The Garibaldi Hotel: Northampton’s first real craft beer and ale house
Craft beer. Burgers. Ping Pong. What’s not to love?
It will come as no surprise to the majority of gents out there when we say that the UK has been experiencing a beer renaissance over recent years. Smaller, craft brewers are all the rage as we turn away from the large, tasteless and bubbly beers of times past. New and exciting flavours are being created by a number of brewers experimenting with different processes and ingredients to produce some amazing brews. With such a plethora of new and exciting beers on the market for us to embrace, we are never without choice. What we do lack in Northampton however, is an establishment which houses all of these different delights. “Where can a refined gentleman go to quench his beer desires in Northampton?!” we hear you cry. Where can you go to enjoy a beer on a Saturday night in a relaxed and ultimately cool atmosphere? Sure, pubs have started stocking the odd craft beer here and there, but few do the vast and extensive range of craft beers on the market any justice. Well fear not our dear sir, for we have found the answer at The Garibaldi Hotel.
The Garibaldi Hotel is the brainchild of Northamptonshire raised Paul Rigby; a former banker turned restaurateur and bar owner. With successful and award winning London restaurants The Seacow and The Palmerston under his belt, as well as feeding the masses with his pop up food stalls and vintage vans at music festivals, Paul set his sights on The Garibaldi in the summer of 2012.
A severe renovation of the original pub and a restoration effort that Sarah Beeny would be proud of in late 2013 saw the dated interior stripped out and its original Victorian features brought back to prominence. The inside now has an eclectic mix of classic and old fashioned features merged with a modern and contemporary twist. Leather chairs, Victorian fireplaces and beautiful lighting throughout makes this pub one of Northampton’s hidden gems, with a relaxed and stylish atmosphere. The outside has also been transformed in preparation for summer. Believing in the notion of waste not, want not, all furniture in the pub is the product of reclamation and salvage yards, wonderfully tying together the new meets old feel of the pub.
The beer selection at The Garibaldi Hotel is truly impressive and is certainly one of the reasons we are so excited about this pub. The amazing beers on offer are sourced from all over the globe, with some of the finest imported beers that you will struggle to find in any other venue in Northampton. The selection focuses on artisan brewers, with not a pint of Coors light in sight. Whilst other pubs in our town offer the odd one or two craft beers, The Garabaldi has fully embraced the modern beer scene and stands out amongst its contemporaries, with brilliant beers including Meantime and Brooklyn Beer on tap. Imported lagers from Belgium, Vedett and Liefmans can all be found under the Garibaldi’s roof as well as brewers closer to home, including Norwich and Redwell. Due to small batch nature by which these beers are created, you will not be seeing them in your local Weatherspoons anytime soon. The pub rotates its selection so there is always something new to experience and they currently have a beer called Hackney Hopster from London Fields we would encourage any gent to go and taste.
The Garibaldi also has an impressive range of ales from both local brewers and also further field, including Thornbridge, Blue Monkey and Purity. Patrons really are spoiled for choice. The large range of beers had us wanting to taste each different beer on offer, which can be rather harmful to both a gentleman’s wallet and health, fortunately The Garibaldi has thought this through, offering a remarkable service we are rather fond of. For £5.00, The Garibaldi gives customers the chance to try any 3 draught beers at 1/3 pints on a flight board. This gives the beer loving gentleman an opportunity to sample 3 different beers without having to fear for one’s liver. On top of what the pub offers on tap, the bottle selection is just as, if not more impressive. Brixton, Partizan, Redchurch, Brooklyn, Orval and more can all be found in the fridge and is one of the most varied selections of crafts beers this side of London.
Although we have been giving particular attention to the beers, The Garibaldi do also have a range of spirits that are worthy of mention. The bar stocks a range of unique spirits; a particularly special one is Mescal, a smoky tequila served over ice for sipping. The bar is currently creating a short cocktail menu which will be available soon and should prove very interesting considering the different and interesting alcohol the bar have at their disposal.
The Garibaldi’s menu is inspired from Paul’s Pop Up restaurant experience at the festivals, creating an exciting menu that consists of fries, onion rings, firecracker wings, bowls of slaw and most importantly to these gents, handmade burgers. The Garibaldi’s Meat & Greet burger brand is going to run from the bar’s kitchen and is most certainly going to make an appearance on the search for Northampton’s Best Burger very soon.
The Garibaldi is hosting a range of interesting events and tastings over the next few weeks which we would recommend attending to try out the pub:
Monday is Burger and Brew day
The bar offers half price off burgers with a pint or bottle of beer.
Tuesday is Lucky Super Sevens Singles night
Visitors can bring a couple of their own 7” records and share their tunes with the pub.
Wednesday is Killer Ping Pong
Sorry, did we forget to mention the ping pong table downstairs in the basement of the bar, which lets visitors do their best Maxim Shmyrev impression? (He is the world ping pong champion from Russia just in case you had forgotten that piece of pub quiz information) On Wednesdays, people turn up and walk around the table hitting back the ball. Miss and you must take a seat. The last two battle it out until it starts again. Popular in Berlin, the Garibaldi is bringing it to Northampton.
Thursday is Pop Up Party
The cellar is turned into a miniature rave with DJ, loud tunes, smoke machine and sweaty ravers dancing into the early hours.
Friday and Saturday is all about relaxing and enjoying the bar and beer on offer. With its free Wi-Fi, ping-pong and relaxed atmosphere, it makes the pub the ideal place to do some reading and spend time with friends.
Sundays are Roast and Rave
Do not fear, this does not mean trying to eat a full roast in the comforts of a loud and sweaty rave; although this does conjure up rather comical mental images of revellers throwing out shapes with Yorkshire puddings and gravy in their hands. The Garibaldi offers a traditional roast which is later followed with a Sunday rave, letting diners dance off that extra roast potato.
Having visited on a Saturday night, we were struck by the relaxed and ultimately cool feel of the pub which manages to effortlessly tread the line between urban chic and local pub. This chilled vibe remained even as the night went on and the bar filled with more customers. Located away from the busier areas of the town centre, just behind the Chronicle and Echo building, the crowd is an ideal mix of ladies and gents who are interested in having a good time. The music is not too loud; an unfortunate trap many pubs fall into, feeling the need to bombard patrons with deafening tones of pop music because the sun has set on a Friday and Saturday night. This adds to the laid back ambience of The Garibaldi which is why the bar so special, making it a perfect location to relax with friends or to go for a date. The drink selection is brilliant and unique to Northampton; however drinks alone cannot make a good bar. It takes a pleasant environment, friendly staff, a good crowd and that special spark of excitement in the air. The Garibaldi has these all in spades and when all of these aspects are combined, it becomes clear why we are so happy to have this bar in Northampton. A stylish adaption of a traditional pub and one we would highly recommend you give a try.
The Garibaldi Hotel: 19 Bailiff Street, Town Centre, Northampton, NN1 3DX