Five best pubs in Southampton that you may not have heard of.

The search is over for a new place to drink

Tramstop Bar and Kitchen, 186-188 Portswood Rd

Tramstop is the newest addition to Portswood highstreet’s drinking establishments. It’s located opposite Scoops and across the road from Trago Lounge. In the daylight, it’s easily missed, as it is yet to be given a front sign. However, walk past in the evening and you’ll notice a bustling crowd of people, enjoying quality beer in a warm, ambiently lit, friendly setting. They offer a refreshing range of beers – particularly if you’re bored of drinking the mundane pints available elsewhere. Additionally, they have a small but appetising food menu, including their own Tramstop burgers, mac-and-cheese and other smaller bites like calamari. This lovely little bar is a very welcomed addition to Portswood high street.

Brewdog, 18A Upper Bannister St, Southampton

Unless you’re actively looking for this branch of Brewdog you are likely to miss it. Tucked away in a secluded carpark, behind the vast collection of bars around Bedford Place, you’ll see the classic bare brick exterior, painted blue with the name Brewdog marking the top. The interior is executed beautifully with original fireplaces and the mezzanine structure with industrial scaffold-cluster lighting that hangs from the top level through to the ground floor. If you haven’t heard of Brewdog, it is an Aberdeenshire based brewery, which produces an array of craft beers, which are consumed across the country. They opened their first bar in 2010 and since then have opened over 45 bars across the country. Southampton welcomed Brewdog in September 2016.

Southwestern Arms, St Denys, Southampton

The Southwestern Arms is located over the bridge of St Denys railway station. This traditional pub offers a great range of beers and has a unique of display of beermats that deck the walls and ceiling on the ground floor. Upstairs there is a comfortable seating area where you can also enjoy a game of pool or table football. Another great reason to visit The Southwestern Arms is to purchase a fresh, stone-baked pizza from ‘it’s a pizza thing’ located outside the pub. They serve freshly baked pizzas from 5.30 till 10.30 most days. These pizzas are truly the most delicious (and reasonable!) pizzas available in Southampton. Even better still, you can enjoy your pizza inside the pub with a nice cold beer and a game of pool.

The Bookshop Alehouse, 21 Portswood Rd

Just down from Mango on Portswood Road you’ll find this charming little pub converted from an old Bookshop. The interior of the pub retains the appearance of an antique bookshop. They pride themselves on their selection of locally sourced craft beers. Ask at the bar or consult the blackboard to find a beer best suited to your taste. The Bookshop Alehouse is small, understated and a must visit in Southampton.

Belgium and Blues, Above Bar St, Southampton

Belgium and Blues is in the Cultural Quarter of Southampton and can be found a few doors down from Café Parfait. The basement bar has a relaxed atmosphere with dimmed lighting and secluded booths to sit and enjoy a drink. The bar has a vast selection of Belgium and British Craft Beers. They often throw live music events generally in the genres Blues, Funk, Jazz and Soul. We recently visited ‘Belgium and Blues’ when Southampton based DJs Soul 45 played their Motown Christmas Party. I can’t promise that this is a regular treat, but as we were enjoying our drinks, the barman came over with a complimentary bowl of roasted potatoes with a mustard mayonnaise. Next time I’ll be sure to order a bite off the menu.