Thank you for visiting our new website
Now, we realise our old website page said: "Welcome to our new website" as well – and that was up for more than a year – but forgive us. Anyway, if you're still reading this, then there's a very good chance you've heard about the first independent micropub in Bristol, The Drapers Arms. If not and you've just stumbled on this site by mistake whilst looking for fabrics, drapes, drapers or even the arms of drapers, sorry — but stick with it and if you're ever in Bristol, then pop in.
What's going on?
We opened a micropub at No: 447 on the Gloucester Road in Bristol at the end of 2016. If you're passing, it's just by the bus stop opposite Pitt Road. If you're not passing, take our word for it. We sell real ale and traditional cider, straight from the cask, sourced from small independent producers, mostly based in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset or Wiltshire.
So what is a 'micropub'?
A micropub is not a micro brewery. There's no brewing or filling beer barrels done on the premises. It's a completely different offering compared to a standard pub. The Micropub Association describes this type of outlet as "a small freehouse which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and dabbles in traditional pub snacks". That's what we were after.
Well, what's this micropub like?
The Drapers Arms is an independent alehouse – and we hope we're providing a relaxed and sociable atmosphere, in a one room venue with a capacity for about 40 customers, to enjoy a couple of beers and a bit of chat. Now – and we know this will disappoint some people – we don't sell lager, Guinness®, beers with the word "smooth" in their name or any 'keg' beers; fizzy ciders, spirits or things like jagger bombs.
However, without a juke box, fruit machines, WiFi or television, we hope it will feel like you're just sitting in a good, old fashioned, traditional pub and, with conversation with other punters as the only form of entertainment, you'll also actually enjoy it. We do sell a few regular bar snacks but no hot food. However, you can pick up a pickled egg in a bag of crisps – known as Bristol's answer to Chicken & Chips.
Why's it called The Drapers Arms?
Our original name for the place was going to be; "Blah Blah!" as we're all about sociable conversation, i.e. blah, blah this acronym stood for "Bristol's Little Ale House, Bishopston, Looking at Horfield". Well, you see, our part of Gloucester Road is in Bishopston – but the other side of the road is actually in Horfield, obviously we're in Bristol, we're all about selling Ale, we not very big....... well; you get the picture. Wiser heads prevailed (that's Vince) and, as it was a Drapers shop for more than 80 years, The Drapers Arms it is.
Don't start us on where the apostrophe should be.
Someone said you've banned mobile phones?
Nonsense! How can you ban one of the greatest technological developments of the 20th Century? As they say "you can't unring the bell". However, what you can do is put that ringtone on silent — or better still, turn it off. If you really want to tweet, twitter, text, 'check in' snapchatter, watsappenin' etc, we won't stop you – but if you start answering or making phone calls then expect to be asked to make a contribution to charity, fairly sharpish. If you're sitting in The Drapers Arms wearing headphones we'll assume you're very lonely, a bit sad and you really want someone to come over and talk to you. Be prepared.
What are the opening times?
We're open from 5pm to 9.30pm Sunday to Friday. We're not a late house.
We're also open from Midday to 9:30pm on Saturdays.
Is the place any good?
Well, that's not up to us, that's up to you. We think any pub is only as good as the atmosphere created by its customers; we provide good beer, clean glasses and some tables and chairs — and that's about it. We try and have one or two Ashley Down beers and at least 3 or 4 guest ales on every single day – including at least one beer we've never featured before – and in our first 12 months we've managed to serve over 300 different beers from more than 60 breweries – we're pleased with that. However, we rely on the good punters of Bishopston and Horfield, who enjoy a decent pint in good company to make The Drapers Arms the kind of place that other people will want to go to. So far, so good.
If a winning and successful pub formula is something that could be created immediately from scratch then, rest assured, the big pubcos, breweries and venture capitalists in this industry would have patented it, packaged up and dropped it in anywhere and everywhere — and believe us, they're trying.
Who is behind this?
Vince Crocker and Garvan Hickey. Vince is a born and bred Bishopston local and is the owner, chief brewer and head bottle washer of Ashley Down Brewery – and he supplies a significant proportion of the beer. Garvan's background is in sales and marketing, predominately in the Hospitality and Catering sector and he has lived and worked all around the UK and Ireland, although he first moved to Bristol 25 years ago.
Both live locally, in St Andrews and Ashley Down.
What's the point of all this?
A very good question. Yes, there are loads of really good and interesting places to visit and socialise on the Gloucester Road — and all around Bristol. If you've got this far and don't like what you've read – that's really OK. This is not for everyone, of course; but we wanted to open a place, near where we both live,
that we would like to drink in, so we did.
We hope you like it too. Cheers!
Garvan & Vince
Copyright © 2017 Garvan Hickey & Vince Crocker. All rights reserved.