Black Lion on Welsh Row

A Nantwich pub has announced plans for a new beer festival after being included in the Campaign for Real Ale Guide to a top pint.

The Black Lion, on Welsh Row, appears in the 50th anniversary edition of CAMRA’S Good Beer Guide celebrating the UK’s finest pubs.

One of few remaining free houses in South Cheshire, the pub has been submitted into the guide by local CAMRA members.

They say it is “totally free of tie” with a good range of locally sourced changing beers and “beautiful wood-beamed” interior.

It is the pub’s 13th appearance in the guide since electronic records began in 2008.

And landlord Darren Snell is keen to create an event staying true to its real ale roots while whetting the appetites of foodies.

Darren, a former Dorchester Hotel chef, said: “We take pride in offering a range of locally sourced ales and caring for them well in our old stone cellar.

“Food is also a big part of the business so we are looking at introducing a new autumn festival combining beer and regional foods.

“We are in the planning stages right now but hope this will become another highlight on the Nantwich festival scene.”

Ben Miller in the Black Lion pub in Nantwich
Actor Ben Miller in the Black Lion pub with landlord Darren

As a freehouse, The Black Lion can ring the changes for beer connoisseurs.

Always available are Weetwood’s Old Dog 4.5% ABV premium, Cheshire Cat 4.0% blonde and Best Bitter 3.8%, brewed near Tarporley.

New on to mark the King’s Coronation is Weetwood’s 5%Coronation English Pale Ale.

The CAMRA Guide 2023 pays tribute to The Black Lion saying: “Totally free of tie, this black and white fronted inn stands among the historic buildings of Welsh Row. An open fire welcomes you into an open-plan area that used to be three separate rooms.

“The beautiful plaster and wood beamed interior retains the expected bowed walls and creaking floorboards.

“The small Hop Room features hop bines on the ceiling and a pot-bellied stove for heating. There is a restaurant upstairs and a covered beer garden to the side.”

Darren added: “As a freehouse we can support small producers with a passion for good beer.

“And to be recognised for this year after year by real ale fans makes us very proud indeed.

“From myself and The Black Lion team, we would like to say ‘cheers’ to all those who have supported us.”

In Nantwich, the CAMRA guide 2023 also lists The Wickstead Arms, a Punch Pub, The Crown Hotel and The Rifleman, now closed.

To get copies go to

More information on The Black Lion autumn beer festival will be announced in the summer. See Facebook for changing beers and menu options.

weetwood ales in Black Lion in Nantwich


  1. Kez Challacombe says:

    We look forward to attending. Hopefully your festival will not clash with the annual Crewe Rail Ale Festival held either 2nd or 3rd weekend of September. Fantastic historic pub, great ales, great food, great staff.

  2. Excellent. Has my backing 👍.

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