Propping up the bar: Just Beer, Newark

Ever since I first heard about micropubs I’ve loved the concept. Morton Brewery*, a small scale brewery in Essington is opening the first micropub in the West Midlands on the outskirts of Wolverhampton. They hope to be pulling the first few pints in August and I can’t wait to go back to the homestead to check it out.

As Morton’s venture was the first I’d really heard about micropubs I only just got to enjoy my first taste of one in Newark this week. Having only just moved back to Lincolnshire I’m slowly getting used to the local breweries and even though I’ve yet to meet the CAMRA folk here, it’s nice to find some new beer-y places not in Lincoln centre.

This week I visited Just Beer, the aptly named micropub (and East Midlands CAMRA Pub of the Year) of Newark. Excited to see a familiar brew, Burton Bridge Brewery’s Stairway to Heaven, I pulled up a pew (literally, the tiny pub is furnished with church pews) and enjoyed the conversation and relaxed atmosphere with the regulars.

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After opening in 2010 the ale house has won multiple awards and hosts everything from beer festivals to sushi nights. The have eight real ales and ciders on regularly and serve the variety of brews in thirds, halves and pints, in oversized pint glasses “so you get a full pint (or half- or third!) every time you visit the bar.”

Just Beer (or JB’s) is an ale house. Full stop.

Run by ‘The 4 Tapsters*’ – Dunc, Merf, Phil and Stu – we serve no keg products – lager, ‘smooth’, ‘craft’, etc’. No spirits, bottles or alcopops.

We don’t have a Juke Box, TV or pool table. Just Beer. We don’t claim that we serve the best real ale in Newark. Our customers say we do!

Only two rules in JB’s:

1. Drink beer (of course!)
2. Behave, there’s a good ‘un! 

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I can’t wait to visit the pub again and I’d love to see the atmosphere on a packed weekend evening. The long thin bar, the pews, the pub games and the pile of books in the corner all add to this wonderful little pub and, as with all micropubs, the tiny setting launches to into all manner of conversation and new people.

Now, who wants to give me £50,000 to buy beer and beanbags for my own micropub?

*I have to mention my favourite brew from them… Cor B’blimey, a lime-y and delicious festival beer I had at Cafe Metro’s mini beer festival.

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