Notts micropub chain opening new location just outside train station

The new location will be in the old cabman's shelter at Nottingham Station. PHOTO: Phil Ayley

A Notts man who went from being unemployed to owning three award winning micropubs is opening a fourth at Nottingham Train Station.

Phil Ayling, founder of BrewHeadZ micropub chain, opened his first pub in Newark before starting his micropub empire.

“I was a glassman for 42 years and got made redundant so many times, I was out of work for three years,” he said.

“I used to be quite involved in the Newark Beer Festival as a volunteer, organising the event, and knew how to source and look after beer, and had quite a lot of contacts.

“People said ‘why not try owning your own pub’, so I got together with three friends and opened Just Beer.”

After four years, he decided to make the most of the beer boom and started BeerHeadZ.

BeerHeadZ currently own two micropubs, in Grantham and Retford – both have earned CAMRA awards, which helped lead to the company’s recent decision to open a pub in the old cabman’s shelter outside Nottingham Station on Queen’s Road.

Phil’s looking to get permission for the pub to put chairs and tables outside the Grade 2 listed building, so customers can enjoy a pint before catching their train.

Despite the building’s history, he’s hoping to introduce some modern aspects to the pub to attract a wider audience.

“Some micropubs are stuck in the past, and looking traditional and old fashioned can attract a certain type of drinker,” he said.

“We want to embrace the old and the new, and get younger drinkers in as well as the older drinkers, because if we don’t then in a few years time there won’t be any drinkers left.”

BeerHeadZ also likes to introduce drinkers to new beers, and Phil will even drive to breweries and pick beer up in his car if he can’t buy it through a wholesaler.

It’s hoped that the new location will open in June or July.

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