The first reference to the Cardinal’s Hat is in 1497, when the inn was designated as being one of the depots for the City’s fire hooks (hooks used to pull down burning parts of buildings to prevent the spread of fire). It is believed that the pub is a lot older than this first reference and is considered one of the oldest pubs in Worcester.
Throughout the years the pub has changed its name. In 1748 the pub changed its name to the Swan and Falcon. This was due to anything related to Catholicism being out of favour. In 1814, the name changed again to the Coventry Arms to gain popularity from the Earl of Coventry, who was then Recorder of Worcester. The Cardinal’s Hat name was restored in the 1950s.
The pub contains three rooms, two of which adjoin the bar. The third is a separate ‘snug’. The rear room has a very old feel to it with wood panel walls and an old fire place. I’m not sure how old the room is but it’s certainly not original.
The beer on offer is quite unusual. Unusual in that they only serve beer from Austria. This is due to the pub’s current owner, Andrea Schutz, being from Austria.
The beers, including some from Hainfelder, are served in 0.3l, 0.5l and 1l steins and flutes which drew some attention from the local Trading Standards Office due to them not being official measures (i.e. pints, halves and thirds). After a bit of a battle, a truce has been drawn and the pub can continue to serve non-standard measures.
The pub does have a small beer garden to the rear and due to the size of the pub it can get busy at night. I visited on a Saturday afternoon after attending the Beer on the Wye festival and it wasn’t too busy.
31 Friar Street
Tel: 01905 22066
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