Friday, 31 December 2010

Out with the old!

We'll be seeing out the year with some old friends; Dark Star Hophead, Abigale Samphire and Hopdaemon Dominator. The start of 2011 should bring some offerings from Northamptonshire's Potbelly Brewery, along with Gadds', Old Dairy and Wantsum. Two things to remember about New Year's Eve:-
1 The Conqueror is only open lunchtime
2 Toots Hibbert, the Skafather, is on Jools Holland's Hootenanny tonight
Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Another Week!

This week starts with Abigale Samphire, Wantsum Turbulent Priest and Dark Star Winter Meltdown. Brentwood Chestnut Stout and Thornbridge Kipling are among those waiting in the wings. A new addition to the Mustard Menu is a Kentish offering, flavoured with honey from Herne - where the Butcher's Arms is!

Friday, 17 December 2010


Old Dairy Silver Top, a delicious cream stout, went on last night and was very well received. Red Top Bitter and Dark Conspiracy will run out today, to be replaced by Abigale Samphire and Dark Star Winter Meltdown. The Tewkesbury Mustard seems to be the tracklement of choice for the pork pies.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


These are The Conqueror's opening hours over the Christmas period:-
24th Dec: 11.30am - 2.30pm
25th Dec: Noon - 2pm
26th and 27th Dec: CLOSED
28th - 30th Dec: 11.30am - 2.30pm and 5.30pm - 9pm
31st Dec: 11.30am - 2.30pm
Back to normal hours from 1st Jan onwards

Saturday, 11 December 2010


Currently available at the Conqueror are Hopdaemon Incubus, Abigale Samphire and Brentwood Rumpy Pumpy. I doubt whether any of those three will last into the evening, so Old Dairy Red Top, Moor Merlin's Magic and Gadds Dark Conspiracy are waiting in the wings.

Thursday, 9 December 2010


Hophead has replaced Southern Star and Little Cracker is about to give way to Rumpy Pumpy from the Brentwood Brewery. This is a 4.5% seasonal ale laced with rum and early tastings have proved MOST satisfactory! I have another tub of Abigale Samphire ready for when the Number 5 runs out.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


The Dominator went in less than a day and Gadds' Little Cracker replaced it late last night. So we'll start the week on Tuesday with Moor Southern Star, Gadds' 5 and Little Cracker. When the No5 goes, I'll have another tub of Abigale Samphire ready.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Despite the snow, the Conqueror will be open as usual. In the next 24 hours I expect tne Number 7 will be replaced by Moor Southern Star, the Skrimshander by Number 5 and the Hengist by Hopdaemon Dominator.

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Week Ahead!

It looks like I'll be starting the week with Gadds' 7 and Dogbolter alongside Hopdaemon Skrimshander. Next on are Moor Southern Star (4.0), Gadds' 5 (4.5) and Wantsum Hengist (5.0). My plans to go beer hunting in West Kent today were curtailed by the weather but rest assured, The Conqueror will not be left high and dry!

Sunday, 28 November 2010


We'll start the day with Gadds' 7, Abigale Samphire and Dogbolter but the Samphire will go in the first hour, with Hopdaemon Skrimshander ready to take its place. Dogbolter may not last the session either and I've another cask of Wantsum Hengist (which sold really well last time) to replace it.

Saturday, 27 November 2010


The Abigale Samphire Bitter is going well as are Golden Braid and Dogbolter. Nice to see everyone on Bob Inman's mystery tour today. Certainly made the lunchtime session go quickly!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Jaipur ended its brief sojourn in the Conqueror this evening and will be replaced by Dogbolter tomorrow. Kentish new boys Abigale are delivering their 4.1% bitter tomorrow so we have something new to look forward to at the weekend. Hengist went very quickly last time and James is delivering another tub tomorrow which, when added to the Moor, Hopdeamon, and Gadds', will give me a nice full cellar.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

This week!

We'll be starting the week with Jaipur, Hophead and, once someone has rid me of this Turbulent Priest, Lord Marples. Offerings from Moor, Hopdaemon and Gadds will follow.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Day 3!

Well, More's Head just about beat Rye PA to the line and was replaced by Hophead. Other current ales are Gadds' 5 and Hengist. The latter should go today and will be replaced by Dark Conspiracy.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Day 2!

