Candidate #17- Junkyard, Nottingham, England

The Midlands has a long, proud ale brewing history; Castle Rock, Marstons, Nottingham Brewery.


But forget all that: the junkyard celebrates all the other types of beer; saisons, stouts, west coast IPAs, bizarre fruity potions and all sorts of hybrids. It’s bloody brilliant. A corner of the bar is reserved for fridges for take-out or drink-in, resplendent with a great selection of cans (usually a massively underrepresented receptacle, for some reason).


The junkyard is tucked away down an alley in an actual yard, giving the venue outdoor seating front and back and a bit of peace in the city centre. There is a large row of bar seats which is rare and welcomed in England, and is a nod towards the underlying American influence. The food is classed-up bar food, with plenty of big flavours and stocky quantities to soak up the booze, with a pan-European influence: French toast, scratchings, charcuterie, Padrón peppers; and some American staples: fried pickles and popcorn.


Venue: 6/10

Hidden away from the noise, two gardens, a long bar seating area and tasteful decor. Hopefully more will be added over the years to give an aged rather than worn feel.

Beer: 8/10

Very respectable selection of canned beers (an underrated option, in my opinion), and 15 taps mark it out as a leading stockist in the Midlands.

Worthy? Maybe


56. Au General Lafayette, Paris, France



A café so bold, it has it’s own branded beer glasses…in PARIS. On the surface, this the quintessential Parisian café experience; one major difference singles Au General Lafayette out: the focus on quality beer.


Ten tap beers and a robust selection of Belgian classics (Orval, Chimay, Westmalle) provide the bulk of its’ arsenal, with some focus on French beers too, and one can order a beer to accompany your meal without embarrassment or scorn from the waiters.


Service is brisk but still friendly, a rarity in lackadaisicall Parisian café dining. The interior has a tasteful assortment of mechanical miscellany amidst what could be original 1930s decor.


Any Parisian worth his wine will dine al fresco, and Au General does not disappoint, offering a lengthy outdoor terrace hugging the perimeter. It’s next to a busy road, but so is all of Paris; one gets used to the engine roar and the moped whines as white noise and eventually as ambience.


Venue: 6/10

Quintessential Parisian café, in and out.

Beer: 3/10

Nothing astounding, indeed an average-to-small range for the Netherlands or Belgium, but good for this wine-obsessed (read: misguided) nation.

Worthy? No

If the food was better, maybe.

90. Proeflokaal ‘t Arendsnest, Amsterdam, Holland


There are over 170 breweries in the Netherlands, and nowhere are Dutch brews better represented than at Proeflokaal ‘t Arendsnest, which serves exclusively Dutch beers.


At any one time there are ~100 bottle varieties and 30 taps, regularly changing and other, inferior, drinks like whiskey. Food is limited to yummy snacks such as cheese, meats and nuts.


The staff are very knowledgable, if a little tired of being asked “What do you recommend, bro?”, and run tasting sessions and special events.


This, like In De Wildeman,  is definitely on the tourist map, yet retains an affable, friendly vibe, where patrons freely talk to each other. There are a lot of small bars in Amsterdam, forcing strangers to sit together, but this is the only one that consistently houses social interaction. I’m not really sure how, but I tip my hat.


Venue: 8/10

Classy-brassy. The space is very small and overcrowding is rife, but they have utilised the space as well as possible.

Beer: 8/10

The Netherlands has a splendid array of beers, and ‘t Arendsnest is often the first to peddle new, quality offerings. 30 taps is a lot to maintain, but they are equal to the challenge.

Worthy? Yes

There is no where better to sample the very best that Dutch brewers produce.