Pub forced to make changes to 'self-serve wall'

By James Beeson

- Last updated on GMT

Self-service: Thirsty Souls will still allow customers to pour their own pints
Self-service: Thirsty Souls will still allow customers to pour their own pints

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage

A pub that allows customers to pour their own pints was forced to make changes after being told it was in violation of licensing laws.

The Thirsty Souls pub in Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, is now only allowed to sell beer in three measurements.

Customers at the pub had previously been allowed to purchase beer and cider in whatever quantity they desired using a top-up card.

However, in order to meet national licensing laws, the pub has been forced to scale this back to pints, halves and thirds.

Experience is 'no different'

According to the gov.uk website,​ pubs can only serve draught beer and cider in servings of a third, a half, two thirds and multiples of half a pint.

Owner John Taylor said that the changes would make no difference to the customer experience.

“We are keen to work with Stockton Council and trading standards,” he told Gazette Live​. “With it being such a new concept in the area, we were trying to get our heads around how it works.

“Then we spent a day with Tees Valley Measurement and they ensure the measurements are all calibrated. In terms of the customer experience, it’s no different.”

Cutting-edge technology

The pub has also removed its signature Prosecco tap after being informed that the drink can only be called such if it is served from a bottle. The drink can still be ordered, but must be done so from the bar.

Stockton Council’s cabinet member for access, communities and community safety Councillor Steve Nelson said: “Thirsty Souls is one of a number of great new bars in Stockton town centre and its self-serve drinks taps concept is proving to be big hit on the town centre’s fast-growing pub circuit.

“The dispensing technology the bar is using is really cutting-edge and we’ve been more than happy to help John set the systems up in a way that meets national licensing laws.”

Related topics: Beer, Licensing law, Ale & Stout, Cider, Lager

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