Visited on: Sunday 28th January 2018
As its name indicates New Mills was founded as an old cotton weaving town. The mills were built here to exploit the water power of the streams and rivers. It sits quite high up the side of the River Goyt valley. Nearly every building is constructed of the local stone.
It’s deep in the heartlands of Robinson’s brewery of Stockport and most of the pubs in the area are still operated by them. That is until the arrival of the Beers Shed in late November 2016.
It is the idea of Russell Degnan who returned to the country from Germany and discovered the new micro-pub phenomenon in full swing. He visited around twenty of them and came to the conclusion that he wanted one of his own, the sort of pub he would drink in himself. Since opening he has been proved right.
I was with Linda and we were visiting on a winter Sunday lunchtime following a five day stint working at the Manchester Beer Festival. The pub is located in a former shop, what kind I don’t know. It is really one shop unit divided into two and as a consequence is very narrow indeed. In fact. If there was any less width you would not be able to get to the rear of the pub.
The entrance door of the glass-fronted pub is reached by a short outside corridor. Once inside we noticed a small round table with two stools in the window bay. After collecting our beer we sat down there but it proved a bit impossible for two larger people, so we retreated to the rear of the pub.
There is another small high table with three or four seats in this area. Between the front and our next position we passed the bar. If anybody is standing there they have to breathe in as it is a bit of a squash.
Once passing the bar counter on the left we found three high tables with stools. Looking around we could see the collection of small blackboards advertising the beers available. On all of the walls there were enamel signs for well-known foreign beers, along with some framed cartoons. The toilets are downstairs and there is a drinking area there with two tables and chairs with a few cinema-type tilting seats facing them. There were also a couple of stools utilising upturned firkins fitted with soft leather cushioned tops.
There were four cask beers served through hand pumps and they were: Ilkley (Ilkley, West Yorkshire) Rombald American Amber Ale (4.6%); Redemption (Tottenham, London) Rock the Kazbek (4.0%) (Made with Czech Kazbek hops); Mobberley Brewhouse (Mobberley, Cheshire) Small Batch Dark Winter Coffee & Vanilla Stout (4.6%) and Rock Mill Brewery (New Mills, Derbyshire) Millers Nut Brown Ale (4.0%). The four cask beers are constantly changing.
They offer a selection of still ciders but they didn’t seem to be displayed. Apart from packaged snacks they offer no food. Gin and Prosecco are available along with a selection of keg “craft” and foreign beers. The pub is also an off-licence so the bottled beers that are displayed on shelves can be taken away. They also have live music nights. I bet that is a squeeze!
After getting used to the unusual arrangements we liked this pub and recommend it.
The Beer Shed, 47b Market Street, New Mills, Derbyshire SK22 4AA. Tel: 01663 742005.
Hours: Monday-Tuesday: Closed; Wednesday-Thursday: 16.00-22.30; Friday-Sunday: 14.00-22.30.
The best way to get to this pub is by train. New Mills Central is on the Manchester Piccadilly to Sheffield line. The one train per hour Monday to Sunday takes around 30 mins from Manchester and 50 mins from Sheffield. Turn left out of the station and walk up to Market Street. Turn left into it, the pub is to be found on the right.
New Mills Newtown is a station on the Manchester Piccadilly to Buxton line via Stockport. The train service is also hourly Monday to Sunday but is not recommended from Manchester. This is because it is 20 minute walk from the station, mostly uphill, although the 60/61 buses pass this station.
New Mills Bus Station is around 200 metres from the pub. Route 60 runs from Hayfield to Macclesfield.
It operates approximately every two hours. No service after around 18.00 or on Sundays. The 61 bus runs from Glossop to Buxton via Whaley Bridge every hour daily. There is no service after 17.00.