Inn Derby and Derbyshire 24,10,20 by Paul Gibson ©

The Spirit Vaults is Reincarnated in Melbourne

In 1993, Ron Morgan founded Shardlow Brewery on the site of the Cavendish Bridge Brewery, Shardlow. His first brew was Portland Bitter, a house beer for the erstwhile Portland Hotel, Wilmorton. In millennium year the Morgan family bought the Blue Bell, an Ind Coope house built in 1736 on Church Street, Melbourne. Ron sadly passed away in 2012 but the Blue Bell remained the Shardlow Brewery Tap until earlier this year when Ron’s son, Keith, decided a fresh approach to the business was required and duly closed the Shardlow Brewery. Keith and his sons, Simon and Matt, also closed the pub and set about modernising the premises in striking, stylish fashion with the original name, the Spirit Vaults, reinstated. The temptation to knock through the three separate rooms was wisely resisted and a glass fronted, gleaming new brewery is now prominent as you enter. As our photograph shows the décor is tastefully modern and of the three own brewed beers on handpull, my preference was for the Vaults Dark 5.0% abv. The elevated sun trap patio next to the oak framed porch still provides fine views towards the parish church of St Michael’s, a fine example of Norman architecture.

Melbourne has long been on the tourist trail and with the award-winning Chip and Pin micropub just up the road, what more incentive do you need to visit this South Derbyshire town? Letting rooms are available for those wishing to stay overnight and a new food offering should be available by the time this is published. The no. 2 Arriva bus from Derby bus station runs hourly, well into the evening.

Spirit Vaults, Melbourne, Derbyshire

Beer Festival Alert

The Furnace, Duke Street, Derby, is holding a Halloween festival, Light V Dark, between 28th and 31st October. It’s bound to be popular so please reserve a table. Paul Gibson, for The D-Paper ©

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