Grain Barge

About Us

Opening hours

Mon-Weds: 12pm-11pm
Thurs-Sat: 12pm-11.30pm
Sun: 12pm-11pm

Food served from

Mon - Fri: 12-3pm & 6-9pm
Sat: 12-10pm
Sun: 12-4pm & 6-9pm

The Grain Barge started life as an engineless barge that used to be towed across the Severn Estuary from Bristol to Cardiff with its cargoes of barley & wheat. Built in 1936 by the Charles Hill shipyard, it is now moored opposite its original berth in Hotwells next to Brunel's SS Great Britain.

The Bristol Beer Factory bought and refitted the barge in early 2007. In keeping with its industrial heritage and the company's belief in reusing materials wherever possible, much of the structure within the vessel has been crafted using predominantly reclaimed and recycled materials.

The Grain Barge has two bars. The main harbourside lounge and dining area is light & airy, with the upper 'al fresco' deck boasting a 270 degree view of the harbour. The "Hold Bar" function room provides a venue for live music and can be hired for private parties any day of the week except Fridays.

Clem Elphick


Growing up on the wild beaches of Northumberland Clem's passion for the water and all things outdoors began early.

Following four exciting years in the mountainous French Alps working through chalet and hotel management Clem returned to the UK and joined his love for boats and hospitality as General Manager of the Grain Barge in 2015.

Whilst not discussing port and starboard on the barge he can be found running his independent clothing company Finest Hour, cooking chilli con carne and drinking a 'little' glass of whiskey. 

Emily Pilkington

Assistant manager

Emily came aboard as the assistant manager in November 2015, following a crash course in craft ales and a new found love for stouts. She is excited about her new venture on the Barge and keen to expand the pop up nights available.

A background in customer services and an ongoing love for festival production has meant she has experienced everything from selling homemade fudge to organising the Dali Lama’s Birthday Lunch. And continues to explore festival and film production opportunities in her time off.

Hollie Wheeler

Head Chef

Growing up with leeks in her heart and cheese in her belly, Hollie hopped the bridge after starting as a commis chef 10 years ago in the Wye Valley to become sous chef for two years at the Barge. Feeling prepared to take over the kitchen, she took a month off to travel around Europe to gain some inspiration for her classic European styled creations, and to feed it in to the British element of the Barge’s menu.

When not thinking up 20 different ways to cook duck she’s checking out the incredible foodie scene of Bristol, growing veg and rocking out at metal gigs.

Kit McKenzie

Music & Promotion

Live music promoter, sound engineer, deejay, charango player, poster designer, painter, cyclist & traveler.

Kit oversees everything "music" at both Tobacco Factory and Grain Barge as well as other venues around Bristol and Bath and is committed to providing the best musical adventures to the community.

Dave Bain

Art Curator & Design

As well as selecting exhibitions for the Grain Barge and other venues, Dave Bain works as a freelance illustrator. He also DJs disco, funk and world vinyl as Waxmouse.

Sarah Ford

Venues Manager

Sarah is responsible for overseeing the Grain Barge, along with the Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar and Sunday Market.

She initially joined forces with George Ferguson in 2001 to set up the Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar and later took the Bristol Beer Factory’s Grain Barge under her wing.

In her spare time she is busy growing vegetables, off road running and enjoying family life