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Pub of the future Pt.2

A positive look at how pubs are changing for the better, and how thriving pubs might look in the not-too-distant future. In this second instalment of Pub of the Future Katie Mather focuses on how the function of pubs within our communities is ever changing. Katie explores how pubs can adapt to serve their communities in new ways and maintain their central role in society post-covid.

Illustrations by Lucie Cooke

Katie Mather 

A beer blogger-turned-food and drink writer, with regular work featured in Beer52’s Ferment magazine and Pellicle magazine. Co-owner of Corto, a neighbourhood beer, natural cider and wine bar in Clitheroe. Loves pubs.

Pub of the future Pt.2

A positive look at how pubs are changing for the better, and how thriving pubs might look in the not-too-distant future. In this first instalment of Pub of the Future Katie Mather focuses on themes of accessibility, inclusivity and justice. Katie explores how the diversification of our pubs is key to maintaining their survival in our communities post-covid.

Illustrations by Lucie Cooke

Katie Mather 

A beer blogger-turned-food and drink writer. Co-owner of Corto in Clitheroe. Loves pubs.

Wild Beer Co. Barrels

Our favourite pubs become dear to our hearts for different reasons. A special, historic inn can feel like a rare chance to step back in time to your favourite beer’s glory days; a new micropub can feel warm and welcoming in a fresh, inclusive way.

As society has changed over the centuries, pubs and bars have adapted. We often use our locals in different ways now, taking for granted their new and useful offerings. As pubs have struggled to survive in recent decades during multiple recessions and a global pandemic, the way they interact with their local communities and the visiting guests they attract has been essential to their future on our high streets. Here are some of the ways our pubs may continue to change as we look to a future where pubs are central to our communities.

Wild Beer Co. Barrels

Our favourite pubs become dear to our hearts for different reasons. A special, historic inn can feel like a rare chance to step back in time to your favourite beer’s glory days; a new micropub can feel warm and welcoming in a fresh, inclusive way.

As society has changed over the centuries, pubs and bars have adapted. We often use our locals in different ways now, taking for granted their new and useful offerings. As pubs have struggled to survive in recent decades during multiple recessions and a global pandemic, the way they interact with their local communities and the visiting guests they attract has been essential to their future on our high streets. Here are some of the ways our pubs may continue to change as we look to a future where pubs are central to our communities.

Pubs as Spaces for Boosting Community and Tourism

The British pub is an icon around the world. A place of warmth and friendship — and of course, great beer and interesting architecture and décor — pubs are tourist attractions in their own right. As mentioned in Part One of this series, some community pubs have secured their futures by becoming local shops, even libraries, diversifying their space to suit the needs of their locals.

“A special, historic inn can feel like a rare chance to step back in time to your favourite beer’s glory days; a new micropub can feel warm and welcoming in a fresh, inclusive way.”

— Katie Mather

“You get soft, almost wine like aromatics, refeshing… acidity and apple driven, when you try Kent and Eastern style ciders”

— Alison Taffs

Pubs as Spaces for Boosting Community and Tourism

The British pub is an icon around the world. A place of warmth and friendship — and of course, great beer and interesting architecture and décor — pubs are tourist attractions in their own right. As mentioned in Part One of this series, some community pubs have secured their futures by becoming local shops, even libraries, diversifying their space to suit the needs of their locals. However, some pubs have ensured their survival by building their tourist appeal. By updating their websites and Google Business profiles to show off their unique “pubness” they’re bringing in a host of explorers who might not have ventured into a stoic old pub before. Attractions can be anything: ancient relics hung above the mantelpiece, famous former patrons, witchy carvings on the roof beams, even ghosts and spooky stories bring in a new crowd.

WILD BEER CO, Barrels

However, some pubs have ensured their survival by building their tourist appeal. By updating their websites and Google Business profiles to show off their unique “pubness” they’re bringing in a host of explorers who might not have ventured into a stoic old pub before. Attractions can be anything: ancient relics hung above the mantelpiece, famous former patrons, witchy carvings on the roof beams, even ghosts and spooky stories bring in a new crowd.

WILD BEER CO, Barrels

In 2009, VisitEngland launched a campaign to try and get pub landlords to use their fantastic local pubs as pop-up tourist information centres. While some pubs manage to make a success of the initiative, it didn’t catch on nationwide. Why not try this again? After all, there’s nothing like speaking to people in a local pub to find out about the village’s stories and intriguing snippets of local history. And post-Covid, our travels have become much more UK and Ireland focused. Surely now is the time to give pub tourism another big push!

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Happy Pub Illustration

“In the future, maybe all pubs and their larger owners will see the benefits, both social and financial, of running a bar for its increasingly adventurous and socially-conscious locals.”

— Katie Mather

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