The pub world is a fickle place – premises are closing all around us and, depending on whom you ask, the indutry is either in trouble or in crisis. In my own locality of Barnet in Hertfordshire (look me up, buy me a drink!) there are pubs boarded up, former pubs that are now private residences, independent financial advisors and one local is even due to become a funeral parlour … it’s a grave situation!
The Black Horse on Wood Street, one of the iconic Barnet pubs that was closed for a very long time appears to be bucking the trend (geddit?). It has been bought by Oak Taverns and is now re-opened and, let joy be unconfined, is starting up its own Barnet Brewery.
They have not yet actually started brewing and the tanks and casks fight for space with the kitchen supplies so I went up there to nose around and find out what is being planned. There I found Simon Collinson, the MD of Oak Taverns who told me all about it.