Good Beer Guide salutes the great pub revival
Issue Date: 22nd September
Good Beer Guide salutes the great pub revival
The 2017 edition of the Good Beer Guide, GBG, published by the Campaign For Real Ale, CAMRA, celebrates the big fight back by the much-loved British pub. Editor Roger Protz says "that while traditional pubs continue to close, new types of pubs are opening at a fast rate and are drawing large crowds of enthusiastic drinkers."
"It's tragic that pubs that have been the heart of their communities for decades and even centuries continue to close – though the closure rate is declining to around 21 a week. But they are being replaced by new pubs, often in the most unlikely places," Protz says.
"The national JD Wetherspoon group plans to open eight new pubs from Scotland down to the West Country. The first is in the former booking office at Edinburgh's Waverley Station.
"It's full steam ahead for pubs in train stations as Waverley joins London's Euston, Paddington, King's Cross and St Pancras, all with excellent pubs, along with stations in Newcastle, Sheffield and York.
"Fuller's Parcel Yard at King's Cross Station is in the former pick-up and delivery area for Red Star packages. Set over two floors, packed with railway memorabilia and with views of trains arriving and leaving, the Parcel Yard is now one of the Chiswick brewery's most successful pubs, offering good food as well as a fine range of guest beers from smaller breweries."
In Manchester a number of new pubs have sprung up in old railway warehouses and arches. The Knott, opposite Deansgate Station, stands below the bridge that carries both trains and the Metro. It offers beers from independent breweries in the Northwest and caters for modern demands with many vegetarian and vegan options on its menu.
The Piccadilly Tap stands in the arcade of shops leading to the station. It has seats on the pavement as well as in the large airy bar and beers from local breweries are available to drink on the premises or in carryout containers for train journeys. Close by, Beer Nouveau is in old railway buildings in – of all places – Temperance Street. It's a small brewery run by Steve Dunkley, who plans to add a tasting room and a facility where customers can brew their own beer.
In the Northeast, at Monkseaton in Tyne & Wear, a new pub called the Left Luggage Room is based in a building previously used for storing bags and parcels in the train station, now part of the Metro line.
The Good Beer Guide - this year sponsored by real ale quality assessor Cask Marque - also salutes the boom in micro or pop-up pubs.
"In just a few short years, micropubs have become a national phenomenon," Roger Protz says. "The number has grown to more than 250, with just under half making it into the Good Beer Guide, and 29 of them have their own in-house breweries as well."
Micropubs regularly win CAMRA awards and two of them are still in the running for CAMRA's National Pub of the Year competition. The Brookstead Alehouse in Worthing and the Arvon Ale House in Llandrindod Wells have made the final shortlist of 16 regional winners, and will now hope to be named in the final four "super-regional" pubs competing for the coveted prize.
Martyn Hillier opened the first of the breed, the Butcher's Arms in Herne, Kent, in 2005. As the name implies, it's based in a former butcher's shop and has room for 10 people sitting and 20 standing, with beer served from the former butcher's cold store. Others are based in a variety of premises. Including funeral parlours, hairdressers and pet shops.
The just-opened Bumble Inn in Westgate, Peterborough, run by Tom Beran, is in a former pharmacy and can accommodate 35 people. It stands in sharp comparison to the Oakham Brewery Tap a few yards away, sited in a former Labour Exchange, and claimed to be the biggest brewpub in Europe. A second micropub is underway in Peterborough in a former bookmaker's in Church Street.
"You can't keep the good old British pub down," Roger Protz says. "It has always regenerated itself over the centuries and made spirited comebacks after wars and Puritan revolutions. Now beer lovers can enjoy great beer in often amazing and bizarre surroundings as a new wave of enthusiasts rides to the pub's rescue."
