ONE OF the most recent food and drink trends in the North East seems to be the arrival of the micropub; a pint-sized pub contained in a single room. The regeneration of Baker Street in Middlesbrough has seen the emergence of hugely popular micropubs such as Sherlock’s and The Twisted Lip. The newest addition to Middlesbrough’s growing micropub scene is The Infant Hercules, which certainly lives up to its name.
The interior is bright, with simple, yet elegant decor. There are various little antique-looking pieces dotted around the micropub which give it the same “individual” style as many other pubs. Almost a whole wall is dedicated to William Gladstone’s quote about Middlesbrough being an infant Hercules, which is a nice touch, explaining the meaning behind the name to any unfamiliar punters. Despite its small size, the micropub can seat around twenty people with bar seating also available.Located on Grange Road in the former home of the Olde Young Tea House, The Infant Hercules is immersed in the heart of the town. It’s a quirky alternative to the more common larger pub chains with a more mellow, relaxed atmosphere.
The micropub prides itself on its variety of less mainstream beverages, regularly changing what is available on tap depending on what they have in at the time. Due to the fact that a lot of their drinks are sourced from smaller, independent breweries, meaning people are less likely to have previously tasted them, The Infant Hercules has a try before you buy system. Such personal service creates a friendlier atmosphere than most mainstream pubs and makes choosing a drink far more exciting.
It would have been wrong to enter any form of pub, whether reviewing it or not, and not sample some of the alcohol on offer. I selected one of the drinks on tap, the American Pale Ale from Long Man Brewery. I hate to bring up another American Pie reference, but one of the grimmest moments across any incarnation of the series involves a pale ale mention. This is pretty much all I could think of whilst drinking what was actually a very refreshing, citrus-tinged, yet somehow sweet drink.
The intimate setting of the micropub is married wonderfully with the extensive range of intriguing beverages to create what could become one of Middlesbrough’s favourite quirky drinking places. If you’re a fan of pubs, whether little or large, The Infant Hercules is definitely worth a visit.