For those that are unfamiliar with the concept, a micropub is a very small, one room pub that usually focuses on selling locally produced real ale. The idea is to find a cheap, unused space (usually a former shop), convert it as a low a cost as possible, and to sell beer without all of the frills often associated with pubs (music, TVs etc). This way the publican has low overheads and can turn a profit on a relatively small amount of beer sold and to me, these places are a welcome antidote to the large pub chains that dominate the UK. If you’d like to read more about micropubs I recommend checking out the website of the Micropub Association.
The Door Hinge is the third micropub I’ve been to so far (there are currently 50+ dotted around the UK with the vast majority in Kent, and more are popping up all the time) and is undoubtedly my favourite. A small square room that has been decorated well with deep red on the walls and some lovely dark, wooden furniture that lends it that old school ‘proper pub’ feel. The pubs stillage is visible through a glazed window and owner Ray Hurley serves from a small ‘bar’ in the corner of the room.
There were four beers on offer, each poured straight from the cask. The ‘menu’ is written on one blackboard with a second board listing ‘future’ beers that are on their way when the existing ones run out. I got through three of the beers in the time I was there; offerings from Goody Ales in Kent, Peerless in Merseyside and Moles in Wiltshire. All three beers were well kept and poured in over-sized pint glasses to ensure a full measure.
The pub got pretty full while I was there and indeed, was standing room only at one point with a nice buzz about the place. I’m not sure how much this was to do with the football but I imagine it’s usually a bit quieter on a Tuesday evening. If for any reason you find yourself in Welling you’d do well to check out the Door Hinge.
The Door Hinge, 11 Welling High Street, Kent, DA16 1TR
Open Tues-Sun, opening hours vary (Closed Mondays), please check before you travel!http://www.thedoorhinge.co.uk/