From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A Micropub is a very small, one room public house. The concept is attributed to publican Martyn Hillier and his pub, The Butchers Arms, in Herne, Kent, England.


The definition of a Micropub is difficult. It is a set of ethics rather than a set of rules

A 'Micropub' according to the Micropub Association is defined 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'

There may be differences between the pubs; they may or may not have a bar, they might serve beer straight from the cask or through hand pumps. But they are united in one philosophy. A simple pub with the focus on cask beer and conversation for entertainment. The basic premise is KIS, KIS – Keep It Small, Keep It Simple


Martyn Hillier of the Micropub Association

It became easier to set up a small independent public house following the passing of the 2003 Licensing Act, which became effective in 2005.[1]

The original Micropub, The Butchers Arms in Herne, Kent, was opened in 2005 by Martyn Hillier[1] after spending several years as an off-licence. In 2009, Martyn gave a presentation to the AGM of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), in Eastbourne, showing the simplicity of the 'Micropub' model and encouraging other people to follow his lead.

It proved to be a catalyst with the Rat Race Ale House in Hartlepool six months later[1] and Just Beer Micropub in Newark-on-Trent opening August 2010, soon after followed by The Conqueror Alehouse the same year. Since then, there have been several more Micropubs opening such as The Just Reproach in Deal, Kent and the Bake & Alehouse in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent with many more reported to be setting up as can be seen from the lists below.[citation needed]

In June 2012, the Micropub Association was set up by Stu Hirst and Martyn Hillier as a resource for other would-be Micropubs, to give free advice on the setting up and running of a successful Micropub.

Martyn said on his website:

“The Micropub Association will be a place where like-minded real ale lovers can share their Micropub experiences. The Micropub Association will also be a platform for the new Micropubs to tell the beer drinking community about themselves. A successful Micropub is based upon good ale and lively banter and I want this to come across through the Micropub Association.

Ultimately I’d like to think that we could become a useful lobby group to support the likes of CAMRA and SIBA, promoting the real ale experience”.[this quote needs a citation]

From 1st October 2014 the Micropub Association launched its official Micropub recognition scheme, which allows Micropub owners to register as a 'Recognised Micropub Member'. To qualify a Micropub must commit to holding up the tenets and ethics of the Association's definition of what it means to be a Micropub. Once accepted a personalised certificate, with one year's validity, is issued for display in the establishment to demonstrate to visitors that it is promoting the ethics and tenets of what it means to be a Micropub.

In April 2015, planning permission was granted to open the very first Micropub in Scotland. Rutherfords, based in Kelso in the Scottish Borders.


Hail to the Ale micropub, Claregate, Wolverhampton (January 2014)

Micropubs currently open, listed in chronological order by month in which they opened:

Micropubs due to open if planning permission is granted:

Micropubs not on the official list (but should/could be classed as one):

Micropubs which have ceased trading and are closed, listed in chronological order in which they ceased trading:

  • The Why Not, Westgate-on-Sea, Kent (Originally opened Dec 2012, closed Sep 2013 and re-opened under new management Nov 2013, closed again Nov 2013). The Why Not has now closed, following the murder of the landlady/licensee.
  • The Arlington, Dover, Kent (Originally opened Aug 2014, closed after death of licensee in Summer 2015).


In September 2012, CAMRA announced its 16 regional round winners of the 2012 National Pub of the Year (POTY) competition, amongst which were two Micropubs, Just Beer Micropub in Newark, Notts (East Midlands regional winner), and The Conqueror Alehouse in Ramsgate, Kent (Kent regional winner). In November 2012 CAMRA announced that The Conqueror Alehouse had been chosen to be one of the four finalists in this competition. In September 2014, CAMRA announced its 16 regional round winners of the 2014 National Pub of the Year (POTY) competition, amongst which was one Micropub, The Door Hinge in Welling (London regional winner).

Micropubs punch above their light weight in quality, being around fifty times more numerous in the CAMRA Top Sixteen Pubs than their numbers would suggest. Whilst Micropubs constitute only 0.4% of all pubs that sell Real Ale, three of the CAMRA Top Sixteen pubs in its 2015 National Pub of the Year competition were Micropubs. They were: Hail to the Ale, One Inn The Wood and Yard of Ale. In November 2015 CAMRA announced that Yard of Ale (Kent regional winner) had been chosen to be one of the four finalists in this competition.

In April 2015 CAMRA announced that Martyn Hillier had been chosen as the Campaigner of the Year at its 2015 AGM for his tireless work giving advice to other would-be Micropub owners and for founding the growing Micropub Association.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Hawkes, Will (17 February 2011). "A local pub for local people: 'Micropubs' are catching on". The Independent. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Tankerton Arms". Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Herne Bay Community Group Projects Limited report". Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Fate of Wolverhampton micro pub plan to be decided". Express & Star. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Canterbury City Council Decision Notice". Retrieved 7 February 2013. 

External links[edit]