Suffolk’s first micropub, East Town Bottle Shop & Tap Room, opens in Ipswich

The East Town Bottle Shop & Tap Room

The East Town Bottle Shop & Tap Room - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s first micropub has opened in an abandoned unit in Lloyds Avenue, ahead of the town’s first ale trail.

Marc Walker in the East Town Bottle Shop & Tap Room

Marc Walker in the East Town Bottle Shop & Tap Room - Credit: Archant

Marc and Ada Walker took over the former Cafe Inn, which had lain empty for two years, recycled the existing furniture, and opened the East Town Bottle Shop & Tap Room five weeks ago.

The micropub concept encourages people to make use of unused space by opening a small pub, with Loughton-based couple Marc and Ada’s tap room championing traditional ales and craft beers brewed by independent brewers in East Anglia, as well as beers from further afield.

Marc said: “We are firmly part of the micropub and craft brewing revolution, free to serve the best beer and remain independent of the big pub chains and breweries.

“East Town Bottle Shop & Tap Room is all about bringing amazing beer to the good people of Ipswich, simple as that.”

The micropub features regular rotations of ales, as well as offering ale-lovers a taster flight of three-beers and spirits.

The project came about after former newspaper journalist Marc, 37, read an article on start-up micrpubs, and took his enthusiasm for quality ales into business.

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“There’s about 200 across the country but there wasn’t one in Suffolk,” he said.

“It seemed like a good idea, and we are taking a big punt opening a business.”

The micropub prides itself on its relaxed atmosphere, which allows customers to bring in takeaway food, and is hopeful that with the TV set-up for the Euro 2016 tournament and the launch of the ale trail this week that beer lovers will be tempted to give it a go.

“We are probably a little bit different to most micropubs,” Marc said.

“They tend to do just do more real ales and something more traditional but we have got a back wall of industrial taps – it’s much more minimalist and industrial.”

In keeping with the Suffolk-supporting ethic, the couple employed Foxhall carpenter Kevin Brown to furnish the bar and tables from reclaimed wood, while other recycled materials from leftover furniture have also been used.

Marc added: “We just want people to spread the word and support a new businesses.

“It’s difficult to set up a new business so to have the community behind us would be great.”