Cobbetts is in the town centre of Dorking in Surrey, a region that has been slow to catch on to the micropub trend.
Run by Steve and Tim, the business started as a quality bottle shop that also served cask ales to take away.
The idea of adding a micropub originated from a remark made in jest by one of their customers. And Steve and Tim thought why not give it a go? Their premises had a back office that they decided was surplus to requirements, so they converted it into the micropub room. So, you order your drinks in the shop and carry them through a little doorway and down a short corridor to the micropub at the back. The room itself is quite small, having a couple of tables, but with a bar-height shelf with barstools around most of the wall. There’s also a pleasant garden behind the building that serves as an outdoor drinking and smoking area.
There are generally two cask ales on offer, plus cider from polypins and, of course, a whole cornucopia of bottled ales from just about every corner of the world.
It’s a different arrangement to most micropubs. The absence of a landlord (or any bar staff) in the drinking area took a bit of getting used to but overall I really liked Cobbetts. They also organise various courses, such as Beer Tasting for Women, and also trips to visit notable pubs. So, all in all, a valuable asset to the real ale community in this area.
And so much more than just a bottle shop!