Beer Blog

The Criterion, Leicester


Exactly what is the Criterion? What, for a good pub in Leicester? I’m not sure, but this isn’t one of them. The exterior is interesting in that late 1950’s, very early 60’s? Sort of pseudo Art Deco style that was briefly in vogue before architects and developers realised  what they could actually get away with.

Inside, there’s two rooms, what appeared to be a cold, redundant, empty concert room and the main bar where I was sat. The interior decor is straight out of the nineties, and at best, a bit dowdy with it’s turquoise seating and dreary lighting. My Mother would politely say, ‘it’s a bit spartan inside.’ The original steel window frames don’t help to give it any feeling of warmth or cosiness either.


They had plenty of beers on, six cask and four keg on my visit. Unfortunately the beer didn’t redeem anything. I went for a half of Torrside Brewing, I’m Spartacus (6.8%) at £3.60 a pint. I’m not going to comment on it’s Inevitable US IPA billing, because the beer was too warm to do a proper tasting. I sort of wished I’d gone for the Blackjack beer they had on, but then again that might have been a waste as Martin Taylor also commented on the beer temperature, conversely Pucurmudgeon thought his ale was fine.


On the plus side, there were half a dozen in at 6.00pm. Several of them were enjoying what looked like very well presented pizzas, at very reasonable prices. There was also a decent ‘craft’ can list and a host of bottles, again at reasonable money. It was clean and dry, and the toilets were just about okay. I did at one point think that the complimentary bowls of Bombay mix were a nice touch, but apparently I was helping myself to someone else’s!

Verdict: crummy back street city centre boozer that needs some money spending on it which, for me, failed to live up to it’s ‘been in GBG for last fourteen years billing’.

9 replies »

  1. This was only added to the crawl as an extra pub as we had a bit more time than expected, and I have to agree with you. Not a *bad* pub as such, but difficult to see what its USP is. All the others, whatever you thought of them in general, it was fairly obvious what they were about.


  2. I quite like the simplicity of the Criterion, and I suggested it as a place I’ve had very good beer (Oakham) recently. The beer was too warm last week though. Perhaps better beer to wash down a pizza would have improved our view…


  3. “The exterior is interesting in that late 1950’s, very early 60’s?”

    Not trying to be too snarky but the exterior on the right side, with the high windows and the off-white tiling looks like someone turned a restroom inside out! 🙂

    Pizzas and brewpubs is a bit of a thing over here. I know two nearby (i.e. within a 35 minute drive) that are situated side by side and you can order beer in the pizza place or pizza in the beer place with no problem.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I love it! Good comparison. I’m not an architectural expert Russ, but it’s done in that post, post war austerity and pre the modernity of the swinging 60’s – perhaps you have given it a new name – The lavatory period?

      My mate has a microbrewery ‘Quirky’ in Garforth, and you can order food from the local pizza place and they deliver to his tap room – don’t think they do a reciprocal yet?


      • Reciprocal might be due to liquor laws or some such (are the pizza place and Quirky side by side?).

        As for the lavatory period, hmmm. I was thinking maybe the Water(loo) period. 🙂


        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Richard,

    I’m one of the managers of The Criterion, and I appreciate the commentary of your review – despite your poor writing ability. I honestly agree with much of your criticism, the place needs work, and my colleagues and I are currently working to rectify the establishment’s shortcomings.

    I would however like to complain about you taking an unsolicited picture of a member of staff to post on the internet, especially given that she is in fact my partner. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the data protection act, but you might want to do some reading up on standard critical and journalistic practice if you wish to carry on.

    – Sam, Criterion Bar and Events Manager


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