Grain Barge

About Us

Opening hours

Mon-Thurs: 12pm-11pm
Fri-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.

Dee Hedd


Dee came from the deep dark valleys of Wales and joined the Grain Barge as a member of the bar team in February 2011 while studying for her degree. Overwhelmed with theories and literature she sadly left us during her final year to concentrate on the tasks at hand. After graduating in 2012 she jumped between a few jobs before realising there was a Barge-shaped hole in her heart and came back to us as assistant manager in November 2012. She then became general manager in the summer of 2013.

When she's not manning the helm of the Barge, she can be found running around Bristol scouting locations for Bristol Biennial, stopping for an odd pint or two along the way.

James Moorton

Assistant Manager

James’ passion for the Barge has brought him back on board not once, but three times! Now back as Assistant Manager after a six month stint writing sonnets in the Highlands, he now considers himself to be a fully formed human with a ridiculous sense of how to wear his hair.

When on dry land, James can usually be found drinking coffee and developing his life mission of writing and starring in dystopian musicals in Germany.

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