As predicted, the Dark Star Green Hop IPA has gone and has been replaced by Wantsum Hengist, which was immediately set upon by Bob, JJ et al. Still neck and neck between More's Head and Rye Pale Ale in the race to be the next one to go.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


With some trepidation, I unlocked the door yesterday lunchtime and took the plunge. I'm pleased to say that people seemed to like it and, by 9pm, the Dark Star had virtually gone and large inroads had been made into the Gadds' and Wantsum. I'll probably put on the Hengist today, with Hophead and Gadds' 5 waiting in the wings.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Looking Good!

Signs are now up, stillage is built and casks are tapped and spiled. Starting line up will be Wantsum More's Head, Gadds' Rye PA and Dark Star Green Hop IPA.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Nearly there!

Some strange barrel-shaped objects have appeared in the back-room, bearing names such as "Gadds'", "Wantsum" and "Dark Star". I can't have a big opening bash due to space restrictions but if anyone was to wander past, say, from the middle of next week onwards, it may be worth trying the door!

Friday, 5 November 2010


The cooling equipment turned up today. Can't wait to get it working on some casks! Won't be long now, though.

Monday, 1 November 2010


The stud wall went up today and I now have a better idea of the size of the drinking area. It'll certainly be snug!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Windows 2010!

The window vinyls were fitted yesterday and they look great. Tried to take a photo to put on here but all I got was a reflection of me and the car parked across the road. Hand drier went in today and the wood has arrived for the stillage. It's getting there!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Painted the interior walls today. The colour is called Scarlet Ribbons (above) and I really think it gives the place a nice warm feel. Thanks to Colin B on roller and Mick on brushes for all their assistance.

Sunday, 24 October 2010


The nice lady who is, hopefully, going to be making my pork pies dropped in yesterday with some samples. I can't find words to describe how good they are - crispy pastry filled to the top with succulent, tasty pork. Should go down perfectly with a glass of ale or cider. She also brought along a lovely vegetarian option and scotch eggs like you've never tasted. Off to the Lydden Bell this afternoon to collect some more bar stools.

Thursday, 21 October 2010


The Premises Licence has been approved. Looks like I shall actually have to think about running a micro-pub! Depending on how quickly the alterations can be done, it looks like we're on for a mid November opening.

Monday, 18 October 2010


Spent the day working at the premises, getting rid of the old counter unit and taking down unwanted shelving. Steve the Builder is coming in tomorrow to have a chat about the alterations. I expect he'll make that strange whistling noise through his teeth that builders have a habit of doing but someone's got to pay for his holiday in the Caribbean and it may as well be me. The man from the electricity company is also coming tomorrow, to assess whether or not I deserve to have an account with them(!) so I must be on my best behaviour.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Keyed up!

Finally got the keys to the premises this morning. Unfortunately, I'm up to my eyes with the Thanet CAMRA Cider Festival at Churchill's this weekend, so I won't be able to really start work until Monday. There's a lot of decorating to do, along with plumbing and electrics plus, of course, the not inconsiderable matter of the premises licence. Still, it's yet another step in the right direction.

Monday, 11 October 2010


Lease signed today and returned to the solicitor. Just waiting for those nice people at TDC to grant me a Premises Licence and we'll be up and running.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Photo Shoot!

Had some photos taken outside the premises for the local paper today. They should be on Saul Leese's pub page in next Tuesday's Thanet Crimes. Should be finally signing the lease soon as well, which means I'll be able to get in and start decorating. It also means our conservatory will be free of bar stools at last!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Just got back from the Planning Committee meeting and I'm happy to say that the Planning Department's recommendation was upheld and I now have A4 planning approval for the premises. It was really interesting to see democracy in action tonight and it opened my eyes to the workings of a local council. Back to the licencing guys tomorrow. Late October/early November opening on the cards.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


It's the Planning Dept meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) evening. Speech all prepared and everything crossed.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


I have today received notice from TDC that the application is to go before the Planning Committee on the 15th of this month, with a recommendation to APPROVE. There are one or two conditions attached which, as a socially conscientious kind of guy, I shall follow to the letter. I'm not, however, counting my chickens - as Churchill once said, this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Sorry for the lack of updates but I'm still trying to convince TDC that I'm not trying to open up a Mega-Spoons with lap dancing, sychronised rioting and under age drinking binges. They seem to have no concept of what a Micro Pub is and have ignored my suggestion of a site-visit to the Butcher's Arms. They have whinged about everything from refuse building up outside (I'm only selling draft beer for goodness sake - how much rubbish is that going to generate?) to the cooling system. Yes, that's right, the cooling system used successfully at pubs and beer festivals up and down the country. I'm still fighting, however, and have some good people on my side - I'm now even more determined to see it through. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


The draft lease arrived from the landlord's solicitor today. Lots of legalese to work through over the next day or two but at least I have something to do, following over a week of silence from TDC. The bar-stools are polishing up well.

