Wednesday 30th November 2016
In a roundabout way the story of this micropub began in March 2012. This was when Gordon Edwards established a micro-brewery located in a shed in his garden at Pewsey in Wiltshire, giving birth to Shed Ales. He previously worked for Honda in Swindon and used redundancy money for this enterprise. His plant was constructed locally and made of stainless steel. It is of one barrel (bbls) capacity which equates to giving four firkins (nine gallons each) of beer per brew.
His beer was sold to free houses in the locality (and still is) and that could have been that. However, he had a desire to also have his own pub and so the Shed Alehouse came about.
It opened its doors to grateful drinkers on Friday 17th July 2015. The premises were formerly a ladies hairdressing salon and in true micropub fashion it is very small indeed. It is on North Street, one of the two main streets of Pewsey.
It was a freezing cold evening when Linda and I made the rather hazardous but mercifully short walk from Pewsey railway station. There are no pavements for part of this curving road and you should take great care if you come this way. The slippery ground did not help the journey either. So it was with great relief that we saw the welcoming lights of the pub spilling out on to the frosty street.
We entered the warmth of the pub, ordered a beer each and sat on one of the few vacant seats, located by the front window. Although once a shop the décor belies this, as the room is decked out to look like a shed, in keeping with its name.
The walls are panelled in wood and the bar counter is also made with it. The ceiling is covered with wood-chip panels. I guess these will eventually be covered with true wood panels.
Looking around in a clockwise direction, we were seated at a circular table by the window and along the left side of the room were a further two small tables with fitted benches on the wall and loose stools facing. Then there was the bar with open brickwork behind. On the right side of the bar is the single toilet. Along the left side of the room was a shelf with a number of tall stools. Various garden implements adorn the walls and ceiling; all in keeping with the shed image.
Neither of the owners were behind the bar when we called in, so I guess the guy behind the counter was Mike, who assists. This pub has a very friendly clientèle and we talked to everyone in the pub, including Tubbit (I think) and Mouse who wanted us to mention them when we visited the Crown in Pewsey, where we headed to next.
Here, there are usually five cask beers on offer including one from the Shed Brewery.
On the occasion of our visit they were: Lytham (Lytham St Annes, Lancashire) Blonde (3.8%); Windsor & Eton (Windsor, Berkshire) Guardsman (4.2%); Wild Weather Ales (Silchester, Hampshire) Storm in a Teacup (6.0%); Frog Island (Northampton, Northamptonshire) Best Bitter (3.8%) and, from the home side: Shed Ales (Pewsey, Wiltshire) Oop’s a Daisy (4.7%).
Cider aficionados are not neglected here as there were four to be savoured: Gert Cider Co. (Gloucester, Gloucestershire) Lush Cider (4.9%); Lilley’s (Frome, Somerset) Darkcider (7.5%); Celtic Marches (Bishops Frome, Herefordshire) Abrahall’s Lily the Pink (4.5%) and Weston’s (Much Marcle, Herefordshire) Family Reserve (5.0%).
They also serve wine including Prosecco. Some posh soft drinks and juices are offered. There is no food but the usual types of packaged snacks are available. There are regular quiz nights and they also have seed swaps for the customers who are gardeners. This apparently because they don’t have enough room for a book swap.
Another interesting regular in the pub is Gnomad, a tiny gnome who was on the back shelf of the bar when we were there. He seems to appear all over the world and there is a pin chart loaded with photographs of him in many exotic places. Should you ever be in this part of Wiltshire please include this delightful little pub in your itinerary.
The Shed Alehouse, 20 North Street, Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9 5EX. Tel: 07769 812643
Monday-Tuesday: Closed; Wednesday-Thursday: 17.00-21.30;
Friday: 16.00-22.00; Saturday: 14.00-22.00; Sunday: 13.00-17.00.
Pewsey railway station is served by Great Western Railway with a rather erratic service from London via Reading and on to Taunton and Exeter. Please consult the timetable as there are some big gaps in service.
Exiting from the station on the arrival platform from London, walk up the station approach to the junction. This is Marlborough Road. Turn right and take extra care as there are no pavements on this section. Continue to the roundabout. At this point the road becomes North Street. When you see the Royal Oak pub (Wadworth’s, three cask beers available), the Shed is almost diagonally opposite.
The useful X5 bus operates during the day from Salisbury to Swindon past a number of good pubs.
No service in the evening or on Sundays.