Steve Powell is the organiser and founder of Bristol Beer Week (14-21 October), a week-long celebration of Bristol's independent beer scene.

Steve is equally passionate about local food and coffee, and enjoys updating the Beer Week Instagram with variable home barista and cooking efforts. We asked him to tell us his top tips for Beer Week shenanigans...

Steve Powell, Bristol Beer Week

As Bristol Beer Week is just over a week away, I thought I’d take this opportunity to focus on the great local venues that have a firm focus on good beer and food.

This area of the beer industry has advanced quickly over the last five or so years, as people learn that wine shouldn’t necessarily be the natural accompaniment when you’re eating out.

So here are my top six Bristol beer and food venues:

Nettle and Rye

Brunch is very popular in Bristol and Nettle and Rye do it as well as any of the city’s best café joints.

It’s a great place to stop and read the papers after a wander around Clifton’s pretty streets and shops, and if the sun is over the yardarm, I’ll sneak in a breakfast stout too.     

Small Bar

Bristol’s pop-up taco champions The Plumed Serpent now have a permanent base in the kitchen at Small Bar. Having visited Mexico a few years ago, their small soft tacos filled with braised meat, fried fish or interesting veggies are the real deal.

There’s a range of other plates too, all of which pair incredibly well with what is arguably the best beer selection in Bristol. 

Small Bar Bristol
Small Bar

The Old Butcher’s

Carol Whitworth of ‘Doreen Doreen’ fame runs the kitchen in the beautifully restored Old Butcher’s. Carol has a serious passion for cooking crabs and other crustaceans, hence the name ‘Carol’s Crab Kitchen’.

My partner assures me it offers the best soft-shell crab she has eaten, and who am I to argue. The well-priced wall of Bristol-based beers offers plenty of local beer combos.

BrewDog Bristol

BrewDog Bristol has been in a bit of a pickle (literally) when it comes to food, only having room to serve up cheese/meat platters with local chutneys. But somehow they have now managed to shoehorn a pizza oven onto the end of the bar.

It’s by no means the best pizza in town (tough market!), but what they turn out with such limited space deserves kudos, and their extensive beer knowledge will help you pick the perfect pairing.  

Brewdog Bristol
Brewdog Bristol

Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf

Wild Beer’s menu gives a serious nod to their waterside location, with the help of Camden based nouveau-fish and chip mongers Hook.

If you’re not a massive fan of the traditional ‘English’ offering of battered cod and thick-cut chips, this is the place for you. The spiced panko-coated, creamy white fish goes exceptionally well with a sour beer from the Wild Beer boys. 

The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer

I am, for my sins, an Arsenal fan, so it’s always a pleasure when they are playing on a Sunday afternoon and I know that I can head down to The Volley for a pre-match roast before getting settled in for the afternoon.

Like sister-pub Nettle and Rye, the Volley has a serious kitchen team, so the roasts are a level above. The Volley Triple (beef, pork and lamb) is for those in the know, and the huge range of beers from independent UK breweries will satisfy even the pickiest palate.

Famous Royal Navy Volunteer
Beers at The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer


Bristol Beer Week
Food and Drink
Bristol Beer Week

The fifth annual Bristol Beer Week (14-21 October) will celebrate the people at the core of the Bristol beer scene, home to some of the country's most celebrated small breweries and beer establishments.