I felt it appropriate to delay this month’s beery blog by a week, so that it would coincide with an exciting new business venture, in Burnley town centre.
The town’s first micropub, the Beer Shack, opens its doors tomorrow, directly across from the Big Window, on Manchester Road.
However, it will not have much in common with the watering hole on the t’other side of the road – or indeed, many other watering holes in town.
Micropubs are a relatively new concept in beer and cider drinking.
I would describe them as a good old-fashioned “Drinking Den”. Basically, a relatively small, one room establishment, selling cask ales, real cider and soft drinks.
No fizzy lager here, I’m afraid. Guinness, “smooth” ale and other keg beverage slurpers, will be disappointed too. All these drinks will be declared void on the beer menu chalkboard .
Wine and sprits are also swerved.
But there is no music, no television and no profiteering gaming machines to lighten your pockets either.
Food is also off the menu – but you may spy a few bags of pork scratchings and other nibbles - if you are lucky.
The Beer Shack will be a simple pub.
The emphasis being on fine, cask ales and conversation for entertainment. There will be eight rotating beers to temp your taste buds. Real cider “connoisseurs” will be able to cast their eyes over four, five, maybe even six selections.
I feel sure the micropub concept will be ideally suited to the real ale and cider quaffers of East Lancashire.
They are generally a sociable, affable and friendly bunch.
Beer Shack will be a place where you can go for a quiet drink, a natter with a friend – or maybe a “chin-wag” with a stranger – who will quickly become a friend.
Some of you may be sceptical of this new style of drinking and socialising. Let’s face it boozers are closing at a rapid rate.
However, micropubs are bucking this trend – it’s a rapidly growing trend nationally. In fact, I am surprised one such establishment has taken so long to present itself in the locality.
I have to say I did raise a titter, when some locals voiced a negative and somewhat uneducated view, when the micropub licence was first applied for.
Some were fearful of loud music and lager swilling patrons supping discount ale – one even thought that a brewery may be operating in the bowels of the premises, spewing out undesirable aromas.
Of course, if the dissenters had done their research, their initial fears would have allayed immediately.
No lager, no music and certainly no brewery, were ever, ever going to be on the agenda.
Beer Shack will, in my opinion, weave itself seamlessly into the social fabric of East Lancashire’s craft ale appreciating public.
Aficionados of cask beer and real cider will no doubt throng en masse to this town centre watering hole, to sample beverages from Stranraer to St Austell.
It will be a great place to have some relaxation – and of course a natter – I like a natter.