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There has been a lot of talk about the supposedly burgeoning micropub movement, and apparently the CAMRA quarterly magazine Beer is going to be doing a feature on them in its next issue.
However, from counting the numbers on that page, there seems to be a grand total of six, of which four are in Kent, so it can’t exactly be said to be a movement that is sweeping the country. And, at a time when the traditional small, wet-led, adults-only, drink and chat pub has been in headlong retreat for a couple of decades, is that really going to be a model for success and expansion, nice as the thought might be?
There also seems to be a strong streak of living in the past about the whole thing. Refusing to serve lager harks back to the blinkered attitudes of the 1970s, while the comments of Martin Hillier of the Butcher’s Arms as quoted here that:
“I used to do red and white wine but it confused the ladies," Hillier says. "They'd start asking what red wine it was, and I'm not here to sell wine. So now it's just white wine. Simpler that way.”
come across as distinctly sexist and patronising. Indeed the views of the licensee of the Just Beer in Newark, who refuses to sell lemonade as it’s “the slippery slope to shandy” could be regarded as irresponsible.
Mind you, there is one activity that, if permitted solely in micropubs, might cause an astonishing surge in their popularity...