Broadstairs Apartments has heard on the grapevine (or should we say hopbine) that there's soon to be a new micropub in town. The Royston joins an ever-increasing batch of independents on the Isle of Thanet and with a good sturdy name like that it promises to be a great addition. Broadstairs itself has become a go-to destination for sampling micropub culture. In fact there are simply too many thriving all over Thanet to fit into one blog, so we've chosen just a handful to whet your appetite.
Over in Margate on the Stone Pier, the Harbour Arms is a warm and friendly micropub that has been supplying locals and tourists with good beer and a good old knees-up for several years now. The views across the harbour and Margate main sands are fabulous night and day, not to be missed. Just opposite on Marine Drive you will find The Two Halves, winners of the CAMRA pub of the year in 2018. A visit makes it easy to see why, with a wide selection of ales and ciders, casks taking pride of place in temperature-controlled cabinet behind the bar. And did we mention their front row seats to the famous Turneresque seascapes and sunsets that grace the seafront? Of course we did!
Ramsgate too has a burgeoning micropub scene, especially as the town is lucky enough to have enjoyed the Gadd's Ramsgate Brewery making its mark. Using Kent-grown hops and working out of an impressive high-spec brewery outside of town, the Gadds brand is now a firm favourite amongst beer aficionados and micropub landlords in Kent and beyond. Add to this their bottle shop and most recently a tap room and the equation is complete. Gadds are flying the flag for the local independent microbrewery sector, faceless corporate giants take note. Ramsgate's town centre and the streets around the Royal Harbour also have plenty of micropubs springing up for you to make a night of it.
Tucked away in quiet and understated Westgate-on-Sea is an excellent little place called Bake & Alehouse. One of the longest running micropubs in Thanet, its proprietors have been stocking a wide and varied range of real ales to its lucky regulars for 10 years now. In fact at last count we're told that 776 different craft beers have gone through the pumps so far! It won't surprise you then that Bake & Alehouse won Micropub of the Year 2019, you can't get better than that. It's no coincidence that this place is one of Thanet's best kept secrets, nestling down a tiny side street alongside the Carlton cinema. Shhh!
Then we come to the Broadstairs micropub circuit, which is growing apace. On that note, we couldn't write a blog about micropubs without mentioning The Pub, just around the corner from Broadstairs Apartments. What a great name, it does exactly what it says on the tin! Celebrating their 2nd year this November, The Pub, by the station on the Broadway is proving that you don't have to be on the main drag to pull in the punters. As soon as you walk in you will appreciate the Art Deco retro feel of the interior design. The Pub is not just a pretty face though, stocking an excellent range of modern craft beers and ciders, gins and - their pièce de résistance - cocktail slushies, which looked like they were going down a storm this summer.
At the top of Broadstairs High Street itself is Mind The Gap, which wins the prize for out and out quirkiness hands down. It's fair to say that Broadstairs residents only realised they needed a railway-themed micropub when one actually pulled into town. Mind The Gap is now relied upon for well-chosen beers and a warm, welcoming atmosphere and is a great stop-off on your way down to town (or back up again on the way home!)
St.Peter's village, on the outskirts of Broadstairs has not one but two excellent micropubs, the Yard Of Ale and The Four Candles. For unrivalled rustic atmosphere, The Yard Of Ale operates out of a 19th-century stone stable on Church Street. Within such surroundings the locally-produced beer goes down a treat and if that's not enough for you, a regular occurance is a good old-fashioned meat bingo draw. Add in a folk band or two and, wait for it, their annual pub Dog of the Year competition and this cracker of a micropub really will keep you more than entertained.
Last, but definitely not least is The Four Candles on Sowell street, whose name pays tribute to the famous Two Ronnies sketch, which you can read about here. Being Britain's smallest brewpub is no mean feat, especially if your brewery is a 3m x 3m cellar in the pub basement. How better to ensure quality craft beer in a micropub than to brew it yourself. Also renowned for friendliness and excellent Folk Week entertainment, The Four Candles beermakers are on their 500th brew cycle. So skilfully executed every time, people come from far and wide to sample the own-brewed ales.
Broadstairs Apartments is excited to see that micropubs and breweries, with their expertise and love of the trade, are going from strength to strength right now on the Isle of Thanet. There are now countless for you to try out. What a welcome alternative they offer to the souless mega-breweries that have dominated the market for so long. Instead, the micropubs and small, local breweries are inviting a welcome shift to high quality beers produced and served more sustainably and with character. Long may it continue!