The North West's First Micropub. CAMRA Pub of the Year 2013. Find us in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 CAMRA Good Beer Guides.


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Snug Life Story-Part 2

After opening on August 1st 2012 we soon developed a great group of regulars made up of locals and tourists be they weekenders or holidaymakers here for a week or two. We then got to thinking about extra little things we could do and I always remembered local pubs in East Manchester running trips out for regulars a few times a year. It was something that seemed to die out apart from exceptional places where there would still be a trip to Blackpool or a race meeting, so that's what we decided to do.

Our first trip was in December 2012 to the Marble Arch pub in Manchester including a brewery tour. The picture left is the December 2013 trip when we took advantage of the hold of the coach to also return empty casks which the regulars kindly took down the hill to the brewery for us. Until this year the Manchester trip became our regular Christmas trip.

Other trips have included Liverpool, the wonderful Hawkshead Brewery and Unsworth's Yard in Cartmel. We have also visited Chester, Skipton and Settle, Ulverston Brewery and the Prince of Wales at Foxfield.

In Cartmel we always seem to get good weather and enjoy sitting in Unsworth's Yard drinking beer from Peter Unsworth's brewery, wine from Davd Unsworth's fantastic wine and spoirit shop and cheese from the Cartmel Cheese Shop. Happy days indeed

David Unsworth has also helped us raise money for Help for Heroes by generously hosting a gin tasting evening in The Snug where we sampled a huge range of gins from all over the world while David gave us a very interesting and humorous history of gin. When we re-open in February we hope that David will be returning to broaden our horizons with some more tasting evenings.

We have also had a wine tasting evening with the Lancashire Wine School which everybody enjoyed and found highly informative and which again raised funds for Help for Heroes. We have also held various quiz nights and cheese and port evenings to raise funds.

In November 2013 we held our first beer festival which we touched on briefly in our last post. Since then we have had three more festivals with over 35 real ales and ciders last year. The festival has been held in The Snug and the Midland and Furness Hall in the Heritage Centre The £2 admission fee goes to the Station Heritage Trust, and we have averaged a donation of around £1000 each year.

This year we had our inaugural gin festival to celebrate World Gin Day on June 10th. Jules had the unenviable task of sourcing the 25 gins which involved a great deal of sampling which the poor woman found extremely arduous as you'll appreciate. But source them she did and there were some wonderful gins, many of which we now stock on a permanent basis. We knew gin was popular but nothing prepared the three of us on the bar that day for quite how busy we would be. Marc was superb, as ever, and Vicky worked really hard in the kitchen keeping on top of washing glasses. True team work that day.

Again we are reviewing arrangements for future festivals while we are 'resting' so watch this space.

For a couple of years we also had The Snug Ukulele Group which entertained at a couple of beer festivals and met monthly when we were closed on Mondays. Again this idea is something we are looking at and several ideas have been thrown in the melting pot for next year. Yet again, watch this space.

The first Saturdays of most months at The Snug are now synonymous with Thai Street Food. Even last weekend we had an enquiry from somebody wanting to know if there would be Thai food available on Saturday.

Of course when we re-open Amporn and Eric will be back bringing their wonderful Thai food for people to enjoy. In the meantime you can find out where they are cooking next by visiting their website: Thai Kitchen In Lakeland.

Finally we have The Snug Fantasy Premier League which is now in its fourth season. This season we have 29 teams contesting and we are introducing our own league cup in the New Year which will be fought for on a knock out basis. Good luck to all involved and, if you missed out this season, watch out for details of how to enter over the summer for the start of the 2018/19 season.

On the prospect of the next football season being 2018/19 I will leave you with a question: Where does the time go?

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Snug Life Story-Part 1

The Snug at the moment.

Well here we are, just over five weeks into our enforced period of rest and we are now starting to plan for re-opening at the end of February.

The first three weeks we were busy with all kinds of business stuff but things have now settled down and we are starting to relax. We really have missed The Snug and all our friends but before we know it, we'll be back.

