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T&J beer dispense brings a new animal to Solihull, its first micropub

Micro pub

T&J has helped make Solihull’s first micropub a reality, supplying equipment and installation services to the new ‘destination’ pub, The Pup & Duckling. 

Taking on the micropub project, T&J supplied a completely bespoke solution to The Pup & Duckling, allowing them to create a pub with minimal invasive works. In order to make the pub future-proof in regards to expansion, each of the taps has its own ground-level cellar work, rather than installing a complete cellar fit-out underground.

T&J supplied the refrigeration equipment and installation, with the beer flowing through the python and being dispensed at 11 degrees – the ideal serving temperature, and achieving ‘cask marque’ conditions. 

 Pup and Duckling taps big

What is a 'micropub'?

Micropubs are single room public houses with limited capacity, that primarily serve cask ales. Having developed into a world phenomenon in recent years, the first recognised example of a micropub is generally accepted as the Butcher's Arms, which opened in Kent in 2005.

Due to their independence, the quanities in which they buy beer and their beer sources, micropubs are able to be highly receptive to feedback from customers - often developing a prominent role in the local, social community.

How 'The Pup & Ducking' came to be

Jeff Berry, the owner of The Pup & Duckling, started out as a homebrewer hobbyist, and his brewing work took a back seat when he started a family. However, the former postman’s passion was reignited when he came across a discarded beer tap on his postal route – a tap that he was allowed to take home with him. Jeff had wondered whether it was possible to set up a pub that supplied its own beer, and having found that licensing a small premises would be a fairly simple job – Jeff decided to find a home for his new venture.
Jeff joined the Micropub Association, which provided him with much of the information and guidance he needed to begin setting up the business. It was then that he got in touch with T&J Installations. He was already familiar with T&J from local knowledge and, following a visit by T&J to survey the property, a plan for installation was then in place.

 Pup and Duckling pub front

T&J's tailored solution

One of the most important amendments to Jeff’s initial plans was the suggestion of utilising vertical cask widgets. This would provide a much better storage solution for what is minimal space – increasing potential floor area behind and in front of the bar.

Originally, 4 hand pull beer engines were installed by T&J – supplying 12 beers, on rotation. However, demand upon opening was so high that beers were having to be changed too frequently. Several taps were running dry at once – a nice problem to have, but impacting on the pub’s sales and the smooth running of its operations. T&J remedied this with the installation of two extra taps; this not only decreased the rate of keg changes, but also allowed the pub to increase the range of its beer offering to 6 beers instead of 4, at any one time.

T&J also improved the dispense quality of bag-in-box ciders that the micropub sells. The Pup & Duckling serves 6 types of still, traditional cider, such as Scrumpy, and the dispense method was upgraded with chrome taps from T&J. This created something that was more professional, both in appearance and in actual dispense.

Working with T&J

Jeff, of The Pup & Duckling, said: “We have been very pleased with the service from T&J – both the installation process and aftercare have been excellent. They’ve helped us realise the best way of creating a pub in the space we acquired, and they’ve dealt with all of our teething issues immediately. They promptly allowed us to increase our dispense power with additional taps and, notably, they addressed a cider dispense issue, within a day of it arising, by modifying the bore of the taps.

“The Pup & Duckling has very quickly developed a reputation for selling great beer, served well and at the right temperature. This feedback would not have been possible without the services of T&J. The temperature of the beer is something we check regularly, and thanks to T&J, it is consistently at that sweet spot of 11 degrees – it makes a real difference.

“We serve no lager or mainstream ciders. Predominantly, the beers we serve are made by local breweries and microbreweries – that’s something that generates a lot of respect. Having opened only two months ago, through the instant and growing popularity of this venue, we will soon be considering opening additional branches in the local area. We look forward to working with T&J on developing the business and creating new locations.”


T&J on 'micropubs'

T&J Installations’ managing director, Ian Jones, said: “The popularity of microbreweries and the pubs that support them, has grown strongly over the past 10 years, in particular, and it is truly great to see. Each of these microbreweries has its own identity and undoubtable passion for creating something high quality, authentic and unique. It’s a movement. 

“It’s a pleasure to be part of Solihull’s first micropub, to work with The Pup & Duckling team and to support a local company working in this area of the industry. We have a very diverse range of clients, operating on different scales and with contrasting visions for their business. We are proud to be able to meet the specific needs of each of our clients, and to support their aspirations and ethos.”

For more information on T&J’s beer dispense services for microbreweries and micropubs, please contact Ian Jones by calling 0121 783 8925 or emailing ijones@tjinstall.co.uk.

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Units A&B, Riverside Industrial Estate, Atherstone Street, Fazeley, Tamworth B78 3RW
T: 0121 783 8925