By Tristan Harris Thursday 10 October 2013 Updated: 12/10 12:57
A NEW Bromsgrove pub which takes drinkers back to how ale used to be served opened its doors on Worcester Road yesterday evening (Friday).
But it was touch and go for The Little Alehouse earlier this week as landlord Terry Bacon found himself in a race against time to get official permission from Bromsgrove District Council.
Planning conditions, including getting work done to insulate the walls and ceiling, were put on the application and, although it had been completed, it needed to be verified and signed off by council officers.
Mr Bacon only gained access to the premises a fortnight ago and, because of that, was only able to return the relevant documents last week.
The process of discharging the planning conditions normally takes eight weeks, but the authority worked quickly with Mr Bacon to get the legalities turned around in just days and the new venue can now open on time. That was crucial as Mr Bacon has overheads to cover.
He thanked the council for their help, especially officer Laura Buckton.
Bromsgrove District Council's head of planning and regeneration Ruth Bamford said: "Officers understood the plight of this fledgling business and by working closely with the applicant and the expert consultant, we were able to turn the request around in three days."
Mr Bacon said: "I'm so relieved we can open on time - everyone I have spoken to thinks it's a brilliant idea, with many saying it is what Bromsgrove needs."
This is the town's first 'micro pub' - the first one nationwide was in Kent where it proved very popular, leading to more being created.
Unlike other venues, there will be no jukebox, no live music and no fruit machines at the venue, which will offer six different real ales, two to three ciders and, later, a perry.
There will be no beer pumps and everything will be tapped straight from barrels, as is done at beer festivals.
"We wanted to take it back to how it has traditionally been done and encourage the art of conversation," added Mr Bacon.
The venture has been backed by Redditch and Bromsgrove CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale)
The group's chairman, Paul Richards, said: "With so many pubs under threat of closure because of stringent beer tie regulations, it’s fantastic to see that Bromsgrove is starting to reverse the trend with its first micro pub.
"We wish them every success and will be there to toast them very soon."
Mr Bacon said he hoped visitors to the venue would provide feedback about The Little Ale House, stating what they liked about it, what they would like to see there and even suggestions for beers, ciders and perries.
It will open at 5pm tomorrow and then from 12midday to 10pm each day.
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