Since we opened in August 2012 we have raised over £5,000 for various charities from Help for Heroes to Bells for St George and Guide Dogs. Thank you to all for your continued generosity.

Some of the charities have been really curious about The Snug and the concept of "the micropub" so now seems as good a time as any for us to review the last five years and take stock. This post is part of that process. 

We were the first micropub to open in the North West back in 2012. A very basic definition of a micropub is a small single room establishment, we are 300 sq ft, selling real ale, real cider, wine and soft drinks with only bar snacks available rather than carveries, chicken in the basket and burgers. We have been a bit naughty and now offer a range of around 20 gins.

We read about micropubs in the Sunday Times in March 2012 and immediately wanted one, the perfect opportunity to develop the kind of pub we would want to frequent. No TV, no jukebox, no noisy gaming machines just good drink in a cosy atmosphere with good company and good conversation. We found our premises at the station, went through the licencing and planning processes, built our own pub and opened our doors for the first time on 1st August 2012. 

July 2012-preparing to open.
The key thing to developing a micropub is originality. We were driven by the chance to develop something unique that can't be found anywhere else, otherwise you may as well just buy into a conventional pub. We were the seventh micropub in the country.

Largely due to a lack of space we had to consider where our "cellar" was going to be. We didn't have a cellar so we had the idea of building one behind the bar which has become one of our big features.

Above the casks we have space to stock our wines, ciders, bottled beers and soft drinks. Within a year of opening our "cellar" wasn't big enough and we had to have it extended to hold ten casks.

When it came to selecting beers we listened to our customers, some of whom resemble walking talking beer encyclopaedias and their knowledge was invaluable when sourcing our beers and ciders. Gradually we built our list of contacts and have been able to source many beers that had never been found in our area before. A few weeks before we closed we were the first pub outside Bolton to offer beers from Northern Monkey brewery. Again originality being a constant objective of ours even after five years.

When we first opened we used to visit pubs in the area to see what beers they had on. Our intention was not to copy but to avoid duplicating. Why offer what the other pubs have on? We played an interesting game of cat and mouse with a few local breweries who eventually accepted that we wanted to establish The Snug as an original. We were doing it our way. Once we established ourselves we obviously began stocking local beers, we have many tourists visiting us who want to try local beers, but we had to build our own identity and not just ape others.

By December 2012 we began to run trips from The Snug, the first being to Marble Brewery and the Christmas Markets. Since then we have been on numerous trips to breweries and towns with quality pubs throughout the North West and will be organising more when we re-open in the New Year. We have also had special fundraising events for our various charities including gin tasting, wine tasting, quiz nights and cheese and port evenings amongst others.

Our first beer festivalposter.
In November 2103 we held our first beer festival which was a great success and quickly became an annual event which was recently listed as one of the top six food and drink events in the county by Lancashire Life magazine. Sadly this year's festival has had to be cancelled because of the building work at the station. In the meantime we are giving considerable thought to next year when we plan to come back bigger and even better.

This is an opportune time to once again thanks all our volunteers who made our first four beer festivals not only possible but also so successful. We really do appreciate your generosity and hard work.

Food plays a big part in the life of The Snug. When we lived in London local pubs would put cheese and roast potatoes on the bar for customers on a Sunday lunchtime. Especially appreciated at the end of the month when money was tight! We shamelessly stole this idea when we started opening on Sundays and in no time Sunday lunchtime developed in to a full blown Jacob's Join with people bringing in their favourite nibbles to share with everybody. Mike's bangers and Roly's canapes spring readily to mind but others bring in delicious contributions too.

Our friends Eric and Amporn (Thai Kitchen Lakeland) spent the first Saturday of the Month with us until we closed last month setting up their mobile kitchen in our outdoor area and offering delicious Thai street food from 12 00 until late. Happily they will be back with us in the New Year, especially when we have our grand re-opening.

