DO YOU remember when the Barrels went by a different name?

The Barrels in St Owen Street was originally known as ‘the Lamb Hotel’ until landlord Peter Amor and his partner Mary brought about a huge change in the mid-1980s.

The couple used to run the Wye Valley Brewery at the Nags Head in Canon Pyon before they took over the Lamb in 1985.

Within their first 18 months in the pub, the pair invested £30,000 in alterations to the building, including converting part of the hotel's two-storey former stable block into a small brewery so that they could move their Wye Valley Brewery operations into the city.

The name change came about in 1986 as part of a wider campaign to market the pub as Hereford's first ‘brew pub’, with locals apparently quickly taking to their Hereford bitter ale.


Despite changing the name of the watering hole, Mr Amor, who learned his trade while working with Guiness and Bulmers, found that he was in fact upholding a Lamb Hotel tradition with his brewing business as the pub used to produce its own beers in the late-1800s.

Speaking to the Hereford Times in 1986, Mr Amor said: “I believe the Lamb used to have a huge chimney and bottle its own brew.

“I have decided to do this because I have always been a traditional ale drinker, and I know there is a good market for it.

“There are a lot of myths about traditional ale. It can be cloudy, and it is an acquired taste but, in fact, it is beer as it should be.

“The Lamb will be Hereford’s first swinging brew pub.”