Roscoe Head, Liverpool

24 Roscoe Street
City Centre
L1 2SX
0151 709 4365

The Roscoe Head is one of the ‘famous five’ pubs to have been in every single edition of the Good Beer Guide since it was first published in 1974. The brief description in the 1974 edition of the guide describes it an ‘unspoilt city pub’ and the the 1975 edition says it is the ‘haunt of dedicated beer drinkers’. Both descriptions apply today.

The layout remains unchanged since a 1930s refurbishment with a lobby bar and three small rooms, with leaded glass doors and partitions. It sells six real ales, always including Tetley Bitter, which was on sale when it first appeared in the Good Beer Guide. Taylors Landlord is another regular, and there are four changing beers. Pies are available all day.

The pub has been run by the same family for over 35 years and it recently won a battle to become an independent free house. The pub had been owned by Punch Taverns since the 1990s and tenant Carol Ross was involved in fights to allow her to sell a guest beer. Punch sold the pub to Hawthorne Leisure who engaged in a similar battle, and after threatening to make it a managed pub, they eventually agreed to sell it to Carol in 2020. The full story is related in an article by Roger Protz on his website.

The pub prides itself on being a place for conversation and there is no piped music or fruit machines. The pub name celebrates William Roscoe, a Liverpool historian and anti slave trade campaigner.

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