A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Phil Garey -

Was with the 8th AF in 1944 and visited "The Nutshell" several times. Also in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s And on through the 90s.., on my visits to Bury St. Edmunds
I remember a preserved adder in a jar and a fascinating "trapeze" man as a toy. Pub billed it as the smallest floor show in the world.

Phil Garey, Grants Pass, Oregon USA

N.B. -

It may not be still there but when I was a lad (1960's) my dad was partial to stopping into 'The Rising Sun' just outside Laycock in Wilts. The room was about 9 x 7 with a single long table and two benches. The bar was a bit of wood jammed in the doorway. The publicans were identical twin brothers, even then were very old. I was often told it was the smallest pub in Britain but I never saw it mentioned. The gardens were brilliant though, made of several terraces down a hillside.

Ryan Price -

I was in The Nutshell on Saturday 13th November 2005, there was 17 of us in there all together!! Tiny place :D

brad -

this reminds me of a favorite of my fellow bostonians, the littlest bar. unfortunately, it's being closed and condo'd.

Tim Robertson -

Was there not so long ago, absolutely brilliant place :)

Stu Hirst -

The Butcher's Arms, Herne, Kent is definately a contender for the smallest pub with seating for 8 and standing room for a few more. Fantastic friendly atmosphere and the ale is pretty good too!

Alan -

Recently I removed a comment here that I could make no sense of but I think now it was referecing this bar with four seats:<blockquote class="smalltext">The bar is never far away but finding a seat could be a challenge for customers at a new pint-sized pub now open in Cleethorpes. Measuring little more than a prison cell in dimensions, the Signal Box Inn claims to be the smallest pub in the world. The landlord is hopeful it will be a magnet for tourists – but with room for just four small stools and no tables, anything more than half a dozen customers at a time will be a squeeze.</blockquote>That seems to be a contender for world's smallest.

Robert (London) -

i used to got to Southport near liverpool to see my Grand parents and there is a tiny pub which claims to be the smallest in Britain

Lara Kinsella -

Hello, please could you send me the street name in which your pub is in, i came a few weeks ago to show my partner your pub after coming previously myself and could nt remember where in Bury it is situated!! we would love to come back !! many thanks L.M. Kinsella

Anne Thorburn -

I think the Butcher's Arms in Herne, Kent must be the smallest FREE house - great beers, great atmosphere and NFL!

Steve (Epsom) -

The Butcher's Arms is a perfect real ale drinkers pub and a very small one at that with seating for only 8 and standing room for possibly a dozen or so more. But don't let this put you off as you get to meet people quickly :-) and you will soon be drinking from a range of ales poured straight from the barrel. No lagers, no music, no TV, no machines....it's a great place.

Mr Mr -

As a former Bostonian (who dearly misses the Sunset Grille), I'm sorry to hear about the demise of Littlest Bar. But I enthusiastically second the plug for the Butcher's Arms, which I'm fortunate enough to live a stone's throw from. In fact, since the wife and kids are in Mallorca for half term, I think I'll head up there tonight.
(Nothing to do with little, but I stopped in Fordwich yesterday and had a wonderful IPA from the Whitstable Brewery. Hard to find a good IPA in Old Blighty---how times have changed! To think when I was in college all you could get in the States was ice cold lager.

JohnE.Carter -

Looking for smallest pub in Liverpool/Merseyside.England.Any clues?Thanks and enjoy your holiday !
John Carter

Ben Weller -

Hello im on a quest to go to the highest pub and lowest pub in england but im having trouble finding the lowest pub. Could someone email me the lowest pub please at benweller@ blueyonder.co.uk
Ben Weller

