:09
Actually, chopin, the old manager, Matt, chose to leave so that he could fulfil his travelling ambitions,of which he is now doing...

Last I heard he is very happy doing this.

And he sends his regards to The Firestone and all of us back in sunny Taunton!
lisabean - 23 Feb 2008 19:23
"Police have expressed concerns about The Firestone in Castle Green, which has had six different managers in a year, after they were called to a "glass related incident" this month"
(Somerset county gazette 31st Jan)

Seems that even the local Rozzers want this place closed down now!
chopin - 31 Jan 2008 22:08

But do they still do their special brand of speed-dating?
harbourdrinker - 16 Jan 2008 12:47
The old manager got the sack, and the new one (understandably) wnts to start off with a clean slate.
I have to say that so far little has changed.
Expensive beer, poor quality and poor service
chopin - 16 Jan 2008 12:28

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