Published on November 10, 2016 | by Alastair Gilmour0
No bar not a bar to pub’s success
Durham’s first micropub is about to reach its first anniversary. Granted, it’s not a big deal in terms of pub life, but The Station House marks a significant point in 21st Century beer and drinking culture; the micropub. The Station House, below the vast railway arches at the foot of the run-up to Durham Station, has no counter as such and no handpulls; there’s no television, gaming machine, music or “other distractions”.
Its doors opened on December 8 2015 and it now has a community of regulars who have made it a favoured spot. But it’s probably best to let owners Susannah and Chris Mansfield have to say about their business – and their passion.
“In our first year we have stocked 300 different beers from 100 different breweries and more than 80 different real ciders and perries. Around half of the beer is sourced from local brewers, with the rest coming via wholesalers from the best brewers around the country.
“We have maintained a range of styles at all times and have become a well-established part of the pub scene in Durham. Our ethos is on quality products in an environment condusive to conversation in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. Our staff are knowledgeable and passionate about everything we sell – including gluten-free and vegan-friendly beer – and always happy to help out if our customers are not sure what they’ll like.
“On entering The Station House for the first time you might be surprised by the lack of a bar – we serve our beer straight out of the cask through a hatch from the cold room with no handpulls, because we believe this is the best possible way of serving beer.
“We have also established several interest groups that meet at the pub, including weekly board games and craft nights, and a monthly book group. Other unaffiliated interest and community groups also use the space regularly for meetings and socials.
“We’d like to say a huge thank-you to all those who have helped us, and to all our customers, and look forward to extending our warmest welcome to those yet to visit.”
The Station House also displays artworks from local mental health charity RTProjects, using art to support them through recovery. All proceeds from the sale of the distinctive black-and-white prints, and blue-and-white cyanotype prints go to support the Durham-based charity.