5000 micropubs 'will open in five years'

By Naomi Larsson

- Last updated on GMT

5000 micropubs 'will open in five years'

Related tags Cask ale Beer

Up to 5,000 micropubs will open in the UK over the next five years, according to the Micropub Association founder.

At the end of 2013 there were 50 micropubs trading, and last month the association announced it had reached the 100 opening of a micropub in the UK with the Lanes in Dover, Kent.

Founder of the association, Martyn Hillier said: “Our track record shows they’ve been successful. So far we’ve only had one failure.”

Hillier is credited as starting the micropub movement by opening the Butchers Arms in Herne, Kent in 2005 – an old butcher’s shop. The pub has a trading area of just 14ft by 12ft.

He said he “was at the right place at the right time”, when the Licensing Act 2003 was implemented which made it easier to get a licence.

In 2012 Hillier formed the association with Stu Hirst, which now has 857 members and has seen micropubs pop up across the country.

In the future, he says micropubs will replace wet-led pubs and could number 5,000 by 2020.

The association defines a micropub as follows: "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".

Hillier added that the sector is moving back to how pubs were in the 1830s, focussing on real ale and conversation. “There’s no lager, no food, and no music – just ale.

“It’s about getting people back out again who’ve stopped going to pubs. In traditional pubs it’s not the norm to speak to someone you don’t know, but it’s the done thing in micropubs.”

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