The Pubs of Portsmouth


Despite a steady reduction over the years, the City of Portsmouth is still home to around 160 public houses and beer bars. These range from traditional Victorian cornerhouses to large city centre circuit pubs, where daytime shoppers and professionals make way for young drinkers at night.

Portsmouth’s traditional pubs have taken a severe hit over the last few years due to a number of factors affecting the pub trade nationally, such as the government’s now-abolished beer duty escalator, the smoking ban of 2007 and planning loopholes that allow pubs to be converted to retail premises without the need for planning consent. These issues, combined with recent economic decline, have hit the pub trade hard, forcing local licencees out of business and leading to the sell-off of many much-loved hostelries by the cash-strapped big pub companies.

However, all is not bad news, as there are still many excellent pubs throughout the city that are well worth visiting. Indeed, we are now witnessing the emergence of a new breed of pub in Portsmouth – with Southsea seeing the opening of three specialist beer bars in late 2014/early 2015. In addition, the number of commercial breweries within the city boundary is also on the increase, with five such businesses presently registered. Keep an eye on the News page for further developments.

Please use the menu bar at the top of the page to explore the site and learn more about Portsmouth’s fine pubs, past and present.

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