Cheers to good beer and good chat at new town pub

Good beer and good chat, that’s the motto behind Alnwick’s newest pub, which is set to open in a couple of weeks’ time.

Friday, 15th February 2019, 13:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th February 2019, 10:57 am
Paul and Sarah Johnson at The Ale Gate in Alnwick. Picture by Jane Coltman

Husband and wife team Sarah and Paul Johnson are opening the micropub, the Ale Gate, in the former NFU building on Bondgate Without.

And it isn’t the first venture for the couple.

Sarah and Paul opened the Narrow Nick in Rothbury in 2016, and after its huge success in the village, they decided it was time to open another.

Sarah said: “My husband had opened two other pubs in the past and he has always wanted to open quite a few.

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“The Narrow Nick has done so well that Alnwick just seemed right for a micropub.

“We looked at a few properties in the town and that end where the Plough is doing well, the Playhouse is being refurbished and you have the developments under McCarthy and Stone flats was the perfect site.”

And the name comes about from its location – it’s on Bondgate, and it sells ale, therefore it is the Ale Gate.

The grand opening is set for Friday, March 1, and work is taking place to get the venue ready.

While the micropub will sell a selection of locally-made cask ales, Sarah and Paul will also be opening with a selection of at least 30 gins, as well as wines, ciders and lagers. But there will be no TVs or jukeboxes.

“Good beer and good chat is our motto, people can sit and talk to each other, it’s amazing what you find out about people,” Sarah said.

“The conversations that people have at the bar are brilliant.

“I’d like to thank everybody for the support we have had for the pub so far. We have already had a wonderful welcome to the town.

“When we opened in Rothbury, people wondered the village needed another pub, but we are so different to what else is on offer that it worked.”

Beer will be provided from breweries such as Big Lamp, Cheviot, Wylam and Hexhamshire, with a few others added to the mix at different times.

The Ale Gate will also be dog-friendly and will be open from 5pm to 10.30pm Monday to Friday, noon to 10.30pm Saturday, and 4.30pm to 10.30pm Sunday, with a noon opening on weekends in summer.