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Ledbury's first micropub opens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Friday, 22 July 2016 21:26



Ledbury's first micropub opened on Friday, 22nd July 2016.

The Lion is in the former Age Concern premises in Bye Street, but this is a reversion to the building's original use as a public house.  A list prepared by the late H.T. (Ike) Madders of over 40 public houses in Ledbury in 1830 includes the White Lion (as it was then known).  According to a long-standing Ledbury resident, the White Lion closed in about 1960.  A few other pubs have have closed since then, the most recent being The White Hart in Church Street, in 2001.  It is good to see a buck to the trend of about 29 pubs closing per week nationally (averaged throughout the second half of 2014, according to CAMRA).

The project was very much under wraps - with blinds in the windows during renovation.  The old Age Concern sign above the front door was replaced with the pub's name board only the day before it opened.

Opening hours: 4pm 'til 9:30pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays;
4pm 'til 10:30pm Fridays and Saturdays;
Noon 'til 4pm Sundays.

Closed Mondays. All closing times are 'ish'.

There is space for four casks with cooling jackets from which beer is poured direct.  Only local beers will be sold, the intention being to keep one cask of Wye Valley and the remainder from Ledbury Real Ales.   The varieties will change depending on availability.  '1985' lager from Wye Valley (a new product, launched in June 2016 - the name being the year in which Wye Valley started brewing), and Appleshed cider (made from Herefordshire apples), are also available.

The front bar was very busy on opening day and echoey with conversation - mainly owing to the hard floor and no soft furnishings.  There is also a back room with tables and chairs.  Some of the interior decorations are 'retro', including an Eumig ciné projector and a 1930s radio:

Licensees Chris and Felicity Solly said business has been very good during the few weeks the pub has been open.  There is no piped music, television or Wi-Fi, and children are not admitted.  The only food available is packaged snacks.

According to the Micropub Association, a Micropub is defined as follows: '(it) is a small free house that listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and dabbles in traditional pub snacks.'

There may be differences between the pubs; they may or may not have a bar, they might serve beer straight from the cask or through hand pumps. But they are united in one philosophy: a simple pub with the focus on cask beer and conversation for entertainment - very much as the White Lion would have been in 1830.  The basic premise is KIS, KIS - Keep It Small, Keep It Simple.

The first micropub in the country opened on 2005 in Herne, Kent.  The Beer In Hand in Hereford,  Herefordshire's first micropub, opened in 2013.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 19:37

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