We must mention Chippy Friday when regulars bring in chips to share and last but not least Wigan Bob's delicious home made pies on a Saturday lunch for which he only asks a donation in our Help for Heroes tin.

One of the wisest things anybody said when we were planning to open was that opening a micropub isn't just a job or a business, it's a way of life. Colin at the Conqueror micropub in Ramsgate was spot on. There have been difficult times inevitably, but they are are massively outweighed by the good times and the wonderful people we have met over the last five years.

So there we are, what we have been intending to write for our charities who have enquired what we are all about for at least two years but only now have found the time. We hope this post is informative and that you are looking forward to our re-opening after the structural repairs are completed in February as much as we are.

Looking on the bright side when we do re-open it will be the first time we will have a micropub that doesn't leak when it rains and is properly ventilated. Thanks to Julie's lobbying of Network Rail the rotten toilet floors are also being replaced so the smell of damp in the loos will be gone too.

Until then we will be updating our Facebook and Twitter accounts with interesting drink related events nearby, as well as updates on the building works, on a regular basis so please keep in touch.





Thursday, 28 September 2017

Latest News

Our last day open until February, due to major structural work on the building, will be on Monday (2nd Oct) but we are going off with a bang.

We will have our usual range of wonderful beers on this weekend and what better than welcoming our friends Thai Kitchen back on Saturday from 12 00 'til late? Delicious, freshly cooked Thai street food available all day to eat with us or to take away.

There will be nibbles on the bar on Sunday from 12 30 until 4 30. There will also be something to soak up your beer on Monday from 5 00 until 9 00 with our usual delicacies and anything our ever generous regulars bring in for us all to enjoy.

Our estimated re-opening date is February but we are currently looking at some exciting possibilities for opening up in temporary accomodation as near to The Snug as we can. We will keep you informed as things develop.

Looking on the bright side when we do re-open we will finally be in a dry, adequately ventilated building which, for the first time since we opened in 2012, won't leak when it rains.

Hope to see you over the next few days and we will be keeping everybody updated on developments via here, Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Another Update

We have now been informed that we will have to vacate The Snug on 5th October for the structural work on the building to begin. At least I can have the day off on my birthday this year which is October 6th.

We were not so impressed when told that we would be out until February 19th next year. This is after being told repeatedly this last nine months that we would need to be out for around four to six weeks.

We are hoping that Network Rail will accept that this is unreasonable and will ensure that the work is done in a way that reduces our length of closure.

We will keep you informed.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

A Further Update

A lot can change in a short time.

Unfortunately we were given information yesterday that has caused further confusion  about the works due to take place at the station.

Once again we have been given conflicting information and are having to seek further advice before we can confirm any future events with the exception of Thai Kitchen on the first Saturday of the month.

In the meantime The Snug remains up and running, we are just putting extra-curricular activities back on hold.

We will update you when we get some clarification.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bank Holiday Monday-August 28th

We will be open all day on Bank Holiday Monday, 28th August. Open at 12 00pm closing at 9 00pm.

Now the schedule of works at the station is becoming clearer we are planning our next two Snug outings. One will be our famous Manchester visit, including the Marble Arch, the other is still being confirmed but will be another cracker.

Details will be announced in the next week.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Snug Fantasy Football League

We are introducing The Snug Fantasy League Cup this season. Certain weeks (to be decided) will be designated cup tie weeks and following a draw teams in our league will go head to head on a knock out basis culminating in a cup final for which there will be a new handsome trophy.

Managers are now picking their squads and registering for the new season so hope you can join us.

Just a reminder:

The code to join The Snug Carnforth fantasy premier league for football season 2017/18 is:

311634-76479

League name: The Snug Carnforth

fantasy.premierleague.com

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Snug Beer Festival

As you may be aware there has been scaffolding up at the station since March and our main entrance is now the side door as the redundant platform is closed. As a consequence of the platform closure Carnforth Models have temporarily relocated within the Heritage Centre/Refreshment Rooms.

