New pub set to open in Alnwick next month serving independent craft and keg beer

A new pub in Alnwick is set to open soon, as town centres across the country look to bounce back from the lockdown.

By Ben O'Connell
Friday, 24th July 2020, 2:56 pm
Updated Friday, 24th July 2020, 2:57 pm
The Pig in Muck pub in Alnwick.
The Pig in Muck pub in Alnwick.

The Pig in Muck, in the Market Place, plans to open its doors on Friday, August 14.

A sister venue to Amble’s Cock and Bull, it will be ‘exactly how we do things here with local provenance, but with additions’, explained owner Jake Castleman.

The name follows the theme as well, with the Cock and Bull being named for the kind of stories you hear in the pub and the Pig in Muck for how people feel while spending time there.

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At its heart, it will be a micropub with independent craft and keg beer, but there will also be a full menu of local gins, charcuterie meats and cheeses, cocktails, coffees, and a food offer, given that the premises, formerly Caffe Piazza, has a kitchen.

A licence has been granted covering the hours of 11am to 10.30pm seven days a week and this includes outdoor seating, which Mr Castleman believes will bring a continental feel as well as perhaps making some feel safer given the restrictions around Covid-19.

Asked if opening a new pub during a major pandemic was a risk, he joked that he didn’t have much choice, given that he signed the lease in early March.

“It’s turning out well so far,” he added. “We are doing well in Amble now we are open again, so I don’t think it’s too bad.

“The tourist trade in both Alnwick and Amble has gone a bit off the scale. Speaking to B&B owners, they are saying it’s looking like it’s going to be their best seasons or certainly their best spells.”

Find out more on Facebook – – with details to follow of a possible online reservations system, which has been introduced at the Cock and Bull.

Last month, we reported that a licensing hearing over a bid to allow the sale of alcohol off the premises at the Amble venue, which took over the former tourist information centre in the Town Square, had been deferred.

Concerns had been raised by the police and councillors, although there were also 13 letters of support, however, the Business and Planning Bill was introduced in Parliament not long before the hearing started at 2pm on Thursday, June 25.

This includes temporary changes to licensing laws that will allow premises to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises using their existing licences.

However, the new rules would not apply to those who have had permission for this refused or taken away in the last three years, which would have been the case for Mr Castleman if the hearing had gone ahead and his application refused, so he requested an adjournment.

A council spokeswoman explained that this was because the off-sales element of the application had been withdrawn, but Mr Castleman did not wish to comment on whether he would be going ahead with his proposals under the new legislation.

The bill has progressed quickly as planned, with the House of Commons agreeing to a number of amendments from the House of Lords, including that off-sales should be restricted to before 11pm, on Tuesday, July 21. It is now just waiting for Royal Assent.

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