I guess it was inevitable that at some stage in my journey I would need to arrive at a micropub on a Monday; the problem, of course, being that most micropubs remain closed on Mondays. I got in touch with Rod & Karen, owners of the Mumbles Alehouse, in advance of my proposed visit and, lovely people that they are, they agreed to open their doors to let me have a look around. It made me contemplate the various times of day I have paid my visits to micropubs and how the experience can vary dependent on this. On a weekday lunchtime I may be knocking on the door at opening time, so sometimes I may be the only customer but at least this gives me an opportunity for a proper chat with the landlord or landlady. When I visit during a lively evening session “mine host” is likely to be otherwise engaged, but that gives me a chance to chat to the regulars.
In the case of the Mumbles Alehouse, Karen was there to let me in, and Rod followed soon after, having collected some casks of ale from a brewery. Rod explained that these “beer runs” were a regular feature of his life because, being out on a limb, distributors were less enthusiastic to deliver. This had actually proved advantageous as it enabled Rod to build good direct relationships with local breweries.
The Mumbles Alehouse is set on a quiet side street just off the high street which itself is just a stone’s throw from the sea front in Mumbles, a small town about 5 miles along the coast from Swansea. It was the first micropub to open in Wales, back in August 2014.
It’s another of those units with a narrow frontage but which go back a long way. The left hand side of the rear of the premises is taken up by a traditional pub style bar. The interior has attractive wood fittings. There is also a small outside drinking area out front.
Karen explained that they had started off serving all their ales by gravity from casks held in a stillage behind the bar but had later installed 3 handpumps on the bar to allow for more capacity. The handpulled casks are stored in an air conditioned “shed” at the rear of the premises. As well as offering a constantly changing selection of ales, Mumbles Alehouse also have one regular beer: Butty Bach from Wye Valley brewery, which has proved to be very popular.
Mumbles alehouse also sell wines, and an interesting range of bottled beers. Bar snacks such as pies are also available. They have live music on Sunday evenings.
I really enjoyed meeting Rod & Karen and looking round Mumbles Alehouse. I would have loved to have visited their micropub during opening hours, but that would have meant sticking around for an extra day. Thank you Rod & Karen for welcoming me on a day that you weren’t open!