The Lincoln Green Brewery and Pub company has taken the lease on The Railway Hotel at Belper, increasing its pub estate to six sites. The Railway is Lincoln Green’s second leased pub with Star Pubs & Bars and closes this week for a joint £275,000 refurbishment.
The investment will transform The Railway into a great traditional pub specialising in cask and craft ales. The pub will stock eight Lincoln Green cask and craft ales out of the 20 beers and ciders on tap, providing Lincoln Green with another East Midlands outlet for its products.
Whilst Star is a major partner in the investment and is overseeing the work, The Railway will be refurbished in the distinctive Lincoln Green style using Lincoln Green’s contractors and designers.
The project will completely redecorate the outside of the pub. With a shortage of pub gardens in the town, The Railway’s car park will be converted into an eye-catching garden with beach huts, covers, heating and lighting for all-weather and year-round use.
Inside work will retain original features and give The Railway a timeless classic look. As well as a spacious bar there will be areas of comfortable seating in the pub’s lounge and snugs. Other changes will include installing a new kitchen to enable the introduction of freshly prepared pub food and upgrading the cellar with SmartDispense.
Billed as the first pub in Belper to specialise in craft ale, The Railway will have four craft beers on tap along with eight cask ales and eight lagers and ciders from the Heineken portfolio. A wide range of gins, whiskies and wines will also be served.
Lincoln Green is looking to take further leased pubs where it can stock its beers across the East Midlands. The company favours prominent historical sites in town centre locations. Says Lincoln Green Brewery and Pub Company founder Anthony Hughes, “In a competitive brewing market, having pubs is a real asset. As well as providing an outlet for our ales, they enable us to control quality and showcase our products to customers in the best possible condition. Our rate of growth will be dependent on finding the right pubs, but we envisage opening 10 more over the next decade.
“As a brewer, the leased model is ideal; it ties up minimum capital and leaves us free to invest in our brewery operations. Our partnership with Star works well. Their focus on investment and their flexibility on stocking are key. Heineken’s product range complements ours. Whilst we want to stock our own craft and cask ales, we also like to serve a couple of great nationally recognised brands alongside; they give credibility to the bar and confidence to less adventurous drinkers.”
Adds Star Pubs & Bars North Midlands operations director Alun Johnson: “Lincoln Green are first class pub operators. Their brewing background gives each pub a USP and point of difference with customers. And their focus on product quality extends to every area of their pubs. It’s exciting to be working with them on another project.”