Sunday 10th March 2013
Although it is not far from Derby city centre I found this pub a little hard to find, although after having made the effort, I'm glad I did locate it. Possibly the easiest way to approach it would be along the footpath on the bank of the River Derwent. There is a gate from this in to the pub via the garden. It was a freezing cold night with snow flurries in the air when I spotted the welcoming lights of the pub. Inside I found it to be equally as warm. It was very busy so I was able to look around. It's nowadays on big room but it is obvious there were more than one in the past.
The Furnace in its present incarnation is the brainchild of Pedro Menon who purchased the pub in the early summer of 2012. He bought it from Greene King as it was a Hardy Hanson's pub. Their Kimberley brewery was closed by Greene King in the mid 2000s after they had been taken over. The pub's name comes from the fact that there was once a Foundry nearby. The pub looks as if it dates from the mid-nineteenth century at the height of the Industrial Revolution.
Pedro was a credit analyst with Egg Bank and was made redundant. His first desire was to brew his own beer and wanted to start a brewery. However, the Furnace Inn possessed the necessary room to build one so he bought the pub and then sought planning permission for the brewery at the rear.
He had perfected his brewing skills by brewing the first of his Shiny Brewery beers at the Nutbrook Brewery of West Hallam, Derbyshire. However by December 2012 the planning permission was granted, a six barrel brewery constructed and the first beers brewed. By the time I visited, three months after, I noticed that there was already a fine display of pump clips.
It would appear the following have already been brewed: Launch Pad (3.9%); Golden Man (4.1%); Reflection IPA (5.1%); 4Wood Best Bitter (4.5%); New World (3.7%); Obsidian Mild (4.0%) and Chopper Bitter (4.1%). Sadly, there was only one of these on offer when I popped in and that was Shiny Reflection IPA (5.1%), which I thought was excellent.
Other beers available were Otley (Pontypridd, South Wales) 01 (4.0%); Muirhouse (Ilkeston, Derbys) Rud of Rowallane (5.0%); Raw (Staveley, Derbys) Citra Black (4.4%) and Nutbrook (West Hallam, Derbys) The Craic (4.7%). For cider lovers there were Three Cats (Morley, Derbys) Cider (6.7%) and Sheppy's (Bradford-on-Tone, Somerset) Farmhouse Cider (6.0%).
This is both a destination (for the beer, of course) pub and also a local's pub. It is good already but it is relatively early days and it can only get better. There's a 20p pence a pint discount for CAMRA members and is easily accessible from the centre, so there is no excuse not to visit this excellent pub if you are in Derby.
The Furnace Inn, 9 Duke Street, Derby DE1 3BX. Tel: 01332 385981
Open: Monday-Thursday 16.00-23.30; Friday-Saturday 12.00-00.30; Sunday 12.00-24.00
The pub is about ten minutes from the city centre. Find Sowter Road and walk along it in a northerly direction under the dual-carriageway. After this turn left into Duke Street and the pub is on the right. Alternatively, access the west (left) bank path along the River Derwent and walk north, again under the ring road and eventually you will find the gate into the garden of the Furnace on the left.