The lovely people who established the Malt & Mardle micropub in Norwich did a little interview with me a few weeks ago, shortly before they opened their new venue. This was the first time that I’ve had a chance to actually visit their pub, which is located on Magdalen Street in what was until recently a motorbike shop. As I mentioned many times before, I very much like the whole micropub concept and have been intrigued to see how this was working out.
This is a nicely done board, clear and informative. There’s a nod towards local breweries with the cask and keg options, but there’s a more national approach with the bottles menu, including some from the rather excellent Brew By Numbers brewery. I note, with great approval, that the half pint options cost exactly half of what a pint costs.
The interior, with hops hanging from the ceiling. I’m not sure what I think about the beers being poured from the cupboard, it’s something a little unique. I liked that the owners were pro-actively visiting tables to talk to customers, just the sort of vibe that a micro-pub needs. There were some more challenging customers shouting and yelling about, who I did think might find the local Wetherspoons as more appropriate, but I decided not to tell them that. It was good to see that the pub was nearly full when we arrived, although there’s the inevitable limitation that a micropub has limited seating, so customers might struggle to find a table at whatever time they visit.
The Wild Stallion from Wildcraft Brewery, a beer I must admit to not really engaging with as it lacked any real depth of taste to it and I was hoping for something richer. I hear generally positive things about Wildcraft, although I’ve yet to have a beer from them which I could say was above average, but I’ll persist with my efforts to find one. Nathan muttered about his Malt Coast IPA tasting of blue cheese, I’m not sure what has gone wrong there.
Anyway, if it was up to me, I think I’d have a little look at the draft beer selection to find something slightly more decadent and sexy. Having said that, I very much like this pub, the concept, the people and the set-up. I hope that it does really well and it’s in a part of Norwich which is now very on-trend for decent beer given the nearby Artichoke, Plasterers, Kings Head and Leopard. I’m very content with this pub exists and look forwards to seeing how they evolve. It’s a difficult time to have opened a pub and the owners deserve lots of praise for their bravery.