The Newman Arms in Rathbone Street, London, was frequented by Dylan Thomas and purportedly the inspiration for Orwell’s ‘proles pub’ in 1984. However, new owner Truman’s Brewery is keen to bring it into the present with a focus on beer quality and technology for takeaway beers.
Truman’s Brewery, which reopened the pub earlier this month, is aiming to drive cask-ale quality standards upwards. Approximately 75% of the brewery’s output is cask.
‘One of the key reasons we wanted to have a pub is that beer is not always as well looked after as it should be,’ said marketing manager Ben Watts Stanfield.
‘Last year we spent more than £50,000 sending cellar technicians out to train pubs on how to look after cask ale. Now we’ll invite people here; we hope the Newman Arms will be able to drive quality standards upwards.’
The pub will be innovative as well as traditional. Customers can take away any of the 4 cask or 12 keg beers in a crowler, a 910ml can, and Truman’s hopes soon to offer a pie-and-beer delivery service using Deliveroo.
‘It’ll be like having the pub delivered to your home,’ said Watts Stanfield.
The original Truman’s Brewery – which closed in 1989 – had a huge pub estate, but there are no plans for the new company, established in 2010, to replicate that.
‘That’s not what we want to do,’ said Watts Stanfield, ‘[but], we are looking at a few other places, strategically placed around the city.’
Pies were a key feature of the menu under former landlady Tracey Bird – who sold the pub in 2015, after which it was briefly home to the Cornwall Project – and there are steak, chicken and vegetarian options on the new menu. ‘We had to have great pies here,’ said Watts Stanfield.