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Oxford Road, RG30 1AD
Reviewed On: 11 Nov 2004
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Public Houses in Reading
Berkshire, England.
   
Hop Leaf
Previous Names:
Southampton Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2QZ
0.72 miles from Reading station [Map]
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
Steve's Score:4 (Out of 5)
Gray's Grade:4.5 (Out of 5)
Steve Supped:Hop Back Crop Circle
Gray Gulped:Hop Back Crop Circle
Garden / Facilities:A couple of benches out the front on the pavement. Also, a big function room at the back if I'm not mistaken.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:
10 July 2004

The reason to come here is for the great range of beer - but the pub itself would do very well even without supplying their own vast range of beer. A busy and bustling pub with a good mix of clientele, old and young, giving a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The place is well looked after with proper pub furniture, bar billiards and has a unique snack dispenser as well! Highly recommended! G.
I can't adequetly convey the excitement given by this 'unique snack dipenser'. It dispensed not only nuts of many varieties but also delicious pimento stuffed olives. On top of this (not literaly, more like to the side of this on another pillar) they had Minstral and Jelly Bean dipensing machines as well as a fine selection of crisps and snacks behind the bar. This pub is snack heaven and I am definitely coming back! Bring on those honey coated nuts - they have got to be tried to be believed. YUMMMMMY! S.
You really did like that snack machine! It wasn't cheap mind at a quid a shot. G.

BEER EXPERIENCE

I'm not sure it can get any better! If you like real beer, and a massive range of it at that, then there can't be a better place in Reading to visit. The Hop Leaf brews its own "Hop Back" beers and has eight of their cask ales on the go at once. I'm already a big fan of Hop Back's Summer Lightning, so went for the Crop Circle which seemed a similar beer in a lot of ways. It wasn't particularly strong and was so light looking it was approaching clear - but a very tasty summer brew indeed. There was a standard bitter, GFB (the weaker option), and a stout. All the Hop Back beers are available to take-away in various sized containers - which could be handy at the end of the evening! Also I noticed they had proper cider on draught (not their own), and a range of standard drinks - so something for everyone. Excellent. G.
Quite so Graham, a fine selection of beers indeed, although as it sells the Hop Back Brewery beers not a great choice if you want to try something else. Not that you would though as these little babies are delicious. I had the Crop Circle as well and I must say I was a little taken by this particular beer. Very distinctively tasty and I will be coming back one day for another I hope. S.

VISITOR FEEDBACK [Give Your Feedback]

"I have been there once, and had a great time! But come to The New Smithy, Wolstanton, Newcastle-Uder-Lyme, Staffs and get just as good service and beer! ps congrats for having a great Hop Back pub!!!"
(Rated 10 out of 10)
Brett Ritzkowski visited in September 2007

"one of the best but crikey - not open at lunch times in the week?!! Its a crime I say! Lovely family atmosphere and everyone is friendly. Great beer from the hopback brewery. Also its within crawling distance of my bed - perfect!"
(Rated 8 out of 10)
Baz McCarthy visited in August 2007

"If I were writing this a year or so ago it would have given this pub a much higher score but, sadly, I sense that the place has lost some of it's charm, not to mention it's Erdinger taps. Having said that, The Hop Leaf is still a great place to drink with a good variety of HopBack beers (the Summer Lightening is delightful but beware; it's stronger than it seems). "
(Rated 6 out of 10)
Tex visited in March 2007

"Just a correction - the function room at the back used to serve as the brewery at the Hop Leaf but they haven't brewed their own beer for several years now. The Hop Back brewery near Salisbury (www.hopback.co.uk) supplies the beer, and very very fine it is too!"
(Rated 9 out of 10)
Justin visited in November 2006

"No Pub games?? There's a dart board which you can hardly miss, and a Bar Billiards table.They also play crib."
(Rated 8 out of 10)
Steve Masters visited in February 2006

"I'm the land lady of said establishment! Thank you for the great reviews! We would like to let you know that we are also now stockists of Erdinger Weiss Bier on draught as well as the much sought after Dunkel! Only 8 establishments in the British Isles have Dunkel on draught! You really need to come in & have a try! We have also just won Reading in Bloom, Silver Award, for our display of baskets and window boxes! Looking forward to seeing you all again soon."
Debbie (the landlady) visited in September 2004

"You will now be mortified to know that the Hop Leaf now does THREE guests in addition to the full Hop Back range!"
Pete visited in September 2004

Average Visitor Score: 8.20 out of 10

NEIGHBOURING PUBS

The following pubs are within stumbling distance of this establishment:

         
Current Score:
8.5
Original Score:
8.5
Traditional Pub?
Yes
Party Pub?
No
Proper Food?
No
Real Ale Pub?
Yes
Pub Games?
No

Hop Leaf Pub (Reading, Berkshire)
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