Before coming to Chester I had never heard of the Joules Brewery in Shropshire and after reading about them on their website I wouldn't have done either. They are that rare type of brewery who control their beer supply to keep the quality as they want it served to the customer, as such they don't sell via wholesalers and prefer to sell their beers direct to the pubs in the nearby areas and deliver it too. Sadly this means I won't be getting a pint of Slumbering Monk in London or Essex any time soon.
The Crossed Keys is their tap in Chester and on redoing up the pub they commissioned stain glass windows to represent all of their other taps. So in one window is a Crossed keys, another has a red lion, another has a white horse and so on and forth. This makes this pub a very attractive place to come for a pint, they state outside that there is no football on the tv or machines in the pub so all in all you get folks in who want to enjoy a drink and talk to friends and colleagues. This pub was always busy, not mega busy but always ticking over which means its customers are a loyal sort and not going to ebb and flow with what's the most fashionable place to be seen.
All the beers on cask are the Joule's own with lagers and ciders also available, the beer was in perfect tip top condition each time we came in. The Slumbering Monk my favourite although my partner prefered the Pale instead.
Unfortunately we won't be here in October which is when this pub arranges a coach tour to go to the brewery, we watched as one bloke came in for a pint, saw the sign, quickly phoned a few people on his mobile then promptly booked 14 tickets for this. Apparently accordingly to the bar man when they first did this tour idea they booked a small hopper coach not expecting to get much interest but they could filled in three times over so now they book a big coach. Shows how popular a brewery can be with good beers, lovely pubs and excellent staff to promote them!
If you are coming to Chester this is definitely a pub you have to try. It is again a fantastic pub.