Micropubs featured in the Good Beer Guide
Old Transporter Ale House, Henlow
Cow & Cask, Newbury
Drayman's Son, Ely
Bank Micropub, Willingham
Barley Hops, Congleton (Also a bottled beer shop)
Ale Stop, Buxton
Chesterfield Alehouse, Chesterfield
Burnt Pig, Ilkeston
Stanley's Alehouse, Matlock
Chip & Pin, Melbourne
Beer Parlour, Whittington Moor
Pig & Pickle Taphouse, Exeter
Firkin Shed, Bournemouth
Wight Bear Ale House, Southbourne
Green Hops Real Ale Bar, Billingham
Golden Smog, Stockton-on-Tees
Billericay Brewing Co Shop & Micropub, Billericay
Hop Beer Shop, Chelmsford
Farmers Yard, Maldon
Gloucs & Bristol
Drapers Arms, Bristol: Horfield
Pear Tree Micropub, Charfield
Black Pig Ale House, Newnham
Butcher's Hook, Southampton
Beer in Hand, Hereford
Wheel Alehouse, Birchington-on-Sea
Thirty-Nine Steps Alehouse, Broadstairs
Just Reproach, Deal
Mash Tun, Dover
Furlongs Ale House, Faversham
Firkin Alehouse, Folkestone
Past & Present, Gillingham
Compass Alehouse, Gravesend
Butcher's Arms, Herne
Bouncing Barrel, Herne Bay
Two Halves, Margate
Hair of the Dog, Minster-in-Thanet
Conqueror Alehouse, Ramsgate
Hovelling Boat Inn, Ramsgate
Four Candles Alehouse, St Peter's
Yard of Ale, St Peter's
Paper Mill, Sittingbourne
10:50 From Victoria, Strood
Tankerton Arms, Tankerton
Black Dog, Whitstable
Barlick Tap Ale House, Barnoldswick
Bankers Draft, Barrowford
New Brew-m, Burnley
Shepherds Hall Ale House, Chorley
Boyce's Barrel, Colne
Market Ale House, Leyland
Beerhouse, Market Harborough
Priors Oven, Spalding
Upminster TapRoom, Upminster (East London)
Long Pond, SE9: Eltham (South-east London)
Beer Rebellion, SE16: Rotherhithe (South-east London)
Beer Rebellion, SE19: Gipsy Hill (South-east London)
Broken Drum, Blackfen (South-east London)
Penny Farthing, Crayford (South-east London)
One Inn the Wood, Petts Wood (South-west London)
Door Hinge, Welling (South-west London)
Chiverton Tap, Cheadle Hulme
Heaton Hops, Heaton Chapel
Micro Bar, Manchester: City Centre
Doc's Symposium, Wigan
Corner Post, Crosby
Liverpool Pigeon, Crosby
Lazy Landlord Ale House, Liscard
Cask, Liverpool: Stoneycroft
Tap & Bottles, Southport
Early Doors, Daventry
Little Ale House, Wellingborough
Curfew, Berwick upon Tweed
Beer Shack, Mansfield
Just Beer Micropub, Newark
Doctor's Orders, Nottingham
Whippet Inn, Lichfield
Bridge Street Ale House, Newcastle-under-Lyme
King's Ditch, Tamworth
Cask & Pottle, Tutbury
Cobbett's Real Ales, Dorking (also an off-licence)
Radius Arms, Whyteleafe
Watchmaker's Arms, Hove
Brooksteed Alehouse, Worthing
Old Star Ale & Cider House, Shoreham-by-Sea
Anchored in Worthing, Worthing
Tyne & Wear
Split Chimp, Newcastle upon Tyne: City Centre
Lord Hop, Nuneaton
Rugby Tap, Rugby
Stratford Alehouse, Stratford-upon-Avon
Hail to the Ale, Wolverhampton
Hop Inn, Swindon
Little Ale House, Bromsgrove
Chequers Micropub, Beverley
Butchers Dog, Driffield
Stackhouse Bar, Hornsea
Gallagher's Ale House, Cross Hills
Dr Phil's Real Ale House, Middlesbrough
Infant Hercules, Middlesbrough
Stumble Inn, Scarborough
Beer Engine, Skipton
Beer House, Sheffield: West
Calan's Micropub, Hebden Bridge
Cap & Collar, Saltaire
Little Penybont Arms, Pencoed
Queen's Head, Chepstow
Arvon Ale House, Llandrindod Wells
Notes to editors:
Beer quality assessor Cask Marque has sponsored the 2017 Good Beer Guide. Cask Marque makes over 22,000 unannounced visits to pubs each year and tests each cask ale on sale for temperature, appearance, aroma and taste. They are also the number one provider of Cellar Management Training in the UK.
The 44th edition of the Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide will be published in September and will list the best 4,500 pubs in the country chosen by its 180,000-plus membership.
More information on micropubs can be found at: www.micropubassociation.co.uk
CAMRA Press Office
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