First of all we need to define the difference between what is a Micro Pub and what is a Micro Bar
“All pubs have a bar but no bar has a pub”
Note: this guide assumes the location of said micro outlet is in a small-to-medium sized town, not a city or tourist trap/destination.
The emphasis is on cask beer and generally session strength at that. If there is any keg dispense it is usually a lager because the founder understood who his core clientèle would want to drink. There will also be a red wine, a white wine, a Prosecco and some spirits (usually gin or whatever is on trend) all in order to increase footfall over the weekends. Cider may also exist in known bottled varieties or boxed “real” ones. Soft drinks will be dispensed from 2 litre plastic bottles blatantly purchased from the closest supermarket.
What you’d find in most macro pubs, with slight variation depending on how close the nearest bookies is.
They are the kind of people who’ll walk into a micro bar and complain about the prices.
All wood but that is because it was the cheapest material, a lick of paint here and there but pretty much like a macro pub, only it looks like your 50 year old twice-divorced uncle has simply converted his spare room. Has one toilet.
Your 50 year old twice-divorced uncle who wanted to do something different.
No cats. Cats are not found in micro pubs. Dogs are allowed; they will be hulking beasts curled at the owners feet and fed occasional crisps or hog lumps. Drool will be present.
The emphasis is on keg beer and generally bastard strength at that. If there is any cask dispense it is usually one pale and one bitter because the founder understood what his day trip visitors would want to drink. There will also be a plethora of red wine, white wine, Prosecco and a massive choice of spirits, at least 25 gins. Soft drinks will be dispensed from 100mL glass bottles. Lager may also exist but in bottle form, from some obscure German brewery, this is in order to increase footfall over the weekend and then hope they never return. Probably also doubles as a bottle shop for retail purposes.
Beer bloggers, overly-agitated graphic designers and those who’ve wandered in on the recommendation of some lifestyle journalist who wrote that piece by plagiarising what the aforementioned beer bloggers wrote about the place.
They are the kind of people who’ll walk into a micro pub and complain about the lack of choice.
All wood but is was massively over priced because of the patina effect, a lick of paint here and there but pretty much like the railway arch the beer was brewed in. Has one toilet.
Your 50 year old uncle who has always had that funky beard.
No cats. Cats are not found in micro bars. Dogs are allowed; they will be small, fluffy, lap-based things brought along by the owner in order to kick start an interaction.
How To Have A Conversation
Close proximity and bench seating demands conversation be had however this still depends on where you are.
In a micro pub, assuming most of the people aren’t doing all they can to avoid eye contact, let alone conversation because they most likely lie on the autism scale somewhere, you are in for a simple and quiet drink. Talking may occur over the clarity of the pint in front of you. You will only drink a pint (568mL), a half is acceptable if you’ve kept your coat on because you’re going to be racing to catch a bus/train/you are driving.
In a micro bar, you will get talked at, those doing the talking even know the brewer, they are on first name terms, or at least have over heard them talking to someone else, once. You will drink a pint as your first session ale and loosener but then progress on to halves and then thirds inversely proportional to the ABV of the drink.
Talking in the micro pub may stray on to politics, you might get offended with the frankness of the views expressed and the terms used.
Talking in the micro bar may stray on to politics, the overly-agitated graphic designers will sulk off in tears or demand you leave their safe space.
Talking in micro pubs is a rare thing, generally kept between those who recognise each other.
Talking in micro bars because massive ABV’s plus immense egos results in verbal diarrhoea.
Use these pointers wisely; know your surroundings, know your adversaries and your conversations, or lack thereof, in micros up and down the UK will be blissfully symphonic or wonderfully, silently golden.
Thanks for reading.