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Micropubs set to revolutionise drinking habits

The Butcher's Arms in Herne is one of a growing number of micropubs Photo: ITV Meridian

As the name suggests, they are small, sometimes tiny pubs. Most are created in closed-down shops. They sell real ale, supplied by micro-breweries and a relaxation of licensing laws means they are cheap and simple to set up.

Drinkers settle down for a pint in the Butcher's Arms Credit: ITV Meridian

The drinking establishments are spreading fast, with the latest planned for Hastings and Southampton. It's estimated that five years from now there could be more than 200 micropubs in Kent alone.

Martyn Hillier behind the bar of his micropub in Herne Credit: ITV Meridian

This is the man who started it all, Martyn Hillier - by uncorking a novel idea at the annual conference of the Campaign for Real Ale.

His idea was you take away all drinks except real ale and take away the the food, the music, the TV, the gaming machines and the bar.

All you have left are some barrels of ale, a few tables and chairs and a toilet. Oh, yes and you ban mobile phones and open for a couple of hours at lunchtime and close at around nine at night.

When Martyn pulled his first pint in the 14ft by 12ft pub with it's tables from Butcher's blocks he started quite a revolution.

A pint of real ale being poured straight out the barrel Credit: ITV Meridian

There are now six micro-pubs in England, four of them here in the south. They are small pubs created in converted shops.

A relaxation of licensing laws means they are pretty simple to set up.