Last Thursday I visited my second micropub. Doctor's Orders opened on December 23rd last year and, as the name suggests, it was transformed from a pharmacy. It is similar in many ways to the Little Chester Ale House in Derby I visited last month but there are notable differences too.
Doctor's Orders is located in a busy street of shops (Mansfield Road) on the outskirts of Nottingham. As with Little Chesters, there is no traditional pub sign. The name is engraved into the glass either side of the central entrance. A similar sized interior with five or six tables, basic wooden chairs and some comfortable benches make good use of the limited space. There is no bar and there is a viewing window to the room containing the barrels of beer and above this window there is the word 'Prescriptions'. Very nicely done.
With no bar to focus on I studied the blackboard listing the available beers and whilst studying this, the co-owner Prakash (one of three) came to ask if it was my first visit and what it was I would like to try. I chose a pint of Lincoln Green Tuck Porter (4.7% ABV). The pint was perfection. Prakash invited me to see the room where the beer is kept. It is kept at a constant 12 degrees and from what I tasted this was spot on. There was a a two-level rack for a total of ten firkins, five of which were settling. The springs tilted the barrels as they emptied ensuring a minimum amount of wastage. The whole system was very impressive.
Nottinghamshire and the immediately surrounding counties are awash with micro breweries so it is not difficult for Doctor's Orders to serve a constantly changing selection of interesting ales. With the pump clips on view they have probably served close to a hundred different ales in the 9 weeks they have been open which is extremely impressive. No lager or spirits are available although there is a quality red or white wine and a choice of soft drinks. If you wish to eat there is selection of traditional bar snacks. Keeping it simple is what I love about the micropub.
After visiting the Little Chester Ale House in Derby I was impressed and excited at the thought that these micropubs are the start of a new revolution in pubs. After visiting Doctor's Orders I am even more convinced that we will be seeing many more opening up over the coming years. Given the right set of circumstances I will be opening my own. I was delighted to get some friendly advice from Prakash and the offer to chat more if I wish. From a personal perspective they are offering what very few pubs currently do which is to cater for a generation who have become alienated by modern bars. I do find it increasingly more difficult to find pubs which combine quality ales, a relaxed friendly environment and a lack of noisy distractions. It really is just what the doctor ordered as far as I am concerned.