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GigPig's Guide to Pre-Gig Boozers: Liverpool

Given its outrageous musical heritage, it should come as no surprise that Liverpool has a bevy of bevvy haunts that are perfect for pre-gig sups.

So let’s start with Red Lion, shall we? Recent recipient of Liverpool’s Pub of The Year award and with good reason. Let’s face it, any boozer that advertises ‘dominoes, darts, pies, footy on TV’ in its insta bio is worth A LOT of your time. Be warned though, it’s far too easy to get settled here, so make sure you actually end up making your gig before knocking back that sixth pint of cask ale.

Jimmys is a musical mainstay in the city. The gig you’re boozing before might even be here. Top bands, top booze and, now with the addition of the bewilderingly brilliant @burgerism, top scran. Make a beeline for the place whenever you’re in town, gig or otherwise tbh.

For an historically good time, head to the corner of Roscoe Street for an evening at The Grapes. A proper local dating back to 1804, The Grapes champions Merseyside breweries and offers up an excellent spirit selection to boot. And there’s jazz on Sundays. Nice.

A few pints of the black stuff always go down a storm before a gig, and Danny Macs Tavern are pouring some of the finest Guinness in Liverpool. This is a proper Irish pub, no gimmicks or tourist traps to be found here. Live music, exceptional Irish whiskey and absolutely heaps of craic are the order of the day down at this gem on Oldham Street.

Likewise Pogues, sister site to Danny Macs, reflects the city’s long thriving Irish community with seven nights of live music a week and similarly brilliant Guinness and whiskey. The type of establishment that lends itself effortlessly well to pre or post-gig sessions.

Newington Temple make the bold claim that they are in possession of the best jukebox around. And when somewhere makes that claim, you simply must go and see/hear for yourself. In all honesty, we’ve got to say the Temple is hard to beat, so take a couple of quid down and curate your own pre-gig playlist over a few pints. Magic.

Ship Forecast is ‘home of the two pound pint’ and, well, that’s pretty hard to ignore, isn’t it? But before you even get into the budget bev situation, you’re getting one of Liverpool’s most beloved boozers. One that has seen nights by Mark Ronson and Disclosure hosted there and the atmosphere is always spot on. Hard to beat.

Ye Cracke, for the name alone, would make this list, but this 19th century Georgian Quarter bolthole is more than deserving of a place for a litany of beer soaked reasons. This is snug Scouse hospitality at its finest. Teeming with history and atmosphere, it’s another institution that you will be hard pressed to even leave for your gig. An easy establishment to become immersed in.

And finally, The Caledonia, with it’s dog friendly, vegan vibes is a wondrous place, replete with some outstanding lampshades hanging from the ceiling and a gripping, heartwarming sense of community from everybody within its four walls. You’ll bounce (and probably sway a fair bit) out of here after every visit. Or you’ll stick around for some of the utterly unstoppable array of live music acts they so regularly book…