Jim and Sylvia -

I am from Bury St Edmunds, but now live in the state of Washingtton, USA. I grew up knowing the Nutshell was the smallest pub in England. But I had never been in there, since at that time it was not the thing that "young ladies" went into a pub alone!
My husband and I have a huge interest in dollshouses and have five, four of which he built.
When we came home to visit family in 1995 we decided to introduce my husband to the Nutshell. He was fascinated with the place, and thought we should build a replica. He spoke with the management and asked if he could take pictures and measurements.
"It was fine with him", he said.
So we did exactly that, and now own our own 'Nutshell'! We did send pictures of his work to the Nutshell as well as Green King, but never heard from anyone, so they must not have been too impressed!! Of course there were some artifacts we could not reproduce in 1" scale, and I never have found a squished cat to hang on the ceiling. But it still is very authentic looking.
When we were home in 2002 we noticed it had been painted much differently to what it had been, but we have not changed ours as we like it better. We even copied the hanging baskets of petunias, as well as the 'gas' style lights on the front of the pub.
In 1998 the Bury St Edmunds calendar had a photo of the Nutshell, our pub looks exactly like that. Jim just wishes he could get an 'Abbot', or an Old Speckled Hen from ours though!!!!!! Cheers!
Sylvia(Rice)Hooker & Jim Hooker

john -

Went to the Nutshell in 1982 for a mates 18th birthday bash,great pub, good beer. Will be taking the wife there in April, hope it has not changed.

Minerva Inn, Looe St, Plymouth -

This has to be a contender for the smallest pub in the u.k. I had the joy of working in this friendly,steeped in history,great beers and small pub. Its a 3/4 storey house with the downstairs making up the bar,seating area and the toilets are out buildings which a walkway under plastic sheeting gets you to! I think if anyone is in Plymouth they need to check out the Minerva Inn.

Lisa -

In reply to John E Carter. The pub in Merseyside you are talking about is The Lakeside Inn on the edge of the Marine Lake in Southport. Hope this isn't too late for you John!

Alex -

I was at the Nutshell in 1995. Real small and unusual place. I live in Chicago was there on business. Recall staying in a hotel called Butterfly, ( I think ) anyone from Bury remember this hotel ? I looked it up in the Bury hotel directory and cannot find it !

David Yuhnke -

My Dad, William H Yuhnke, was a medic with the 8th Air Force 94th Bomb Group stationed at Rougham Air base in WWII, married a local girl from Hesset, a small village nearby. I was 21 when we visited there and I remember drinking at the Nutshell.

Jenny Pettit -

I was born and bred in Bury St Edmunds,I have been led to beleive that the Nutshell is smallest pub in Britain. It wasnt until today that anyone has challenged me on that fact. I was walking past it with a friend of mine who comes from Mansfeild and he was somewhat surprised when I told him that it was in fact the smallest pub in britain, backing up his statement by saying that the smallest pub was in Nottingham!!!!!!!!!!!!!! can anyone tell me if this is true????????????

Andrew -

Sorry Nutshell, but i think i am about to take your title off you (Britains smallest pub) because mine measures 8ft x 8ft.
The Slg and Hosta is located 6 miles south of Leicester.


The Butterfly Hotel was indeed just outside Bury St Edmunds Alex. It was part owned by John Ward, who was the father of Julie Ward, the poor girl murdered in Africa a few years ago.Mr. Ward worked tirlessly to bring his daughters murderers to justice. The Butterfly was sold and is now the Ramada.

declan -

The Lakeside Inn is the smallest pub as it has the guinness book of records certificate to prove it. What has to br remembered is that there are, I assume, different catagories,smallest "bar", smallest seating area,Smallest frontsage etc.

declan -

Sorry, just to clarify the Lakeside Inn in Southport,Merseyside!

John White -

I have been laid up in bed for about 5 months now.So you can imagine I am rather bored.So I have started viewing a menagerie of sites on my PC.I have been a Pub licencee as a tenant and manager.Hence finding this site..All this is rather long winded for the short address at the end. ( I,m smiling. ) I live in Bury St. Edmunds. And our pint sized Pub sells a pint the same size as the biggest Pub. (Smile you might be on candid camera )