Bath’s pubs are world-class and you’ll find plenty of CAMRA-approved drinking holes here, but if you’re a craft beer connoisseur and would rather take a couple of cans home with you, head to one of these craft beer shops (or pubs with shops) to grab a brew or two.
While they are not strictly craft beer shops, there should be a few honourable mentions for some of Bath’s microbreweries that are based in restaurants/pubs like Bath Brew House’s James Street Brewery and Graze, which is part of Bath Ales (despite the name they are brewed at Hare Brewery in Warmley near Bristol).
As a side note, if you want to have a drink in the restaurant, get a juicy steak too as Graze also made it onto our top 10 steak restaurants.
From craft breweries to specialist off-licences, here are the six best places to grab a craft beer to enjoy at home or in the park on sunny days. If you fancy a pint with your pooch, check out one of our 10 best dog-friendly pubs in Bath.
1. Electric Bear
What better place to grab a craft beer than an actual craft brewery? Electric Bear is just on the outskirts of Bath and was founded by home brewer Chris Lewis in 2015. It was originally named after the 19th Century Bear Brewery in Bear Flat, which was once one of the most well-known West Country.
Now run by Bathonians David Horner, and his wife Mary, Electric Bear is home to a brewery, shop, and taproom. The cool taproom serves up 10 different craft beer lines and has street food on offer at weekends, as well as live music, comedy nights, art, and pub quizzes throughout the year.
Get beer to go from the brewery and choose from seasonal brews or Electric Bear’s popular gluten-free Helles lager Mixtape, their American pale ale Werrrd! or the new 5% pale ale Tondo for more of a kick.
Address: Unit 12, The Maltings, Brassmill Lane, Bath, BA1 3JL
2. Independent Spirit of Bath
Top marks for the punny name at Independent Spirit of Bath, which is in what was once the video store on Bog Island. It maintains that independent retailer spirit with a carefully curated selection of fine booze, including craft beer.
Owned by ex-barmen, Independent Spirit of Bath is home to British, European, and American craft beers, with new ones arriving all the time. Stylishly decorated inside and out, you can rock up to the ‘bar’ counter and chat to staff to get a recommendation as they have everything from stouts to sours here and they can tell you all about new arrivals and any new breweries opening in the area.
If you like discovering new brews to try, look out for special themed tasting events or drop-in sample sessions where you can try before you buy and learn about new craft beers from experts.
Address: 7 Terrace Walk, Bath, BA1 1LN
3. Kingsmead Street Bottle
Part restaurant/bar and part bottle shop, Kingsmead Street Bottle is a funky space just off Kingsmead Square where you can sit and sip a natural wine or craft beer and get an artisan cheese board or charcuterie to accompany it.
Sister bar/shop to the original Palmer Street Bottle Shop in nearby Frome, Kingsmead Street Bottle is hidden away off busy Kingsmead Square and is ideal for a date or hang with friends.
In the summer you can pull up a bright yellow chair and enjoy the patio terrace while the world walks by, or get craft beer to go from the shop and enjoy it at home.
Well-stocked with craft beers from around the world, including seasonal specials and interesting brews, the best way to see what’s new is to check out their Facebook page (or pop in and ask!).
Address: 2 Kingsmead Street, Bath, BA1 2AA
4. Abbey Ales Shop
Right next to teeny Coeur de Lion, Bath’s smallest pub, is the Abbey Ales shop. Also small in stature, it’s the place to go to stock up on beer that’s locally brewed in Bath on Camden Row.
Abbey Ales has been around a long time, since 1997, and the group now owns the Star Inn, Coeur de Lion, The Assembly Inn, and the Trinity pubs in Bath.
Cask beer Bellringer, a golden best bitter, is the flagship drink for the brewery, but guest craft ales are available seasonally as well. If you’re visiting, make sure you taste Bath Water, a dry, amber bitter made with real Bath water. Stock up on Abbey Ales in the shop, then pop for a pint next door to check out the historic Coeur de Lion pub.
Address: 17 Northumberland Place, Bath, BA1 5AR
Scottish chain Brewdog is a solid favourite around the country, and the Bath location is handy for a pit stop during shopping at Southgate. A cool interior, tasty American-inspired food menu, and loads of craft beer – what’s not to love?!
At the bar they are pouring from 28 beer taps, a mix of favourites and seasonal guests, and in the huge beer-to-go fridge you’ll find plenty of cans and bottles of craft beer to take home including classics like grapefruit-infused Elvis Juice, Lost Lager, and Punk IPA (and a non-alcoholic version).
Once you’re inside it’s pretty hard to not stay for a pint, so try a flight or even ask for a taster to help you decide what to buy from the Beer-To-Go fridge.
Address: 20 Lawrence Street, Bath, BA1 1AN
Bath is blessed with lots of pubs, but if you’d rather have a drink at home or save your craft beer for another day, try one of these shops to meet knowledgeable and passionate owners and discover new craft beers….. Or use it as a good excuse to pop into the pub to ‘test’ some brews!
Amy is an award-winning travel writer born and bred in Bath. She has written for national newspapers and magazines from the Guardian and Mail on Sunday to Conde Nast Traveller and Good Housekeeping. Now she’s helping travellers explore Bath, one story at a time.