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Reviewed On: 6 Nov 2004
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Public Houses in Reading
Berkshire, England.
   
Zerodegrees
Previous Names:
9 Bridge Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2LR
0.35 miles from Reading station [Map]
Final Score: 6.5 out of 10
Steve's Score:3 (Out of 5)
Gray's Grade:3.5 (Out of 5)
Steve Supped:Zerodegrees Black Lager
Gray Gulped:Zerodegrees Pale Ale
Garden / Facilities:Set on two floors with a few tables outside.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:
26 April 2007

It seems like you've just stepped onto the set of Alien with lots of futuristic metal pipes connecting the brewery up to the bar. There was a worrying moment when S-Man was a picture of panic and I half expected an Alien to burst out of his chest. I was just reaching for my trusty flame thrower when it turned out it just just his other half on the phone reporting the car had broken down. If the little Alien guy had burst out he'd have discovered plenty of room in a warehouse style building and the inevitable splattering of blood might have brightened up the place, which is otherwise nearly all black. In fact, considering it's brand new, this place is a bit rough and ready with bare floors and walls. It was also freezing cold but that's not suprising for April with all the doors wide open. It's set on two floors with a dedicated bar area, that includes a handy outside balcony (both upstairs and on the ground floor). Most of the place is set out ready to eat and there's an impressive menu to go with the excellent range of own brewed beer. Arriving after work we struck lucky with happy hour prices - just £1.90 for one of the best pints available in central Reading. This really is a welcome addition to Reading's collection of pubs. It's unique in all areas - beer, food, and the modern interior design. Service was good and the atmosphere was fine too. This place will definitely be packed out weekend evenings. It's a long way from being a proper traditional pub - but thats not its aim (it's far too trendy for that). So still plenty of room in Reading for a micro-brewery in a proper pub style. G.
Well I say, he’s nothing if not thorough! Not sure I can add anything really other than my own highly subjective comments ,which you might not be so interested in. Firstly I should add that I have no idea what he is talking about with all this Alien nonsense! I think that 1 pint he had affected him more than he thought! Madness! I can’t say that I particularly liked this place. Dunno why, I just felt the seating area, and standing area, felt a bit open and not very well thought out. Like G said, the flooring had a student union bar feel to it, as did the row of bar stools near the main seating area. Bit too basic for me. I was feeling the modern exposed vents and such like but I reckon the rest needs to be a bit trendier to make it work as a whole. Don’t get me wrong – it’s alright, I just think they could have done better. Someone has pointed out that I gave Yates 3.5, which I can now see as a grave error, but this was a while ago and it looked more sparkly then, so giving this less doesn’t make me stark staring bonkers ok! S.

BEER EXPERIENCE

Hmmmm... refreshing! Four taps and only their own beers available. No chance of getting a pint of standard high street mass brewed bore-beer here. And what a result that is. They still cater for all tastes with Pilsner available for the lager drinkers. However, surely the pale ale is where it's at. Decent pint - real tasty like a proper IPA. Not too strong either, so you could happily drink these all day long. There's also Wheat Beer and Black Lager (Czech style). I did see some ladies drinking wine but surely you come here to try one, or all four, of their brews. Judging by all the in house brewery kit all the beer is brewed on site (although perhaps some travels from other Zerodegrees as they have places in Blackheath and Bristol too?). A nice touch was all the tasting notes lined out on the bar so you can make an educated choice. Great venue for beer drinking. G.
Great beer and great happy hour prices! I will be back! For me though I think you need a bit of a wider variety for you to come back a lot. It makes it a bit like a ‘tied’ pub where you can only get the breweries own beer when it is far better to have some great guest ales to be trying. Also, there is nothing wrong with catering for the taste buds of those who like a few of the more interesting European lagers you see cropping up these days so for some it will be a shame that you wont find these in here. I had the black lager by the way, and it was delicious! S.
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VISITOR FEEDBACK [Give Your Feedback]

"Big brown leather sofas, low tables, big wide-open spaces, subdued purple mood lighting, industrial-style exposed metal all over the place - on initial appearances it's exactly the sort of bar that a "traditional" pub lover like myself would abhor. But wait - what are those big shiny vats behind the bar? Hurrah! It's a brewpub, which means tasting lots of new beers that I'll never see anywhere else. The barmaid was very friendly and - to our astonishment - once we'd sat down with our chosen beers, she bought over generous free samples of all the other beers that we hadn't actually bought. A shrewd marketing ploy on her part, as it enticed us to stay for longer and buy far more other beers than we'd planned. The night descended into an all-out beer-tasting session, even including those amongst us who didn't normally drink beer! The black lager is the best of their beers, although the mango beer and the wheat beer were also very well received. The pale ale is merely average (and I suspect would lead to dodgy guts if drunk in any quantity). At the other end of the scale, the apple and cinnamon beer was weird and undrinkable for all of our party (apart from Hilary, who professed to love the stuff and guzzled down several), whilst the pilsner was the worst of the lot - completely tasteless, and it quickly went flat. ZeroDegrees surprised us (for such a large and wide-open venue) by being lively and enjoyable, with friendly staff (more free samples arrived later in the evening!). The beers aren't yet that great, but given time I'm sure they'll improve (and no doubt come out with increasingly bizarre flavours). One of our party had eaten here before and said the food was excellent. My one concern was the (spotlessly clean) toilets - above each urinal was a picture of a woman, one holding a meat cleaver, one holding a tape measure, and so on - it was enought ot give one stage fright!"
(Rated 7 out of 10)
wheresthepath visited in January 2008

"Beer drinkable... so it must be good as i never drink beer!!! Food is fantastic and good service too! "
(Rated 8 out of 10)
sarah benns visited in January 2008

"I can sum this place up with one word........superb! Keep up the good work guys. Beer, food & service all top notch!"
(Rated 8 out of 10)
Peter Spencer visited in August 2007

"I thought Zerodegrees was fantastic, the service was amazing-really friendly. Great pizzas too."
(Rated 9 out of 10)
Gary visited in August 2007

"great beers - truly great! Spoilt for me by a money/marketing approach minus personality to customer care. At least PRETEND YOU CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO PAY YOUR SALARIES..."
(Rated 5 out of 10)
Baz McCarthy visited in August 2007

"I have been here several times and each time I find something new to like about Zerodegrees. Not only is it a wonderful microbrewery but the restaurant isn't bad at all. Service is excellent, beer is good (well a hell of alot better than Fosters, Stella etc etc) and the food is always spot on. Not sure where the other reviewer went,but it wasn't the Zerodegrees I know!"
(Rated 8 out of 10)
Charlie Thomas visited in July 2007

"My homebrew tastes better than their beer - two pints and I was feeling queasy. The beer tasted like it wasn't ready - too fizzy and too yeasty. Coupled with substandard food and poor service to match, I won't be going back I'm afraid."
(Rated 1 out of 10)
Bob Smith visited in July 2007

Average Visitor Score: 6.57 out of 10

NEIGHBOURING PUBS

The following pubs are within stumbling distance of this establishment:

         
Current Score:
6.5
Original Score:
6.5
Traditional Pub?
No
Party Pub?
Yes
Proper Food?
Yes
Real Ale Pub?
Yes
Pub Games?
No

Zerodegrees Pub (Reading, Berkshire)
Picture 1 >>
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