A QUIRKY Victorian style beer shop for the discerning drinker opened its doors in Ormskirk town centre this week.
With six continental ales on draught and around 45 bottles, the Hop Inn Bier Shoppe is the brainchild of Burscough Brewing Company’s Andrew Brocken and Mike McCombe, landlord of Burscough’s Hop Vine.
The pair invited the Advertiser into the new venue on the eve of its opening to explain their vision for the hotly-anticipated venture.
“We want to create a different era to drink in – bring back the traditional element of pubs and bars”, says Mr McCombe.
“We don’t stock any major brands, we want people to taste what beer should be about. We’ve also got our two biggest sellers, Priory Gold and Mere Blonde, on tap.
“We want to get into Ormskirk with our brands and the beer speaks for itself.”
The bar, on the site of the former Drapers card shop on Burscough Street, offers a range of bottled beers to either drink on premises or take home and is licensed from 11am to 11pm seven days a week.
The black-and-gold frontage opens into an interior from another age. Dark wooden panels and burgundy wallpaper deck the walls, with glass cabinets showcasing the range of beers on offer, while cut-off kegs finished with wooden tops provide handy places to rest your pint.
Mr Brocken said: “We’ve spent five weeks on the refit. “The look we were going for was quirky Victorian and we did a lot of research. There’s certain characteristics that jumped out – leather seating, dark wood, detailed patterning on the ceiling and walls.
“We’re not just doing beer either. We don’t want this to be a beer-drinking bastion for men, we want this to be a place where someone who enjoys a good beer feels comfortable bringing their partner.”
Explaining how they plan to expand their offering to more than 300 beers eventually, similar to the wide-ranging collection of world beers stocked in small bars they visited in Belgium, he added: “This is something new, we’re bringing the reputation the Hop Vine has to Ormskirk but in a completely different environment.
“We’re trying to raise the bar, bring that quality, and if it works we’d be looking to open more of these in other areas. “Hopefully this will be the first of many.”