A definitive ranking of Exeter’s best pints

If in doubt, Spoons


If you're reading this then you're probably an Exetah student, which means you're almost definitely from Surrey.

So a pint to you is a £15 blend of gung-ho tropical fruit and melon, sitting on a subtle malt backbone with a dry bitter fallout to finish (genuine Brewdog beer description).

But now you're in Devon, the closest thing England has to the Shire, and finding a cheap pint here is an easier task, especially if you know where to look.

With this in mind, here are the ten best pints Exeter has to offer:

The Ram, Carlsberg

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Nothing Fancy here, but you always know where you are with a Carlsberg. Coming in comfortably under £3, this is the perfect companion to curly fries and dodgy music when that extra hour in the library is all too much.

Top marks for convenience and a standard refreshing beer: 2.5/5

The Iron Bridge, Avocet Ale

Now I may be pushing the limits of "cheap" here but please bare with me. It's the setting that brings this pint into contention. That sign with its gloomy writing, the fading paint, it may as well be called the prancing pony and full of Hobbits, this is a pub to savour.

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The Beer itself is interesting. Not fizzy but not still, not too bland either. Floating in the liminal space between lager and bitter.

A little pricey but worth it: 3/5

The Black Horse, Abbot Ale

There are days in student life when drinking is not about the destination but the journey.

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Terrified by the TV license threat in the post but unable to miss a Saturday of Chris Kamara, you wander to the spacious, TV-filled pub and drink this light, smooth beer slowly, but surely, until you stagger home happily in the early afternoon.

Well-priced, and a necessity for armchair sports fans: 3/5

The Pursuit of Hoppiness, Cask Ales

We love an alcoholic pun.

If you like consistency or legroom, then this is not the pub for you. If, however, you are willing to cram into what is more cupboard-under-the-stairs than pub and take a punt on a pint then you will not be disappointed.

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I cannot point you to one beer: their menu changes more than a Katy Perry song, but there is always something wild take your eye, a personal highlight was their milkshake IPA.

A bit of a maverick: 3.5/5

George's Meeting House, Ruddles Best

Outrageously cheap.

This Charming, 18th Century Church is perhaps one of the most ludicrous settings for a Wetherspoons, but it does add a hint of a class, which is needed with this beer.

We're coming in at under £2 here, and whilst it may not be the strongest beer in the world, there is certainly a place for the ultimate budget pint.

Cheap and cheerful: 2/5

The Exonian, Tarka Pure

A pre-social classic.

A world away from the rustic, aged pubs of Exe, this is perhaps the ultimate student pub; music, cheap food, and a variety of events appreciating our tightened purse strings.

Brewed locally, this is a pint fit for a post-exam sigh of relief, a simple, cheap, crisp lager.

A pint for everyone: 3.5/5

The Farmers Union, Fosters

A reliable old friend. This for me is a trip down memory lane. Maybe its not the best lager in the world, but its everyone's entry level pint.

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How fondly we remember that first time we handed over a brand-new ID and muttered the immortal words "pint of fosters please".

The setting here is a real winner: from pub quizzes to pool tables, its a wonderful place for pointless pub chat.

Always a good call: 3/5

The Fat Pig, Ham 69

Perhaps the trendiest beer around.

The logo is a leather-jacket wearing pig scowling into the middle distance. Need I say more?

Fat Pig brew their beers in the cellars below their pub, so this is perhaps the most local pint you can get. It is a little out of the way and a little expensive, but everyone needs to try this once.

A beer dedicated to standing out: 4/5

TABAC taphouse, Pistonhead

A bit odd, but in a nice way.

Choosing just one beer when faced with a wall of alcohol is always a daunting task, but this full-flavoured craft beer comes out on top.

The setting itself is certainly different, with the combination of art on the walls and table-football making it feel like the sort of place you might start a revolution from.

Definitely a drink for the trendsetters: 3.5/5

The Imperial, Hophouse 13

We have a winner.

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This is the finest Wetherspoon's in the world. Always packed, a perfect summer garden, and how can you not be drawn to that big swirly window?

The beer itself has everything you could ever wish for: cheap, refreshing, and just a hint of bitterness. I think I may be in love.

The undisputed King: 5/5

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