Hopes for a ‘bitter’ luck with Eastwood Micro-pub plan

editorial image

A local beer lover is praying he has a ‘bitter luck’ as he tries to open a new micro-pub that will be all about the ale.

Aaron Butler, 36 from Newthorpe, is hoping to start the business in a former charity shop on Nottingham Road, Hilltop, with a philosophy of keeping it low-key – a quiet place to try all kinds of local and international beers without all the nonsense.

Alongside his wife Carrie, 33, who will run the “Tap and Growler” day-to-day, Aaron has been a beer lover for years and producers his own home-brew in the shed.

“I wouldn’t dare sell it though, I’d never put anyone through that,” he said. “We made cider once from our own pear trees. It was 12 per cent.”

Aaron, who actually has a background in IT, said: “It was a friend who works in the industry that planted the seed in our minds, so we did some research and found these tiny pubs are cropping up all over.”

Four new micro-pubs are opening every month, and it’s because the larger pubs are struggling under heavy charges from breweries which also limits what they can offer customers, said Aaron.

He added: “With these smaller pubs you get more of a community feel, it’s a smaller space, it feels more tight-knit and also with the beer, we don’t want to open up a place selling cheap lager, we want to be able to have different tastes, give people the experience of trying something new.

“We’ve been to a few and they’re really positive environments, everyone talks to each other. The owners weren’t keen on it being a pub, so we had to reassure them that it was going to be a small community pub for a quiet drink.

“The idea is to keep costs down,” says Aaron. “So we won’t have any music, no spirits, so people can just have a cheap night out – it’s not about that, it’s all about the beer and the cider.”

Aaron and Carrie have submitted planning permission to request a change of use of the building and await a decision at the next planning committee meeting in June.

Their application Although a limited amount of real ales are available at the local pub, The Greasley Castle our proposal will be a complimentary, niche market establishment aimed at the mature and responsible drinker and anyone who may wish to try something a bit different to the recognised ‘pub’ model.

“Micro pubs serve no keg beers/lagers or spirits which deters certain clientele that may be prone to antisocial behavior. Our target market are those who enjoy the social setting of the old style

pubs of the past but do not enjoy the busy atmosphere and rowdiness of the local Wetherspoons,

“Under the Micropub Association guidelines, the model for a micropub is that it should be of small size, have no music or no electronic machines which in turn provides a good friendly atmosphere with conversation.”

The simplicity of the proposal is based on the original ethos of Martyn Hillier and the first Micropub founded in Herene Bay, in Kent.

Previously a charity shop, Aaron and Carrie’s micro-pub will have a rustic feel, stripped back to the brickwork with tiled floors and barrels on display.

The pub will be open until 10pm five nights a week and offer a range of drinks you wouldn’t find in the shops. Punters can take beer and cider from the tap home with them in reusable “growlers”.

Now awaiting planning permission in to ask for a change of use, Aaron hopes to have a result by June, which would give the couple the go-ahead to rent the property and get to work on the interior.