Discovering A Love For Beer
My love for beer has been a work in progress. Sure, from the day I turned 18 (ahem!) I’ve been indulging in one form or another, but a lot of that was just social. Things have moved on and I now feel like there is actually something to get enthusiastic about and I don’t think this has got anything to do with me getting older. There are simply more beers available, there are more creative methods being used to produce them and there are more fun ways and environments in which to drink them.
The last twenty years has seen so many popular boozers fall as a result of changing economic circumstances and altering social tendencies. What was the root-cause? Was it the collapse of the global economy and the resulting recession? Was it the smoking ban? Was it the introduction of 24 hour liquor licences? Maybe it was a combination of all of these factors. Who can say for sure?
One thing that is clear, the partnership of beer production and consumption has adapted to the shift in our social habits and in a manner akin to the introduction of the iPad as a smaller, sleeker alternative to the laptop, we are finding new ways to discover and enjoy our beer.
All over Dorset, bars, micro-pubs and ale houses are providing new options for discovering great beers, ales, lagers and more. There’s something of a revolution taking place right now and one of the most exciting places for those who like to try a new pint is Wimborne.
I visited The Butcher’s Dog to chat with co-owner Laura and learn a bit more about what has made them so popular since opening back in September. The Butcher’s Dog is a Craft Beer and Bottle Shop owned by Laura, boyfriend Dean and Dean’s father John. If you pay them a visit you will most likely be greeted by Laura or John while Dean is out and about performing his main role of Beer Scout.
I arrive as Laura is setting up for the day. The first thing that strikes me as I open the door and gaze inside is the same thing that captured my interest when I first discovered The Butcher’s Dog on Instagram… those gold taps on that white-tiled wall.
A more educated visitor may know the answer already, but I had to ask where the idea came from. Laura explained that this is done a lot in America. American “pubs” don’t have hand pumps and kegs in the same way that we do in the UK. Taps lined up on a wall are a neat, tidy and attractive way to access the contents of a cask or keg. Reason two and something more of a personal preference to the owners is that with no hand pumps and T-sections lining the bar top, there is clear line of sight to the customer and conversation is able to flow much more naturally. It’s welcoming and unconsciously you feel the benefit of those barriers not being there. So much so that actually it didn’t occur to me until it was pointed out.
Since opening, their popularity has grown and they already have a loyal and regular customer base. They’ve embraced their surroundings, got to know their neighbours and have understood what it means to be a part of the Wimborne furniture.
I’ve encountered many new ventures in Dorset over the past 18 months and the best ones all have one thing in common, they understand the value of embracing their surroundings and collaborating with other local businesses.
The Butcher’s Dog have supported local brewers by hosting guest ales, including some great offerings from Eight-Arch Brewery, a rising star in the local brewing fraternity, and also Flaming Peaches Street Food for a food and beer pairing evening. Scotch eggs and pork pies available in the bar are supplied by Oakley Village Butchers just down the road in Merley.
In addition to the food, Laura also visits Psychling, a vintage bike repair shop-come-cafe opposite to get a coffee and a very attractive toasted sandwich for lunch. Another wonderful business embracing local culture.
What’s On Offer?
There are 14 of those majestic gold taps attached to 4 casks and 10 kegs. I studied the board for a couple of minutes before landing up on a pint of Little Things that Kill from Weird Beard Brewing Co. A session Pale Ale, gold in colour, rich in taste with a hoppy citrus flavour. I’d definitely have it again. I would like to work my way through the board however so it probably won’t be the next one I order although I am always partial to an IPA.
Monday – Wednesday: 4pm – 11pm
Thursday – Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 10pm
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