Love Your Local: The Invincible, Portsea

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It is striving to be one of the more unusual pubs in Portsmouth.

The Invincible, in Wickham Street, Portsea, is gearing up for a bright future - and hopes its alternative approach to business will pull in bigger crowds.

A new kitchen is expected to be opened in the coming weeks so exotic meats from around the world can be served to customers.

And there is already a wide beer range, with drinks from as far as Hawaii being offered as the venue seeks to offer something different to what is already on offer around the city.

Holly Strinder has been the pub’s manager since it was taken over under new management in November.

She is excited about its direction and the way things are going so far.

And she said one of the focuses this year will be to try and persuade visitors from nearby tourist attractions such as Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to stop by and try what is on offer.

Holly, 24, also admitted it wasn’t a cheap and cheerful venue – and instead is catered towards those who want to pay a bit more for something they haven’t seen before.

‘The pub before had unfortunately picked up a bad name for itself,’ she said.

‘It then ended up closing completely, but we have it a whole new facelift and people who have not been in for a while are now saying how nice it looks.

‘It’s got such a nice, relaxed atmosphere.

‘Even when it’s busy, there is a calm feeling about it.

‘I have always liked something a bit different, and I would pay a bit extra for something if I know I’ll get more for my money.’

She added: ‘My aspiration is to really see this pub be turned around completely.

‘There are plenty of cheap pubs around the city, people seem to see cheap and cheerful everywhere.

‘You often see buy one, get another drink free or pints £2 or under. But this is somewhere a bit nicer and a bit different and it’s good being able to offer that to people.

‘We have got Hawaiian beers and other drinks from around the world.

‘The spirit range we do is also growing all the time.’

The pub hopes in the coming months to stock more than 100 beers from across the globe.

Steve Lant, who owns the lease of the pub as well as others around the city, said: ‘What we are trying to offer is of the highest quality.

‘It’s quite quiet at the moment, but we are trying to access the market by offering something really different.

‘There are drinks here you wouldn’t see anywhere else in Portsmouth.’

QUIRKY Holly Trinder is more than just the manager of a pub.

She also designs costumes based on characters in video games and comics for people who attend conventions.

But she’s happy with life at The Invincible as she enjoys meeting people, and every day in the job is different.

Holly, who is originally from Wales, said: ‘I have always been a people person.

‘I worked in recruitment years ago, but working in an office was never something I wanted to do.

‘With this job, you are on your feet every day and I like the managerial side of things.’

Meanwhile, a Hampshire brewery has scooped a prize for the quality of its beer.

Upham Brewery won a silver award after its Punter ale, a four per cent bottled bitter, came second in the international smallpack ale category at this year’s International Brewing Awards.

The accolade comes after the brewery, in Bishop’s Waltham, came runner-up in the National Farm Produce Awards 2014, which was also thanks to its Punter ale. The International Brewing Awards began in 1886 and are judged by brewers and cider makers. It is made up of 10 categories covering all styles of beer. David Butcher, director of Upham Brewery, said: ‘Winning Silver at The International Brewing Awards is a fantastic accolade and testament to the work that our brewing team put into producing our exceptional ales.

He added: ‘We continue to receive hugely positive feedback from trade and consumer customers for both our staple ales like Punter as well as our seasonal beers, the current being 1st Drop.

‘We’ve got ambitious plans to expand in the future and to build our pub portfolio, which is all possible owing to the success of our ales like Punter.’