New city micropub reflects on first month in business

Malt & Mardle Norwich

The striking new front of the Malt & Mardle - Credit: Danielle Booden

A Norwich pub has enjoyed a successful first month in challenging circumstances with the range of drink requests catching the owners by surprise. 

The Malt and Mardle micropub in Magdalen Street opened on July 22 which was later than initially anticipated due to changing Covid guidelines from the government. 

Serving local real ale and craft beers, the business has benefitted from the Norwich and District CAMRA's pub festival which was extended by one week at the beginning of August. 

Staff saw an upturn in cask ale sales during the festival with keg beer proving popular when the weather is hot and humid. 

Malt & Mardle Norwich

Inside, the pub has been decorated in blue with hops as decorations - Credit: Danielle Booden

Reflecting on the first four weeks, co-owner Elliot Dransfield said they had underestimated the amount of gin and cider being requested.

"We are a beer focused bar but there is always demand for other drinks with requests for gin and cider being more than we expected," Mr Dransfield said.

"We have been able to learn as we go and it does not take long to adapt." 

Malt & Mardle Norwich

The eye-catching design of the Malt & Mardle - Credit: Malt & Mardle

Mr Dransfield described the ongoing backdrop of Covid as a "double edged sword" with the main restrictions being eased, but there still being lingering uncertainty over the virus. 

He said: "There is still that worry in the back of mind if there is a positive PCR test and we have to close. We are regularly testing to make sure we are fine but everyone is the same in having that fear." 

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The micropub has been regularly filling its tables with a "very mixed crowd" of customers both old and young. 

Malt & Mardle Norwich

Johnny Durant, Emily Bridges and Eliot Dransfield who co-own the Malt and Mardle - Credit: Malt & Mardle

Mr Dransfield said: "It has been very positive so far. We are fairly small so we are limited with the amount of tables which can fill up surprisingly quickly and almost to capacity.

"It's the atmosphere which makes it what it is. People come in and make relationships with others from the local area as they start chatting with someone they never met before.

"There is a real community feel to it and that's what people enjoy. I have made new friends already." 

Mr Dransfield co-owns the micropub with Emily Bridges and Johnny Durant.