The Bank – Willingham

It’s been a long time coming but I’ve finally managed to visit The Bank in Willingham. I drive past this micropub several times a week, so I was disappointed in myself for not visiting sooner.

The Bank has always fascinated me, not just for its quirky size but also because of its reputation of providing damn good beers, so I was excited to see what it had to offer.

According to the website, it opens at 5:30pm. I turned up at 5:25pm and the place was already busy. So I have no idea what time they operate from. I also tried to check online what they were selling on tap before visiting the website no longer updated its beers.

After speaking with the landlord he confessed that the website is a little neglected, so to find out what they are serving before visiting make sure you check out their QR code which is posted on the wall. This will send you directly to Real Ale Finder with an up to date list on what is being served. Click here for the direct link to The Bank.

As you would expect, the place is very small but they’ve done wonders with the space. There were a surprising amount of people in the pub yet it never felt claustrophobic. The place is well decorated with a very traditional living room theme, which should offend no-one. There were a lot of historic photographs of Willingham on the wall which I partially enjoyed.

The pub had a board with all their current beers available. This changed weekly (or whenever the kegs are finished). There were options ranging from IPA’s, stout, and lager. There were also ciders not pictured in the photo above.

There was also a fridge serving a selection of craft beers in cans which can be purchased to take away or to drink in the pub. They charge an extra £1 for drinking in the pub, which is more than reasonable (especially since space is not plentiful in a micropub). I noticed some familiar faces in there such as Burnt Mill.

My first victim was from the Kernel Brewery called Nelson’s Sauvin Pale Ale. This was deliciously flavorful, especially coming in at only 5%. It had citrus notes and was a very nice and cloudy tipple. One of the favourites of my visit.

Next, was from the Lost & Grounded Brewers called Keller Pils. Normally, I’m a fan of Germanic style pilsners but this one felt very anemic after my first pint. It had a bitterness to it which, I felt, didn’t work. It was also quite watery.

It was still great to have a choice like this on the menu for people who don’t want anything to intense. I overhead a man bring in his friend who was not overly sure on craft beers and pale ales and only wanted a lager, so something like this would have been real life saver for him.

The Bank also offers a takeaway service in portable plastic containers which can hold between 4-5 pints. This is by no means the advanced dispensing technology of The Filling Station in St Ives but should serve you well if you have to get home for dinner but still fancy a few extra pints that evening. This coupled with the beer cans available for takeaway makes this a great place to pop in and stock up as well as a place to visit for an evening.

I noticed Howling Hops’s “House IPA” which I had been itching to sample since I got in. There were a lot of other people drinking it which made it even more enticing and being at 6.9% I knew it would have a bold flavour. So I decided to order a few beers for takeaway.

Upon getting home, the House IPA did not disappoint and was my stand out favourite of the evening. This hazy New England IPA had notes of pineapple and other tropical fruits which made this dangerously moorish. Needless to say, the two pints didn’t last long and at nearly 7% the end of the evening was a bit of a blur.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at The Bank. Willingham is very lucky to have such an interesting and unique pub. With my local village being a similar population and having absolutely nothing to offer in terms of quality pubs, I am incredibly envious.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check back as this post will be updated as I visit again soon.

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