Back your boozer: Queen Victoria still reigns in Rugby

Pub Feature - The Victoria Inn, Lower Hillmorton Road, Rugby.
Pub Feature - The Victoria Inn, Lower Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

The Queen Vic has been pouring drinks from its town centre location since the days Queen Victoria herself was on the throne.

The corner-set property has kept almost all of its original features and is now an established real ale pub, although with its Sky Sports and selection of Belgian lagers behind the bar, it does have something for everyone.

Pub Feature - The Victoria Inn, Lower Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

Pub Feature - The Victoria Inn, Lower Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

The Vic has three distinct rooms (and a beer garden in the summer) and 14 hand pumps working at any one time, which the landlord believes is the most in the borough.

It’s been owned by Keith Abbis and Nick Pugh for six years, and since then they’ve invested heavily on the hand pumps, which has helped it win Rugby CAMRA’s Pub of the Year accolade no less than six times, the last being in 2011.

Sean Hughes, of the pub, said: “It’s a real ale pub at heart but with several rooms and Sky Sports there’s something at the Vic for everyone. When Nick and Keith first took it over there were two hand pumps but now we have 14 - so the ales we have on tap change every week. We have all sorts of sports playing on four big screens and a lounge, bar and two snug rooms with a real fire.”

The Vic has seen a steady growth in ales sales and Nick and Keith also preside over Rugby’s Atomic Brewery, which brews some great pale ales which cost just £2 on Mondays.

Sean added: “The Atomic ales remain popular among ale drinkers here and we keep one other popular Hookey ale on tap and have guest ales on the other pumps from across the UK, there’s usually something new to try here, even for experienced ale drinkers.”

There’s also a lively social scene at the pub, which has two quiz nights a week and is home to two football teams, two pool teams and a darts team.

The courtyard hosts beer festivals three times a year and, of course, summertime drinking. The Atomic Brewing Company Ltd, which owns the pub, was founded by Nick and Keith and situated at the rear of the Alexandra Arms, itself named Rugby’s pub of the year seven times. At the end of 2010 Mr Hardy of the Alexandra arms decided to call time and put the pub up for sale. This initially threatened the existence of the brewery but after some bargaining the brewery bought its second freehold property which of course included the brewery.