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Published December 2nd 2018
Enjoy a pint of home-brewed ale in shadow of castle
A new pub and micro-brewery in the Staffordshire town of Tamworth is adding a new chapter to the historic building it has taken up residence in. The Tamworth Tap pub, which actually accommodates the Tamworth Brewing Company which came into being a few months earlier, is located within a 16th century shop front that lies under the shadow of Tamworth's historic Norman castle. In most recent times, the building in Market Street which now houses Tamworth's first brewery in some 70 years, served as the town's tourist information office before its recent closure.
Tamworth Brewing Company started creating its own ales in 2017 from its small but modern three barrel microbrewery. It initially only supplied its CAMRA award winning ales to local pubs, but then opened The Tamworth Tap in December last year to create its own customers. At present, the pub, which still has a Saxon wall in the rear garden nearest to the medieval castle, only opens for a few hours daily on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. But on the day I visited, which was a Thursday, it was clear that this small but welcoming watering hole was very popular with the locals.
The Tamworth Tap serves two home-brewed beers, all of which is produced on the brewery's two brew days per week, and two apparently changing guest ales. On the day that my friends and I visited, the two local beers were Ethelfleda, a strong pale ale, and Hopyard IPA, while the guest ales comprised Quack Addict, a dark beer from the Dancing Duck Brewery, and Hippy Killer, a cherry mild from the Hippy Killer Brewery. Each of the contrasting beers were priced at £3.60 a pint, or £3.50 for members of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale). Straightforward snacks are offered for anyone feeling a bit peckish, while the pub also provides a range of gins, wines and bottled beers if hand-pulled ales are not to your taste.
The interior of the pub was extremely comfortable although on my next visit I plan to get there early enough to claim the cosy looking armchair in what would have been the main shop window. There is also a welcoming upper seating area, although you would have to carry your own beers up the stairs. And, when spring and summer come round again, the historic courtyard to the rear comprises a beer terrace offering unique views of Tamworth Castle.