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Thread: Micropub Definitions

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    Down but not out Mobyduck's Avatar
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    Default Micropub Definitions

    Having a trawl (dredge) through CAMRA's Discourse forum earlier I spotted a link to the Pubs Galore Micropubs in the UK, with the comment "this is the most reliable and easily accessible resource", which is a good thumbs up for PuG. It got me thinking as to how definitive is it as a list that is in some quarters as being the best out there. Our list is defined (as far as I understand it} on a single persons definition of what is or isn't a micropub, i.e the person that marks it thus on the main site pub page.
    The example I have , and I'm sure there are others, is Overdraft in Southampton and Overdraft In Winchester, being sister pubs they are pretty much identical in what they look like and do. Neither are on our Micropub list, the Southampton one has been marked as no by Aqualung, presumably based on my comments that there are a couple of turntables, used at certain times of the week for music/DJ nights, I have marked the Winchester one as not a micropub for the same reasons, and Quinnos review hints of not being a true Micropub. However CAMRA's WhatPub Describe them as Micropubs and the Southampton venue is included on the Micropub and Microbrewery Association list of pubs,but strangely not its sister . So to cut a long story short ,a bit late now I know, If we have the definitive list on Micropubs are we doing it down with certain omitions based on slight technicality's, based on a particular members personal views or is it good that we are running a tight ship?
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    Please give generously Quinno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobyduck View Post
    If we have the definitive list on Micropubs are we doing it down with certain omitions based on slight technicality's, based on a particular members personal views or is it good that we are running a tight ship?
    Well like all other things with a name, what is a micropub? Hillier's club is a very narrow worldview which would never last as other operators looked at the 'rent an empty shop space' and just run a place in whichever way they see fit (music, lager etc etc). If micro means small, well what abut places like the Nutshell in BSE?

    Much like Turtle Bay / what is a pub, it's down to the individual...was it Mary Whitehouse who said she couldn't define filth but knew it when she saw it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinno View Post
    Well like all other things with a name, what is a micropub? Hillier's club is a very narrow worldview which would never last as other operators looked at the 'rent an empty shop space' and just run a place in whichever way they see fit (music, lager etc etc). If micro means small, well what abut places like the Nutshell in BSE?

    Much like Turtle Bay / what is a pub, it's down to the individual...was it Mary Whitehouse who said she couldn't define filth but knew it when she saw it?
    Real Ale : despite the misleading name - it seems to sell keg only - I don't know if this should be listed as a Micro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinno View Post
    Was it Mary Whitehouse who said she couldn't define filth but knew it when she saw it?
    I suspect it was and at least this gave me a good laugh over this thorny subject.

    I know what a "proper" micropub is and here are my guidelines :-

    It should just sell real ale, optionally real cider and wines, soft drinks including tea and coffee, no keg and no spirits. The size of the place is completely irrelevant. There should be no music other than live acoustic, no TV, and no jukeboxes or other electronic machines.

    There are plenty of these places around and then we come to the rest.

    Many places break one or more of these rules, the most common being selling a selection of spirits (usually obscure gins). Other ones have included a few crafty offerings or maybe a non mainstream lager. You'll also find TVs in some or music systems. I went to one in Standish last week that had a TV on but it was showing Countdown! I had a long stay in Wigan Central last week which is one of the original ones on the Micropub Association list and while it's a great place it's really a small pub rather than a micropub as music was playing the whole time I was there and several people were drinking lager. The best example of all this grief is the Gypsy Rover in Redcar which says it's a micropub on the window but inside they have some mainstream keg products, a large TV screen and live music several nights of the week.

    The only suggestion I can come up with is that any new venue that has no cask ale at all or regular live amplified music or a permanently in use TV with BT Sports and / or Sky Sports isn't a micropub.

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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tris39 View Post
    Real Ale : despite the misleading name - it seems to sell keg only - I don't know if this should be listed as a Micro.
    The way I see it is that no cask means it's not a micropub. That doesn't mean I wouldn't visit if it was outside the South.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    I suspect it was and at least this gave me a good laugh over this thorny subject.

    I know what a "proper" micropub is and here are my guidelines :-

    It should just sell real ale, optionally real cider and wines, soft drinks including tea and coffee, no keg and no spirits. The size of the place is completely irrelevant. There should be no music other than live acoustic, no TV, and no jukeboxes or other electronic machines.

    There are plenty of these places around and then we come to the rest.

    Many places break one or more of these rules, the most common being selling a selection of spirits (usually obscure gins). Other ones have included a few crafty offerings or maybe a non mainstream lager. You'll also find TVs in some or music systems. I went to one in Standish last week that had a TV on but it was showing Countdown! I had a long stay in Wigan Central last week which is one of the original ones on the Micropub Association list and while it's a great place it's really a small pub rather than a micropub as music was playing the whole time I was there and several people were drinking lager. The best example of all this grief is the Gypsy Rover in Redcar which says it's a micropub on the window but inside they have some mainstream keg products, a large TV screen and live music several nights of the week.

    The only suggestion I can come up with is that any new venue that has no cask ale at all or regular live amplified music or a permanently in use TV with BT Sports and / or Sky Sports isn't a micropub.
    I have 2 close by.The Dodo which would fit your rules but the Owl and Pussycat which I was in last night would fall foul as he brews and sells his own rather good keg beers.

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    This Space For Hire Delboy20's Avatar
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    This is from the "Micropubs in the UK" Facebook group-

    Micropubs included in this group should follow the original Micropub Association concept

    A micropub by the original definition is “A micropub is a small freehouse which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and dabbles in traditional pub snacks”

    They have the same debate on what is or isn't on there too.

    It says "mainly cask ale" - that suggests to me that they can sell other drinks including keg and spirits.

    This is worse than "Turtle Bay gate"!!


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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by london calling View Post
    I have 2 close by.The Dodo which would fit your rules but the Owl and Pussycat which I was in last night would fall foul as he brews and sells his own rather good keg beers.
    Remember my guidelines are for a "proper" micropub. I haven't been to either but suspect they both deserve to be flagged as ones. If the Owl and Pussycat had no cask at all then I would not call it a micropub.
    This has nothing to do with my own preferences but more the original template for these places. A decent "craft" keg would probably make me stay for one more if it wasn't too much of a rip off.

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    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delboy20 View Post
    This is worse than "Turtle Bay gate"!!
    You're not wrong there and the Micropub Association includes several venues that break their own guidelines. I get the impression that overall What Pub takes a more stringent line than on here. This depends entirely on the individual from the local branch that maintains it.

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    Waterborne Beer Inspector Bucking Fastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tris39 View Post
    Real Ale : despite the misleading name - it seems to sell keg only - I don't know if this should be listed as a Micro.


    I visited this place recently and didn't activate the Micropub tab but left it listed as "Unknown ".Essentially it's a bottle shop but also serves beer on the premises.Although it appears all keg,I didn't ask whether some of the beers came from key kegs,which I believe is now OK from a CAMRA point of view viz real ale.I have been to micro's that do offer key keg along with cask.

    All I know is that IMHO the beer selection in Real Ale on my trip was excellent and I spent a while in there drinking.It was too close a call for me to hit the Micropub tab.

    I noticed that the WhatPub entry is completely wrong.
    Last edited by Bucking Fastard; 14-02-2019 at 17:17.
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