Covid-19 / Coronavirus Precautions

Just to confirm we’re now fully open – seven days a week - and back to as near normal as can be. For the time being, we’ll continue making hand sanitiser and the NHS Track & Trace App system available to those that want it; however, bar service has returned, mask wearing and sitting down are now optional (for you customers, not our staff).

Our hours are 5pm to 9:30pm weekdays, and 4pm to 9:30pm Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. We’ll open at midday on most Bristol Rovers Saturday matchdays. Want more details? Got some questions? Come in and ask. Updated: 31/07/2021

The Drapers Arms - Bristol's First Micropub

Welcome Back! We've missed you

Now, we realise our old website page said: “Welcome to our new website” as well so forgive us. Anyway, if you’re still reading this, then there’s a good chance you're looking for information about Bristol’s first micropub, The Drapers Arms. If not and you've just stumbled on this site whilst browsing for rolls of cloth, fabrics or even a draper, sorry but stick with it; if you're ever in Bristol, then just pop in.


Quite simply - the craic

What's all this about?

Quite simply - the craic

We opened a micropub at No: 447 on the Gloucester Road in Bristol at the end of 2015. If you’re passing, it’s just by the bus stop opposite Pitt Road. If you're not passing, take our word for it. We sell real ale, straight from the cask, sourced from independent producers, mostly small brewers based in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.


So, What is a 'micropub'?

Er, a small pub?

A micropub is not a micro-brewery. There's no brewing or filling beer barrels done on the premises. It's a different offering compared to a standard pub. The Micropub Association describes our type of outlet as "a small free-house which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and dabbles in traditional pub snacks". That's what we were after.

Er, a small pub?


Yes - "beers miles" is an actual thing

Well, what's this particular micropub like?

Yes - "beers miles" is an actual thing

The Drapers Arms is an independent alehouse - and I hope we’re providing a relaxed and sociable atmosphere, in a one room venue with a capacity for about 40 customers, to enjoy a couple of beers and a bit of chat.

Now - and I know this will disappoint some people - we don't sell lager, Guinness, beers with the word “smooth” in their name or any 'keg' stuff; ciders, spirits or things like jagger bombs. However, without a juke box, fruit machines, WiFi or television, I hope it will feel like you're just sitting in a good, old fashioned, traditional pub and, with conversation with other punters as the only form of entertainment, you’ll also actually enjoy it.

We do sell a few regular bar snacks but no hot food. However, you can occasionally pick up a pickled egg in a bag of crisps – known as Bristol’s answer to Chicken & Chips.


Why’s it called The Drapers Arms?

It's curtains for us all

One potential name was; “Blah Blah!” meaning; Bristol’s Little Ale House, Bishopston, Looking at Horfield”. Perhaps I was trying to be too clever. However, it was a Drapers shop for more than 80 years, so The Drapers Arms it is. Don’t start me on where you think the apostrophe (or even apostrophes) should be.

It's curtains for us all


Technophobic? nah, just chatty

Someone said you've banned mobile phones?

Technophobic? nah, just chatty

Nonsense! How can you ban one of the greatest technological developments of the 20th Century? As they say "you can't unring the bell". However, what you can do is put that ringtone on silent — or better still, turn it off completely. If you really want to tweet, twitter, text, ‘check in’ etc, we won't stop you - but if you start answering or making phone calls then expect to be asked to make a contribution to charity, fairly sharpish.

If you're sitting in The Drapers Arms wearing headphones, we'll assume you're very lonely, a bit sad and you might really want someone to come over and talk to you. Be prepared.


What are the opening times?

All the times we're not closed

We're open from 5pm to 9.30pm Monday to Thursday, and 4pm to 9.30pm Friday, Saturday & Sunday. We're not a late house.

We're also open from Midday on most Bristol Rovers’ matchdays.

All the times we're not closed


Are you eco whatsit... or, environmental 'n all that?

Are you eco whatsit...

Well, we do try to be – a little bit. We don’t feature lager or any keg beers that need Co2 gas. We specialise in locally produced, artisan (what does that really mean?) real ales – over 95% of our beers come from microbreweries within 30 miles, (that covers over 100 small businesses in Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and South Wales).

We try to always have at least one locally sourced Vegan and one Gluten Free beer on every day – and our soft drinks and snacks are all sourced locally.

or, environmental 'n all that?

We do sell organic wines from a bit further afield (Portugal!) but they're transported in original sailing cargo ships. No fossil fuels are used, therefore making that a carbon negative system of transport. We try to avoid using single-use plastic items - we recycle over 90% of our waste – and we want to be as environmentally friendly as we can. We haven’t started to refuse to wash your empty glasses (yet!) but if you bring your glassware back to the bar feel free to ask to reuse it.

We’re not brilliant – but we try to be a little bit better every day.


Is the place any good?

Come on in and find out for yourself

Well, that's not up to us, that's up to you. We think any pub, club or bar is only as good as the atmosphere created by its customers. We’ll provide very good beer, clean glasses and tables and chairs — and that's about it.

We can only rely on you, the good punters of Bishopston and Horfield, who enjoy a decent pint in good company to make The Drapers Arms the kind of place that other people will want to go to. So far, so good.

If a winning and successful pub formula is something that could be created immediately from scratch then, rest assured, the big pubcos, breweries and venture capitalists in this industry would have patented it, packaged up and dropped it in anywhere and everywhere — and believe us, they're really trying.

Come on in and find out for yourself


What more could you possibly want?

Beer and conversation – is that it?

What more could you possibly want?

A lot of different beers and a lot of different conversations but, in a nutshell, yes.

We have between 4 and 7 beers on at any one time – aiming at have at least one new ale everyday – so far, we've managed to serve over 1,000 different beers from more than 150 breweries; we're pleased with that.

Pre-pandemic we had a beer festival every six months and will do again. We also have our own oak cask - made from an old French wooden barrel that had white wine in it for seven years. We move that around local breweries to try out their best beers, served in the traditional format.


Who’s behind this setup?

Garv - guilty as charged

This was all originally set up by Vince Crocker and Garvan Hickey.

Vince is a born and bred Bishopston local and is the owner, chief brewer and head bottle washer of the Ashley Down Brewery. Garvan's background is in sales and marketing, predominately in the Hospitality and Catering sector and he has lived and worked all around the UK and Ireland, although he moved to Bristol more than 30 years ago. Both live locally, in St Andrews and Ashley Down.

Vince recently left the business to restart production at Ashley Down Brewery after it was interrupted in a fire, so expect to see his beers around Bristol soon.

Garv - guilty as charged


"Cheers!"

What's the point of all this?

"Cheers!"

A very good question. Yes, there are loads of really good and interesting places to visit and socialise on the Gloucester Road — and, if fact, all over Bristol. If you've got this far and don't like what you've read – that's OK. The Drapers Arms is not for everyone, of course. However, I just wanted to open a place, near me, that I would like to drink in; so, I did.

I hope you like it too. Cheers!
Garvan


Any Questions?

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash
"Dear Sirs, It has come to my attention…"

If you haven't already found the answer(s) you were looking for within the sprawling text of our lovely site, then why not drop us a line - we'd love to hear from you.

Please note: We do try to respond to all enquiries in a polite, informative and timely fashion, but - typically dependent on the content of the enquiry itself - this is not always achievable. If our response arrives three weeks later, provides you with no useful information, or lacks what would typically be considered a polite tone - then please accept our apologies in advance.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash
"Dear Sirs, It has come to my attention…"