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Ok, so we havent had a specific trip to the dove, to do a review. But we have all been many many times, enough to get a feel for the place I would say. So I thought it about time I finally posted something about it.
I personally, LOVE the Dove. Its my favourite pub in Ipswich. Saying that, there’s still many pubs I am yet to try, so I am slightly biased at the moment. We have visited many many times, even recorded a live pubcask there! They also hold 3-4 beer festivals a year, which are always great, and I’d like to say we have attended most of them.
So, The Dove run by Ady and Karen. Its situated in West Ipswich, on Dove Street! Actually its not, its on Rope Walk near the College… but still! The Dove is a medium sized pub, split into a number of rooms. There is the main bar, the small snug to the front, a lovely dining area too the back, and then a larger conservatory next to that. Also when a beer festival is on, they erect a large tent which engulfs the entire beer garden and extends the pub all the way back. Its layed out in a way that breaks the pub up. Each room has its own feel to it, and they even all look quite different. There is no open plan feel, which can give the feeling of being left out if your not in the main bar, but also offers some provacy or quietness if thats what your after. Although obviously on a busy night or most of the weekend each room is packed full anyway.
Now the main reason I like the dove, is the range of beers. It has 12 hand pumps, 12 standard taps, a tap room with a number of gravity fed casks, along with a huge range of bottled beers, including a nice German selection. So all in all, many many beers. Along with the usual spirits, a number of ciders and a huge range of Malt whiskeys.
The Doves range of beers also changes almost daily. Its rare that I’ve been in and seen the exact same beers on tap every time. The hand pumps and tap room beers change the most, and its always good to go in and try something new, or have an old favourite. They also have a number of beers kept on tap, but not the usual lagers and such you may find. They have Erdinger, Leffe, and Hoegarden all on tap. Also calvors Lagers, a real ale lager that I have still to try, budvar dark which I havent seen on tap anywhere else as of yet, and a number of other lovely beers and ciders!
The prices are standard, the ales are priced how you would expect, not expensive, but not cheap. They vary in price dependant on the strength, which is to be expected. The belgian/german beers are a bit more pricey, but thats still in line with most pub prices, and the bottles are again priced as you would expect, not cheap but not too over the top.
All in all on the beer front, theres enough variety to stop you getting bored! The only downside being if you fall in love with a beer on tap, theres no guarantee it will be there when you head back a week later! Although thats just a risk you take.
The Dove also serves some of its own brewed beers. At the beginning of 2011 they purchased a property opposite the pub, with views of turning it into a micro brewery. Then shortly after, at the end of summer they had the first own beer brewed, and at the end of that month it was on tap in the bar! They dont hang about! Now they have a range of seven beers they have brewed, of which I beleive four are regular beers brewed to have avaliable in the bar and the rest are seasonal beers.
Thats not where the business stops, they have also opened a home brew supply store. Much to my delight! Also opposite the pub is thier shop with a huge selection of home brew supplies, for people who brew extract to people who go all grain. Ady has also been incredibly helpful with any questions and items I have needed, and I found myself popping in there every week to grab something else.
You should also listen to a podcast we recorded at The Dove here.