‘Micropub’ set to open in Burnley centre

James Mansfield who is opening Burnley's first 'micropub' called The Beer Shack.
James Mansfield who is opening Burnley's first 'micropub' called The Beer Shack.

Real ale fans will be taken back to the future when Burnley’s first “micropub” opens for business.

Bosses of the Beer Shack want to bring back the old fashioned 1960s community pub experience to 21st Century Burnley.

The pint-sized bar in Manchester Road does not sell lager, alcopops or even play music – but will be a haven for lovers of craft beers.

It is among the first micropubs to open in Lancashire and owner James Mansfield believes it will be a hit with drinkers as well as boosting the local brewing industry.

He said: “A micropub is a one-room premises and we sell only real ale, real cider, wine and soft drinks.

“There are no spirits, no alcopops, no music, dukebox or gaming machines.

“The only thing we rely on is being a good community pub with good conservation where people can enjoy a game of chess, dominoes or cards.

“It is taking it back to the old community pubs of the 60s and 70s.”

James, who runs another micropub in Nottingham where he has his own microbrewery Medieval Beers, was keen to set up his new venture in the town. He said: “Why not come to Burnley? Burnley is an up-and-coming town, there is a real ale scene, it has a fantastic beer festival and some great real ale pubs and breweries around the town.

“The closest micropubs to Burnley are in Liverpool and Carnforth so it is a real first for the area.

“It is something quite quirky and different for the town that will draw people in.” The micropub was granted planning permission by Burnley Council but councillors imposed the condition that no ale should be brewed at the former hairdressing salon.

Despite the “no brewing” rule, James said drinkers can expect dozens of different beers and ciders on the pub’s eight hand pumps every month.

He will even be serving up locally-sourced produce including pies, pork scratchings and even cheese at the bar.

He said: “There is a ‘locale’ principle. It supports all the local breweries and gives them another outlet which is a pub that specialises in beer.

“Micropubs and microbreweries ‘swap’ beer from county to county so people get to try things they have never tasted before.

“Our other micropub in Nottingham has had 260 different beers in six months. It is a beer festival every day with all real ales and ciders.”

The Beer Shack is hoping to open its doors to customers early in March.