February 14, 2019 by Kay Byrne
Mumbles Ale House has a new home.
Wales’ first micro pub has relocated from its home on Dunns Lane to The Victoria Inn, Mumbles.
New owners Gerrard and Bronwen Armor are refurbishing the 150-year-old backstreet pub on the corner of Westbourne and Gloucester Place to give it a new identity and lease of life.
The Mumbles Ale House was established in 2012 by Roderick Undy and Karen McGeoch, who took a former clothes shop and gallery at the bottom of Dunns Lane and transformed it into a micro pub serving a variety of ales straight from the barrel.
Husband and wife team Gerrard and Bronwen took it over two years later, continuing the winning formula, stocking ales from different micro-breweries in a friendly, welcoming environment free of music, TV and slot machines.
Having built up a loyal following of local customers as well as attracting visitors and holiday makers, the Mumbles Ale House was named Swansea CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2016 and featured as a ‘little gem’ and ‘must visit destination’ in the Sunday Telegraph, Evening Standard and Observer newspapers.
“The opportunity came up to buy the Victoria Inn and so we jumped at it,” said Gerrard Armor. “It’s a great building with old world charm and more space for a greater number of customers to enjoy all that the Ale House concept has to offer, plus it’s only 150 metres up the hill and around the corner from where we are now.
“We’ll be putting our own design stamp on it but locals should be assured that the original well used in the mid-19th century for brewing the pub’s own beer, will remain intact as a feature.”
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), more than a quarter of Britain’s pubs have closed their doors since the turn of the millennium, with numbers falling from 52,500 in 2001 to 38,815 in 2018.
It reports that landlords on the outskirts of major cities are most likely to have called last orders for their final times and small independent pubs have borne the brunt of the decline, disappearing in droves as large commercial chain venues have grown in number.
“Chains have certainly made their mark on the village of Mumbles but I think that’s been positive and if you offer something good, a little bit different and what the market wants then there’s room for everyone,” added Bronwen.
“By relocating the Ale House we’ll have more room to sell a wider selection of wines and spirits, even coffees, where as well as the ale house offer, we’ll create a dog-friendly lounge area ideal for community-oriented events like quiz, poetry and film nights.
“Our vision is to create a really nice place to be, where women and people of all ages can feel relaxed and comfortable and confident of a warm welcome. Our two and a half years of running the Ale House and a holiday home also in the village has shown us just how important a good pub is to the local community.”
Swansea Camra chairman Paul James said: “It’s great news for real ale drinkers and if you haven’t already paid a visit to the pub, we recommend you do so soon!”
Local councillor Will Thomas commented: “It’s great to see such an historic pub brought back to life and in a climate where so many pubs in Mumbles and across Gower have had to close. I wish Gerrard and Bronwen well with their plans which I’m sure will prove a big success.”
The new, relocated Mumbles Ale House is open now and will trade daily from 4pm Monday to Thursday and from 12pm over the weekends. The original, smaller Ale House has now closed its doors permanently.
For more information and news, visit www.mumblesalehouse.com or @mumblesalehouse on Facebook and Instagram and @alehousemumbles on Twitter.