The Lion Tavern is a beautiful mid-Victorian pub in Liverpool just across the road from Moorfields Station and is very much a miniature gin palace from the original Robert Cain Brewery. There is a bar and two lounges, prominently featuring wood panelling, etched glass, impressive old tiles and an unusual, but quite lovely, glass dome. The pub has recently been carefully refurbished, and it tends to attract a varied clientele: it is particularly popular with local musicians to the extent that the free jukebox has music by twenty six artists who have enjoyed drinking there.
There are always eight real ales, with the house beer, Lion IPA, from Red Star as standard, and seven changing guest beers which, when I called in, were: Faith Hope & Charity and Bottle Bull, both from Rock The Boat; West Coast IPA and Monkeytown Mild, both from Phoenix; Peerless Langton Spin; Ossett Silver King; and Black Edge Hop. There are always four light beers, three amber and one dark to satisfy most tastes, plus a real cider, Westons Founder's Reserve. Their entry in the 2018 CAMRA Good Beer Guide is well-deserved. Other specialist drinks include wide choices of Scotch and Irish whiskies.
There is a monthly acoustic song session on the second Tuesday; this is open to all and is unamplified so there's no danger of being deafened. The hand-raised pork pies are popular with customers. Well-behaved dogs are welcome.
As well as being a classic pub by anyone's standards, the Lion is quite happy to do things slightly differently from the mainstream, and it is a formula that is popular with its own regulars, real ale connoisseurs in Liverpool and beyond, local business people (being in the business area of Liverpool) and discerning football fans on match days.
The Lion is on Facebook, Twitter and has a website. It is close to several bus routes and can easily be reached by train from the Southport and West Lancashire areas. Definitely worth the train ride. This is one of a series of articles that I write for the CAMRA column in our local papers, the Southport Visiter and Ormskirk Advertiser. Previous reviews are here.