Having lived in Warwick for more than 20 years, it’s not very often I get so excited about a new business.
Hospitality has been – and is sadly still going through – a tough period for trading but I believe it will be a case of third time lucky for the Smith Street venue that formerly housed Switch and before that Revive cafes.
Since quietly opening its doors last month, The Craftsman is already gaining popularity.
The craft beer bar and shop is a welcome new arrival for the town and has already earned the loyalty of the local – and not-so-local – burgeoning craft ale community.
In fact, if Friday night was anything to go by, it will be one of Warwick’s hospitality success stories.
I believe this will be, in large part, down to its new family owners. The Craftsman is headed up by Warwick-based father and son team Paul and Harvey Brown and supported by mum Jacqui and Harvey’s brother Regan. They tell me they pride themselves on offering the personal touch – and it shows in every element of the business.
But, to them, it’s also clearly more than just a business. The Browns have worked hard to curate a complete craft beer ‘experience’ from the moment you step across the threshold.
In fact beer nerds (I know they don’t take offence at this as I have one in my family!) are in their element with the extensive and ever-changing selection, from local microbreweries as well as renowned craft beer producers around the world.
And Harvey is front and centre when it comes to guiding you through the diverse range of options.
One of the big talking points is the bar’s 16-beer flight which offers a third pint of each of the current 15 ales and one cider on their menu. By the time we’d made our way through these, the liquid line-up had three new additions so what you get at any one time will likely differ. A great excuse (if you really need one) to keep you coming back!
The food selection has been carefully created by head chef and general manager Lee Mallen, to complement the ales. A limited (for now) but delicious range of excellent quality street food, including burgers, pizzas and wings. Proving particularly popular is their showstopping platters, perfect as shareables among a group of friends.
There’s also a selection of light bites, sides and salads and hot drinks. (Don’t feel you have to be a beer aficionado to visit!)
And there’s a decent range of wines, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages available for the non-beer drinkers like myself.
Someone who does class himself as part of the ale drinking community however, is my son, who gave The Craftsman his seal of approval. He also headed home happily stocked up with some of the beers from the bar’s shop. There’s more than 50 to choose from at any one time.
This is so much more than just another local bar. The Browns clearly respect the needs of the local craft beer-drinking community but it’s also a lovely spot for coffee meet-ups with friends or work colleagues.
In The Craftsman they have already created something pretty special. And there are plans for live events in the pipeline too. Watch this space.
Visit: https://craftsmanbars.co.uk/ [Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been
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commission for purchases] Amanda Chalmers
Amanda is a journalist of 30 years and now runs an award-winning PR agency based in Warwickshire. When she's not writing about her own clients she loves to help spotlight the great work of other pubs, restaurants and hotels around the country.