The UK has seen a swarth of “micropubs” launched — a no frills, tiny version of the neighborhood pub that focuses on quality cask ales and conversations amongst patrons.
The micropub’s emergence comes at a very interesting time for the British brewing industry. Another of the last government’s actions was the introduction of small brewers’ relief, whereby those brewers who produced less than a certain amount paid less tax. The impact has been dramatic: there are now almost 800 breweries operating in the UK. Hillier believes the microbreweries’ products are a natural fit for a micropub. “The biggest problem new breweries have got is: where do they sell their beer?” he says. “If they sell it to the big boys, they want to pay nothing for it and pay you three months later, or you sell it to free houses – well, these days all they seem to be interested in is food. For every microbrewery, there should be 10 micropubs.”