Despite repeated formal requests from us and Carnforth Models our landlord has still not communicated with us regarding the extent or schedule of the works. Through unofficial sources we believe the work is due to start in August and end in December and that our work should be later rather than sooner in the schedule. As a result of this continued uncertainty we are having to cancel this year's beer festival due for November 17/18.

We are extremely sorry as this has been the station's biggest annual event in recent years and was recently listed in Lancashire Life as one of the county's top six drinks festivals.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Celebrating Manchester Beers

It's been a great week, thank you all.

Now we embark on our Manchester Beer Fest, so please be patient while Jules and I indulge ourselves in celebrating beers from our much loved home city that you rarely,  if ever saw before The Snug opened in 2012.

OK Marble was occasionally spotted this far north. But did you ever get to enjoy the wonderful beers from Track, Squawk, Blackjack, Epicurus, Wildside, Manchester Brew Co or Brightside before The Snug opened? No, because in the true micropub tradition we set out to bring you something original, something that we didn't just copy from other pubs.

So please join us this week until Sunday (14th) in celebrating the cask, bottled and canned beers from Manchester's finest breweries that we love and have enjoyed bringing to North Lancashire.

Remember, we regularly update what's on the bar and other news on Facebook and Twitter, so why not pop onto Facebook and give us a like and follow us on Twitter?

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Works Update

Just to let everybody know that for the foreseeable future our main access will continue to be via the side/gable end door as the scaffolding will be remaining on the redundant platform side by the mainline for some time yet. As it happens many people have commented on how good the new configuration inside is working and want us to continue after the work has been completed. Watch this space.

After five years of attempts by our landlord at repairing the damp and leaks we are just relieved that plans are now in hand to do the structural work required to give us a sparkling, new, fully refurbished Snug.

Many people have asked what the schedule is. All we can say at this stage is that the work has been brought forward a year and we found out a couple of weeks ago that it is being put out to tender. If you hear anything differently then it is mere rumour or speculation and best ignored. As soon as there is any news we will be sharing it.

In the meantime our full list of events is on the board in The Snug and we will continue updating our events and beer lists on Facebook and Twitter.

Our next event is a Cheese and Port Evening on Thursday 20th April. We will be offering complimentary cheese and would ask people to bring along some of their favourite cheese to share with everybody. As well as our usual range of drinks we will have a range of ports (not complimentary!) for you to try.

Thai Kitchen are back on May 6th and in June we will be holding our first Gin Festival to celebrate World Gin Day. But more of that anon.

That's all for now and hope to see you soon.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Easter Opening and Things

We will be keeping our usual hours over Easter which are:

Friday: 12 00 til 2 00 then 5 00 til 9 00.
Saturday: As above.
Sunday: 12 30 til 4 30.
Monday: 5 00 til 9 00.

On Thursday 20 April we will be having a cheese and port evening. Open as usual at 5 00pm but there will be a complimentary cheese selection from 6 30 with a fine selection of ports to purchase to accompany your cheese.  Alternatively we will have our usual top notch beers, wines, ciders and gins available.

On Saturday May 6th Thai Kitchen are back and we will be open from 12 00 til 9 00 so you can enjoy your Thai street food with a decent drink.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Weekend Starts Here

What a great week, thank you to all and nice to see so many new faces.

From 12 00pm today (Saturday) we have the wonderful Thai Kitchen back offering delicious Thai street food until late. It would be wrong to eat Thai food without quality beer, wine, cider or maybe a gin so we are open all day.

Sunday we are open from 12 30 but we are hosting the wonderful Haste Theatre and their production of Oyster Boy at 2 00pm in the Furness Hall where we held our beer festivals. Hope you fill the place but The Snug remains open if you prefer a quiet drink.

After the show the girls will be joining us back in The Snug for drinks and a good old fashioned sing-along.

