Siren RG1 Taproom

Siren RG1 Taproom, 130 Friar Street, Reading RG1 1EP
When Siren Craft Brew opened their Brewery Taproom near Finchampstead in 2017 it was a landmark occasion in TWICB Rob’s Craft Beer journey. Finally there was a proper Craft Beer venue in the Greater Reading area, but “Oh My Days!” was it hard to get to, situated in the twisty country lanes southwest of Wokingham, and well off the main bus routes.

This was six months before Brewdog opened in Reading, a year before Double-Barrelled, and two years before Phantom, so semi-regular pilgrimages were undertaken, whenever lifts from long-suffering wives could be cadged!

Beach Street Beer Festival
However, once the above-mentioned Central Reading venues appeared, trips to Siren became too much logistical trouble to be bothered with for your correspondent. Fast forward to 2023, and tantalising rumours began to circulate of a planned huge new Siren Tap in the massive Station Hill development in the very centre of town.

It was with much anticipation that Rob managed to snag a ticket and headed to the soft- opening on Friday 10th May. The new Taproom is known as Siren RG1 and it occupies a huge L-shaped unit, with the “longer” arm sitting in four or five shopfronts’ worth of Friar St, which is Reading’s main hospitality thoroughfare, containing an eclectic mix of restaurants, nightclubs, music venues and fairly uninspiring pubs. The shorter arm of the L opens onto a large outdoor terrace which will be a compelling people-watching spot over the summer!

Inside, the bar is very nicely fitted out with light coloured wood decor and tables and offers seating for at least a couple of hundred people in a variety scenarios according to your mood and the size of your party. On opening night there was a good-sized crowd in, but service at the bar was easy to come-by, assisted by the fact that the serving area has a generous width to it.

When fully operational, RG1 will pour from 28 taps and 4 handpulls. On opening night there were 16 Siren keg beers, 7 guest kegs, two Siren cask beers, two wines, a cider, a hop-water and a cocktail all on draft. I guess they will figure out the right combinations based on demand over the coming weeks.

One thing that seems clear is that food will be an important part of RG1’s offering, and the busy kitchen at the far end of the L was turning out an appealing range of burgers and small-plates. Apparently there will be a Sunday lunch offering as well in the near future.

When the Siren Brewery Tap opened in 2017, we were dreaming of Craft Beer taking over the World. Now we are just happy that Reading has a classy new central Taproom which will definitely draw in some new converts, and adds a great new stop on the Craft Beer circuit of the City.

Siren RG1, Friars Walk, Friar St, Reading Open to the public from Mon 13th May.

Mon-Thu 10.00 – 23.00 Fri-Sat 10.00 – 00.00 Sun 10.00 – 21.00

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