Thursday, 29 July 2010


Popped up to the erstwhile Ropemakers Arms in Chatham this afternoon and picked up some nice bar-stools which I'd purchased on ebay. Always sad to see a pub close but one mans meat, etc, etc. At least now my customers will have something to rest their weary brains on.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Bogged Down!

Environmental Health have had a site visit and have objected to the project because there is no toilet. There IS a toilet. I have sent them a picture of the toilet. Hopefully, they now have someting to go on.

Saturday, 24 July 2010


Just got back from the Kent Beer Festival. Lots of interest in my project from those lovely CAMRA folk. Shame that the cheapest beer was £2.70 a pint and there was a 5p premium on halves. At least it was better than Chelmsford, where there was a 10p premium on thirds. Hope to do better than that at the Conqueror. Not long now to the Ramsgate FC Festival (next Friday & Saturday) where there will be no price hike for those that want to try beers in lesser quantities.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


I attended a workshop at Margate's Media Centre (the old Cobb's Bank) today. It was aimed at people starting their own business (like me) and I found it really useful, making lots of contacts and getting support and encouragement for the project. Cheers, guys!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I've been going through some old photos and postcards of the PS Conqueror. Here's a nice one of her in Boulogne Harbour. Been in exactly the same place on a SeaCat a few times myself. Once the micro-pub is up and running, there will be plenty of pictures like this on the wall. Worth popping in to look at, even if you're a teetotaller! Still no news on planning consent but it was never going to take just a few days, was it?

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Having been told by TDC that I can run both Planning and Licensing applications concurrently, I've now been told that I can't, so I've had to withdraw the licensing application. This means I'll probably miss my target date but, as practically no-one knew what that was apart from me, there's no real harm done. Both the Chelmsford and Tonbridge festivals were very good, the latter thanks to the organisational skills of our own local brewer but, after today's excellent Thanet CAMRA walk from Minster to Pluck's Gutter and back, I feel an early night followed by a day of abstinence is in order.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Interested Parties!

Got all the copies of the paperwork off to the "interested parties" today. That's people like the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Elfnsafety, et al. Actually, I'm very flattered that they're interested in my little micropub project. Maybe they'll all pop in for a pint when it's open. Even found time for a game of golf this evening - managed to get in 15 holes before the heavens opened. Off to Chelmsford Beer Festival tomorrow and the SIBA do at Tonbridge on Friday. May even drum up some business!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Going logo!

Spent a while this morning with a good friend who happens to be a photographer, sorting out the logo. It is, of course a silhouette of the PS Conqueror and will adorn everything from the pub sign to business cards. I think Grandfather would have been pleased with it - I know I am! If you ever need something similar, or anything by way of photographs, then is the place to look.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Here's a picture of the P.S. Conqueror to be going on with. The captain was my grandfather, Walter Henry Curtis. I'm still grappling with the licensing forms. More or less completed the application itself, just the risk assessment to complete tomorrow and it can all go off to the council. Went to look for some furniture this morning (I'm going for the solid Victorian/Edwardian look) but the shop I had in mind was closed. My fault, should have checked.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


I submitted the Planning Application for change of use of the premises today. Fingers crossed! I'm sure those nice people at TDC won't have a problem with it. Currently working on the Premises Licence Application, which looks as though it may take until tomorrow to complete. Still, one step at a time. I'm sure it will be worth waiting for.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Project Conqueror

Coming soon to Ramsgate - the Conqueror Alehouse, based loosely on the superb Butcher's Arms in Herne and named after a Paddle Steamer which used to run out of Ramsgate Harbour around 1900.

Projected opening late summer/early autumn 2010. Click "Follow" to keep up to date with developments.