Meet the team planning to build one of Portsmouth’s first micropubs

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A brewery has started work to transform a newsagents into Milton’s first micro-pub.

The Southsea Brewing Co. is hoping to open the venue, called The Brewer’s Tap, at 177 Eastney Road by the end of the year. 

Brewery directors/brewers (L-R) David Eastwood and Dan Tonkin

Brewery directors/brewers (L-R) David Eastwood and Dan Tonkin

The brewery was established in Southsea Castle two years ago by husband and wife team Dave and Lorna Eastwood. 

They recently welcomed Dan Tonkin into the business, allowing the expansion into their new venture.

Dan said: ‘It’s a part of Portsmouth where there aren’t many places which serve craft beer. Most of the existing pubs are tied to large pubcos so the beer offering isn’t anything new or exiting.

‘We are looking forward to introducing something different to an area where it is really needed.’

Dave said that micro-pubs have seen a rise in popularity due to their ‘personal touch’. 

He said: ‘We get lots of calls from micro-pub landlords who want our beer, they are always really interested in where the beers come from and how they are made.

‘Their passion for what they sell is passed on to their customers, and people really like that personal touch. We’ve visited lots of micropubs and the absence of things like TVs and gaming machines really bring all the customers together.

‘Everyone shares a common interest, which is usually beer, and often the debates at the bar spill into conversations across the whole room – it’s fantastic.’ 

Dave said they were excited to be bringing their services to Milton. 

He said: ‘We have secured a fantastic location which has huge potential.

‘Over the next few months, the former newsagent notorious for selling out of date crisps will be transformed into The Brewer’s Tap – a micropub serving all the beers we brew at the Castle, as well as showcasing a diverse range of craft beers that we love from other small brewers.

‘We are super excited to get to work on this location, there’s loads of potential for the local community to use the space, which includes a large upstairs area which will be made available for groups, workshops, classes or whatever is needed.’ 

A planning application for a change of use for the premises is currently being considered by Portsmouth City Council. It has attracted more than 30 comments of support so far.