It’s a real pub. And now it’s achieved industry recognition with the award of a ‘Cask Marque’ just two years after landlord and brewer Gordon Edwards opened the doors to the public for the very first time.
It’s Pewsey’s own ‘Micropub’ right in the centre on North Street and (ironically) opposite the development that used to be one of Pewsey’s big traditional pubs, The Greyhound.
The first thing noticed when visiting The Shed to meet with Gordon and Sam was the lack of room: not because it’s small – it isn’t – but because people are almost spilling out onto the street. Midweek, at just after six o’clock it was heaving.
It’s how pubs used to be, a social place to have a friendly drink, a chat, and while away a very enjoyable hour or so in good company.
Maybe this is the wheel turning a full circle, where the big tenanted pub with a PubCo owner extracting every bit of possible profit from the landlord tenant thus making survival difficult let alone the opportunity to thrive, is about to be supplanted by a breed of new Micropubs, licensed houses that are far nearer the successful pubs found in the high streets of villages and towns a century ago selling locally (and independently) brewed beer (and cider), some of which may even be brewed in the back room of the premises.
As with the popular pubs of yesteryear there’s no TV, one-armed bandit, pool table or even the opportunity to be served food. A far simpler and more engaging offering that isn’t open around the clock (The Shed Alehouse is only open Wednesday to Sunday with the latest closing time being 10pm on Friday and Saturday) which welcomes customers in to spend a while in convivial company and enjoying excellent ale.
Gordon and Sam started the Shed Alehouse two years ago, with Gordon having taken voluntary redundancy from Honda after nineteen long years, supported by Sam who was (and is) still working for NFU Mutual in Marlborough, able to support if the venture didn’t work out.
Wind forward two years and the industry has given The Shed Alehouse its seal of approval – a Cask Marque’, which is there as an award for pubs that serve top quality cask ale. To achieve this the pub was subjected to two unannounced visits and each time the beer and how it was kept and served was tested in every way (temperature, hygiene, duration open, even cleanliness of glasses etc.). Across the UK there are now 9,000 pubs able to display the Cask Marque which is widely recognised amongst the real ale fraternity as being a badge of quality.
Alongside the selection of independent and local ales and ciders (one or more ales will be brewed within thirty miles of the pub – complying with the CAMRA LocAle accreditation requirement) there is the option of a range of wines, prosecco, carefully selected soft drinks and a range of bar snacks.
The Shed Alehouse is closed Monday and Tuesday, but open Wednesday and Thursday between 5pm and 9:30, Fridays 4-10pm, Saturday 2-10pm and Sunday between 1 and 5pm.
Further information can be found on The Shed Alehouse website