The thriving Shifnal micropub with more than 80 beers and which is 'about the community'
As pubs continue to battle the cost of living crisis, the Shropshire Star continues its new series, Love Your Local, which celebrates our local inns.
The Kings Yard in Shifnal is a micropub that has customers coming in for its incredible range of drinks and hearty home-cooked quality food.
The micropub is based on Unit 2 Cheapside in Shifnal, and has been open since May 2021.
Owner Adam Caton, a 35-year-old father-of-one, says it was something he's wanted to do for a while, and when the opportunity arose, he couldn't turn it down.
Adam has worked in the industry for over 20 years, first working in a pub when was just 14 years old. Speaking about this he says: "Pubs literally run through my blood and it is why I live.
"I have worked in a lot of pubs in that time, and I was also working in a school as a learning mentor for five years and was actually planning to qualify as a teacher but I decided to change paths and go full-time in the pub industry.
"So I would work from 9-4 in the school and then work the bar in the evenings and whilst planning to qualify as a teacher, the opportunity arose for me to have my own pub and it was one I wasn't going to turn down.
"It was a tough climate to be opening a pub in May 2021, as things were just slowly getting back to normal following the pandemic and now we are in the energy crisis but I was under no illusions that it would be tough, but I like to always look for a positive in things.
"The cost of living is tough but we are getting by and doing whatever we can do face it head-on. I'm not one to run away from a challenge and I feel that if you worry too much and complain, then it can only go one way and so we look for a positive, and that rubs off on everyone, the staff, the customers and so being negative can be detrimental on a business."
The micropub serves an incredible range of over 80 different beers at one time, something that gives the pub an unique niche and another things is that Adam allows customers to buy drinks and not feel obliged to drink them within the establishment, but allows them to take them home to enjoy too.
This adaptation to the business Adam feels is key to being successful and it is appreciated. He adds: "We offer beers from all over the country, our fridge has 82 different products in it, we have two permanent cask ales, and two guest ales, and then eight keg lines as well, so there will be more than 80 different beers on offer at one time.
"I have a lot of regulars who like cask beer, whilst some enjoy the weird and wonderful drinks and some enjoy the traditional beers, it is just nice to be able to offer this huge range.
"Some customers come in just to buy cans to take to drink at home, and that is ok. It's nice to approach it this way and it is adapting the business, no-one has to drink the beer here but they're coming in and buying it from here which is what counts."
The pub also serves food which is all home-cooked by Adam's mother, Carole, which he says is really popular in the community and so they have grown a good following for their food and drinks offering.
He explains: "My mom cooks the food. It is a range of items such as homemade curries, craft burgers, a lot of different kinds of things which all go down a treat. We are very popular around lunchtime, and we use locally sourced ingredients and butcher which helps all round - there is a good quality lunch on offer.
"It is nice to work with my mother, whilst also tough at times but we have the best intentions for one another and the customers.
"Since opening, it has been really popular and we are doing alright.
"We strive to be better all the time, we're completely community focused and the customers are our priority, we want to provide the best products and want to be here for years and years.
"That is our goal, we want people to enjoy what we do, and if they are not, then we are not doing our job properly.
"I've got some wonderful staff - Sam, Woody, Katt, Louis, Rob and Emma - who I'm very proud off. I like to make it a community pub and not be about me at all. Yes, business is business but I very much want this to be a community hub where customers own it and not me, I'm just looking after proceedings."
Adam recently became a father to Grace, who is now three weeks old, and he adds: "She has opened everything up for me and now anything I do is with my little girl in mind."