Saturday 13th February 2016
When Linda and myself approached this pub just after midday we were not sure whether it was open or not as the blackboard outside was lying flat. Then she spotted some movement inside and we drew a sigh of relief. Once inside we noticed that it was a bit bigger than the average micropub yet this is no criticism.
The term just means a small pub (smallish in this case). I am aware of some people that say, oh this or that one is not a micropub; nonsense. In conversation with Martyn Hillier, the founder of the first, the Butchers Arms in Herne, Kent, He observed that it didn’t matter that some of them sold spirits or food as they all sold cask beer. I couldn’t agree more.
We entered opposite a small room that appeared to be an overflow from the main room as it also seemed to be used for storage.
After turning right into the main room we could see that the bar counter was at the far end. It is L-shaped and we settled next to it at a tall table. There is a large logo of the pub along the left side wall and large windows on the right that let in a lot of light.
There are some pump clips of beers past decorating the walls. I noticed that the furniture was a mixture of the normal type of pub tables and chairs, a church pew and even an orange-coloured chaise-longue by the window.
There’s a piano close to the entrance and I think that it is occasionally used, as they do support local bands on some nights. There was a small raised area in one corner which I guess acts as a stage.
However it was difficult to decide what beer to have as one of the personnel was re-writing the blackboard. We ordered a couple of beers but they were both very cloudy. This was questioned with the man behind the bar.
One, he said was cloudy intentionally as he was told the same by the brewer when it was delivered the previous day. Regarding the other he thought that because he had banged in a tap to the adjacent cask with a mallet, this had caused the problem.
One of these beers definitely didn’t taste very good and it was exchanged. I am sure that this was an isolated incident and any future visit will not encounter a similar problem.
However guys, there are some things that could be improved very easily. If a beer is deliberately cloudy put a notice on the cask and indicate that fact on the blackboard. Also, it would greatly help if you tap the casks and write the blackboard before you open, thus saving a lot of confusion to your customers.
I don’t want to appear too negative as this is a great pub with a very good selection of beers. They can serve from up to twelve different firkins at a time but I would guess that the figure is lower than that for much of the time.
These are arranged in two rows on a large metal stillage with self-tilting mechanisms for each. Cooling is done with a system of lagged pipes of cool water that pass through each cask.
I believe this was the definitive list of beers available when we visited: Très Bien (Tur Langton, Leicestershire) Pacific Gem Special (4.5%); Hart Family Brewers (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire) House Bitter (3.6%); MHB (Market Harborough, Leicestershire) Pale (4.1%); Oakham (Peterborough, Cambridgeshire) Citra (4.2%) and Fuggle Bunny Brew House (Sheffield, South Yorkshire) Oh Crumbs! (3.8%).
And that was not all as the list continues with: Towcester Mill (Towcester, Northamptonshire) Black Fire (5.2%); Big Rabbit (Cullumpton, Devon) Black Annie Stout (4.5%); Springhead (Laneham, Nottinghamshire) Roaring Meg (5.5%) and two from Nene Valley Brewery (Oundle, Northamptonshire) Dark Horse Mild (3.8%) and Jim’s Little Brother (3.8%).
There were two draught still ciders available, both from the Bottle Kicking Cider Co of Hallaton, Leicestershire: Rambler (6.0%) and Blackcurrant (5.0%). As can be seen, this is a fantastic range of beers and it is pleasing to see so many small East Midland producers amongst them.
The pub was the brainchild of former off-licence manager Jon Pollard, who opened it on 5th December 2014 in the premises of an old furniture shop along with business partner Ivan Sheldrake.
There’s a lot going on in the Beerhouse. Monday night is Quiz Night, Comedy Night occurs every third Thursday in the month. There are often live bands at weekends. No food apart from pub snacks in packets. However, there is a Fish & Chip shop just ten metres away and you are allowed to bring in food. As a matter of supplementary interest I notice when we left the Market Harborough Brewery (MHB) was on the other side of St Mary’s Road, so here’s a photograph of it.
This pub is well worth the short walk from the town centre and is around ten minutes walk away from the railway station. I hope to revisit soon.
The Beerhouse, 76 St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough LE16 7DX. Tel: 07738 086184
Open: Monday-Wednesday 18.00-23.00; Thursday-Saturday 12.00-23.00;
As alluded to above, the pub is less than ten minutes walk from the town centre. It is a similar distance from the railway station. From the station walk down the station approach road turning right with it. At the road junction keep walking in the same direction. Keep walking over another road junction. You will then see the Fish & Chip shop on the left side of St. Mary’s Road. Cross to that side of the road and turn left just before it. The pub is on the right a little way down the yard.
Market Harborough station is served by East Midlands Trains who call there twice and hour Monday to Saturday on their route from London St Pancras to Nottingham via Leicester. At Leicester it is possible to change for many East Midlands towns and further beyond. There are considerably less trains on Sundays.