Joule's Brewery to open beautifully restored parlour pub, The Mere Inn

THE MERE INN, Alsager is on the brink of re-opening its doors having been bought by a local brewer.  Joule’s Brewery based in nearby Market Drayton bought the inn in the autumn of 2011 and have restored the pub.  It has been the company’s longest ever scheme due to the complexity of obtaining planning permission for an extension.

Joule’s Brewery, based in Market Drayton have restored the Mere Inn to its Victorian roots, with the help of a former licensee and his family who remembered what it used to look like.  The Brewery has reinstated the snugs and cosy rooms to reflect a small and quaint mid-Victorian parlor pub.

Trudie Meredith from Joules explains the scope of the project, ‘It has been one of our biggest schemes as we had to strip the building back to its core fabric, and we then set about recreating the original snugs and parlour rooms that had been removed over the years.  With these re instated, we also wanted to add some additional space for casual dining, as our pubs all do wholesome locally sourced quality home cooking and we wanted a state of the art kitchen and some dedicated dining space.  We designed an extension to preserve the look of the original inn.  The new part of the pub is a boat house design – long and thin and fitting for the Mere and of courses its proximity to the mere opposite.  The town council was happy with the design and we only needed to make a few minor changes.  Now built, the extension sits very comfortably on an important part of the Towns high street.

Joule’s had been looking to have one if its Tap houses in Alsager, Steve Nuttall explains the history for the inn and how it became a Joules House.  ‘We knew the Mere, and like many people in the town were surprised to see it fall into the doldrums, it had always been a great inn with a really warm and convivial atmosphere and it appealed to us as it was an ale house.

It then had a makeover in 2006 and much of the old charm was lost, we knew it was doing badly so we called the owner Punch Taverns and asked to buy it, in the end they agreed.  The essence of the Mere is local, full of conviviality and warmth; old fashioned values to support a quiet pint of real locally brewed ale, the best of the British pub, which is our passion.  The Mere is exactly that, so a great pub to be our flagship pub in the area and somewhere where we can promote our beer and care of local pubs to establish our reputation in the town.

Joule’s have invited Neville Brereton to pull the first pint when they open; Neville ran the pub for over 16 years and has invited friends and family to join him on this memorable occasion.

The new Landlord, Chris Charlesworth, has worked in the world of hospitality since the age of 16, and for the last 2 years gained valuable experience working with ‘Brunning and Price’ at the Old Hall, Sandbach.  Chris loves pubs and the community value & spirit they provide, and is very excited to be a part of the Joule’s vision, creating great pubs, great ales, with quality home cooked food.

Joule’s Brewery, together with the Mere Inn, now has 18 Tap Houses across its heartland Shropshire, Staffordshire & Cheshire.  The Taps form a portfolio of remarkable and beautiful restored pubs, often ancient and each of them unique, inspirational and special, each famous in their respective localities.  They have been designed sensitively, thoughtfully and built with emotion, using high quality natural materials, relevant locally, unique, warm, comfortable and well lit.

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