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Step back in time at Norwich’s new ‘decadent’ gin palace

PUBLISHED: 13:05 12 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:51 13 July 2014

The newly opened Mash Tun on Charing Cross, Norwich . Patrick Fisher. Photo: Steve Adams

The newly opened Mash Tun on Charing Cross, Norwich . Patrick Fisher. Photo: Steve Adams

Customers can step back in time at the new Mash Tun pub and gin palace, formerly the Hog in Armour, in Norwich.

The Charing Cross pub has been reinvented and rebranded after a £300,000 revamp.

Upstairs, customers will be able to relax in the special ambience of the new “decadent” gin palace, and take their pick from more than 150 gins. And downstairs, the pub will serve 21 craft beers on draught including tank fresh beer from the pub’s own tank, which will soon arrive from Holland and will sit in the middle of the bar.

The building will also house the pop-up Maddermash Kitchen, brought by the Maddermarket Kitchen, which will serve seasonal dishes in a tapas style.

The new pub, which employs 10 staff, is the idea of Patrick Fisher, who already runs the Norwich Tap House in Redwell Street, and the Redwell Brewery, in Trowse.

The downstairs pub and the restaurant opened last night, while the gin palace will be ready next Friday.

Mr Fisher, who will be the landlord, said: “We are calling it the ‘decadent’ gin palace, because people will be able to step back in time and get a full-on experience.

“The palace is housed in the only part of the building with the original features and the high ceiling.

“You walk in and there’s copper panelling around both of the rooms and old chandeliers, and the back bar is an old Spanish dispensary.

“We wanted to create something different for Norwich, where people can come and relax and enjoy themselves.”

The pub’s new name comes from mashing, which, in brewing and distilling, is the process of combining a mix of milled grain and water, and heating this mixture. A mash tun is a vessel used in the mashing process to convert the starches in crushed grains into sugars for fermentation.

Mr Fisher said: “You use a mash tun to make beer, gins and whiskies. With the downstairs pub craft-led, and the gin palace upstairs, we thought it was quite an appropriate name, and focused on our two special features.

“It’s a good name and takes us away from the Hog in Armour. So far, we have had no bad feedback about the change of name.”

The pub will also boast the UK’s first ‘lighthouse font’ beer taps so punters can choose the beer from its colour.

“We want it to be a really, visually appetising bar, with lots going on,” Mr Fisher added

The former Hog in Armour pub sign has been kept and restyled the Mash Tun.

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  • Good work, and good luck to the guys and gals who have set this up. Love Redwell beer (and it travels well, had several good pints in The Crooked Billett, in Hackney last month), love the Tap house, love gin, so I can't wait to get in this new place. Bring it on!

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    Saturday, July 12, 2014

  • I've just looked up pictures of the old Trowse station - a lovely local station it was. I think it was last used in the late 80s when Norwich Station was closed so all the tracks were relaid. I'd think of it as in Trowse even though the official boundary between Norwich and South Norfolk is along the River Yare.

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    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • I can remember when there was a railway station by those railway arches. It was called ' Trowse Station.' I used to work there in the early 60's, so to say 'off Bracondale' is not quite accurate. Given that the arches are at Trowse Station, then I would say that the above report stating that the brewery is at Trowse,is accurate!

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    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • @ Jazzjerry. Well spotted. Redwell Brewery are in the railway arches off Bracondale. Definitely in Norwich.

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    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Please tell me where the 'Redwell Brewery' is in Trowse? I live in Trowse and have never seen it!

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    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • You have to seek a lot of alcohol to get a return on a £300.000 investment ! but good luck to the initiative !

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    Albert Cooper

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Good luck to these guys... If it's like their beer and Norwich Tap House then Norwich is in for a real treat that's for sure.

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    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Sounds good, good luck to them. Their other pubs are really nice and well run and I'm sure this will follow suit.

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    Friday, July 11, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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