There looks to be a definition of what a Micropub should be on Wikipedia whether you think this is a slightly truncated version of what a Micropub or MicroBar should be is a matter for your own judgement.
There’s a few of them about now and not a single one of them is the same, how’s that for diversity, we will all know some fantastic examples of what we (you) consider to be a good micropub, I thought I would write a few of my own thoughts on what I believe makes a good Bijou drinking establishment.
It seems people start small bars for all sorts of reasons, time for a change, a love of beer, a delight in the pub atmosphere, a retirement plan (haha, not a hint of ironic laugh in there honest!), a business opportunity to make money, the list will go on….
My Definition of Micropub:
- A small pub built in a retail unit that should be low-ish rent and more than likely Business Rates free.
- Should be a welcoming ‘all-accepting’ environment to the whole human race, even dogs if you so wish, though anyone who would see fit to spoil that environment is turned around and showed the door.
- The Beer range; beers should be changing, beers could be local, beers should not be anything you can buy from a Tied Pub, beers shouldn’t be tied to a brewery, for the most part regional and family brewers shouldn’t be on the bar, and of utmost importance is that the beer range should be interesting and satisfy as broad a range of tastes as possible. Beers should ideally be in Cask, Keg & Bottle/Can.
- Avoid music other than a bit of background for ambiance, occasional live music is fine, no TV!
- Other drinks; tea and coffee for starters, soft drinks preferably not from a multinational company, small but distinct Spirit range, maybe a wine or two and Prosecco, a good local Cider if available.
- Use the range of drinks and the price of them to deter the aforementioned nob-heads.
- Have nice toilets, they may have a space constraint, but do your damnedest to ensure they are fully functioning, clean and fit for all of the diverse lovely humans the world produces (Space constraints may scupper that last part but thats no reason not to try).
- Don’t go getting tied into certain ‘brands’ as its blatantly off putting to some drinkers who will vote with their feet. The same goes for the brewers who continually produce wishy washy pish water, that beer may be cheap to buy but they really aren’t interesting to drinkers.
- The Owners of the micropub should have an interest in good beer and it not just be a business to make money.
A couple of practicalities for new Micropub owners…
- Empty Cask storage, when you sign that premises lease ensure you have ample cask storage as there will be a time when you have too many empties.
- Opening hours, these obviously have to fit around your ‘other life’, brewers try hard to deliver and collect around your hours and within standard working hours so bear in mind that you may need to be flexible for deliveries and empty collections, if a brewers is passing they will check for empties, if you aren’t around they will go uncollected… so see the point above.
How that sound? Answers on a Postcard to the usual address…