Hope to see you over the weekend.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Monday Opening

As from 20th March we will be opening on Monday evenings from 5 00pm until 9 00pm.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Current News

As spring is fast approaching we are having a thorough review of things and hope to be making some really positive announcements very soon. Watch this space.

In the meantime many of you will know already that entry to The Snug is currently via the side door, or gable end door if you prefer. This is because Network Rail have closed off the redundant platform, where our old door used to be, to demolish a parapet wall which is in a dangerous structural state. Updates on here as and when.

On Sunday 19 March we begin our new season of 'Trekking with Sherpa Rowbottom'. Please join us on a pleasant walk along the canal towpath to Bolton-le-Sands and back for a pint in The Snug via the shore. We will be meeting in the Canal Turn car park at 10 00am. The more the merrier.

On Saturday April 1st Thai Kitchen return offering delicious Thai street food from 12 00pm.

Then on Sunday April 2nd we welcome back Haste Theatre. Tickets £10 from The Snug. Full details on the post below.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Thai Food, Theatre and Trips

Many thanks to all who have helped raise so much in recent months for good causes such as Help for |Heroes, Guide Dogs and Bells for St George. All donations have been gratefully received.

On Saturday March 4th we welcome back Thai Kitchen who will be cooking delicious Thai street food at The Snug from 12 00pm. All welcome and we will make sure there will be some light, hoppy beers on that go well with spicy, fragrant culinary delights.

On Thursday 9th March we will be having an informal fundraiser for the  Sue Ryder Charity Shop Morecambe . We are asking people to donate items to be sold in the shop be it clothes, books, kitchen utensils, CDs or anything else that has been cluttering up your shelves, cupboards and wardrobes. Please bring items along but only on the day itself due to storage restrictions.

On Sunday April 2nd Haste Theatre make a welcome return to Carnforth to perform their original fringe production Oyster Boy . They will be performing at 2 00pm in the Furness Hall and joining us in The Snug afterwards for drinks and no doubt more entertainment. Tickets will be £10 and on sale in The Snug in the next few days.

On Sunday April 30th we have one of our Snug Outings. This time we will be visiting Hebden Bridge where there are some fantastic independent shops, pubs and breweries. That weekend is also the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival which we had no ide about prior to arranging the date. Honestly! The coach will leave The Snug at 10 30am and leave for home at 7 00pm. The price will be between £15 and £20 but has yet to be finalised.

Of course all of these events will include quality drinks and good company.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Thai Street Food

On the first Saturday of each month, starting in March, we will be hosting Thai Kitchen In Lakeland.

From 5 00pm they will be cooking delicious, authentic Thai street food for your delectation.

Let's hope we have a glorious spring and summer to help us enjoy our Thai street food and other treats we are planning for the year.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Second Thursday Is Event Night

Tonight we have our fundraiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind. There has been a cask of Ingleborough Gold kindly donated by Andrew and there will be blind tastings, a quiz and a raffle. There will also be cheese and port.

Just after 7 00pm Alan will be bringing in the latest guide dog he is training. We are aiming to raise £500 but whatever the final amount we will be having another great night.

On Thursday February 9th the lads from Fell Brewery will be joining us for our monthly event night. They will be setting up two keg lines and will be letting us into the secrets of producing cask, keg, canned and bottled beers.

But tonight it's  fundraising for Guide Dogs so hope you can join us.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Guide Dogs for the Blind Fundraiser

We have kindly had a cask of beer donated for our fundraiser on Thursday, many thanks to Andrew. That gets the night off to a flyer for starters.

The fun begins again at 7 00pm and Alan will be bringing in his new guide dog he will be training. The dog is a puppy, new in training and he only gets her tomorrow so will only be with us for half an hour. Andrew will also be bringing in his adopted greyhound, a former racer who ran 125 heats at Belle Vue, Manchester during his illustrious career.

Hope to see you all on Thursday night if not before.