The definition of a Micropub is difficult. It is a set of ethics rather than a set of rules, but generally speaking a Micropub:
- Is small (compared to a ‘normal’ pub), and single-roomed
- Sells exclusively cask-conditioned beers i.e. no keg products: ‘smooth’, lager, Guinness etc. (however, some Micropubs do occasionally sell lager type ale, but this is properly brewed and not the artificially fizzy lager that 'bigger' pubs sell but this is likely to remain a contentious issue for purists of the Micropub concept)
- Does not sell spirits or Alcopops.
- Is best described as an old-fashioned 'Ale House'.
- Shuns products from national and multi-national breweries.
- Does not have TV, juke box, gaming machines or pool tables. Conversation is important.
- No food, other than traditional snacks such as eggs, pork scratchings, cheese, pies, etc.
There may be differences between the pubs; they may or may not have a bar, they might serve beer straight from the cask or through hand pumps. But they are united in one philosophy. A simple pub with the focus on cask beer and conversation for entertainment. The basic premise is KIS, KIS – Keep It Small, Keep It Simple
A good definition of a 'Micropub' (or 'Micro Pub' or 'Micro-pub' as the word doesn't, yet, exist in the 'official' English language), the first full definition, can be found at http://bakeandalehouse.com/micropubs.php – another can be found at http://www.thewheelalehouse.com/micropubs.php (both of these were written by David Wallin).
By way of showing that these establishments are a growing trend, on a BBC program about Pub Food in October 2013, Tom Kerridge visited the Bake & Alehouse in Westgate-on-Sea – after the show was aired, there was an increase in visitors to Bake's website of 4,100%.