Visited on: Wednesday 26th December 2018
The A Y’s Man is promoted as being the micropub by the beach and this is a true statement. But because of the increased height of the sea wall opposite, you cannot see the water or the beach. So the views from Marine Parade are not the same as once was.
The enlarging of the wall was necessary to ensure that should the Thames Barrier ever be closed for any considerable time, the back up of water would not flood Sheerness. Let none of that detract from the pleasures of this likeable micropub.
It opened in September 2018, so just three months previous to this Boxing Day visit. The couple behind its creation are Melvin and Margaret Hopper who were also responsible for the establishment of the Heritage micropub at Halfway on the Isle of Sheppey which opened on Friday 24th January 2014.
That was the second of the genre in the Swale Council area and now there are nine! And probably more to come! The Sheerness pub is so named because it was previously the AYS Electrical shop.
It was Boxing Day so we couldn’t use public transport. I was with Linda and she had great difficulty finding a parking place. A lot of the surrounding narrow roads have double yellow lines and those that don’t were full because of the holiday. Eventually we crossed the threshold into the welcoming bar room.
Inside we could see that the furniture was traditional wooden tables and chairs. These are covered with colourful cushions.
Beyond the two tables on the right side is a church pew and another table. There are two more tables next to the window and a further two along the left side of the pub.
Finally we get to the bar counter which is of course wooden. There are four hand pumps along the left wall and the glass washing facilities are at the back under a window looking out to the yard.
When we called in there were three cask beers on offer; Cellar Head (Flimwell, Kent) Amber Ale (4.0%); Range Brewing (Lympne, Kent) Rifleman IPA (4.5%) and Mat Cat (Brogdale, Faversham, Kent) Plum Sauce (4.0%), a plum infused porter.
They had a large number of ciders available, all from Lilley’s of Frome, Somerset. There were six flavoured ciders all at 4.0% abv and they were Rhubarb; Peach; Mango; Blackcurrant, Colider Cola and Cherries & Berries. Then for something more traditional they Gladiator Extra Strong cider (8.9%) and Bee Sting Perry (7.5%).
There is a quiz every Wednesday evening and on occasional Saturdays they host a Vinyl Appreciation Society night where customers bring their own LPs to play. A recent change has been that the Hoppers have sub-let (from 2nd March 2020) the pub to Steve Woodford, who has promised to extend the hours of opening, so check these before travelling. This is a good community pub that repays a visit.
A Y’s Man, 10, Marine Parade, Sheerness, Kent ME12 2AL. Tel: 07984 167216
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 17.30-21.30; Friday: 17.00-23.00; Saturday: 12.00-23.00; Sunday: 12.00-15.00.
Note opening hours are subject to change, please check with the pub or its Facebook page.
The pub is served by the 334 bus which runs from Maidstone to Sheerness via Sittingbourne.
It is operated by Arriva and runs every half hour during the day from Monday to Saturday
If coming from the Sittingbourne direction alight at Invicta Road. Walk forward and it is on the left.
In the reverse direction the stop is directly opposite the pub on the other side of the road.
Sheerness is the terminus of trains from Sittingbourne and they run every half hour.
You can catch the 334 bus to the pub from the stop on the other side of the road at the railway station.
Again alight at the Invicta Road stop, or you can walk from the station in about twenty minutes, see below.
To walk turn right outside the station into the High Street. At the clock tower turn left into Broadway.
Here pass the Royal Hotel on the left and the Napier on the right. You will then see the pub on the right.