The Free House Turns 1 (Month)!

We just received an announcement that The
Free House
pub in Nelson is
celebrating it’s first month in business. Congratulations! Mic and
Eelco, their families and other investors were courageous to move
forward with this venture in these economic times. Opening a business
in a recession is daunting, even if beer is supposed to be more
‘recession proof’ than most products. And opening the most expensive
pub in town in this climate takes an even deeper commitment to

Sadly for us, the tab is giving us a sting. We know it’s good value
for money, given the wide range of unique choices and the larger
imperial pints. We can’t resist the hand pulled real ales. We are
willing to pay extra for something we can’t get elsewhere and we’ve
been out more in the past month (always to the Free House) than in the
prior three months. Still, our funds are limited and our budget is
usually tapped with the first round. We keep saying we should order
halves to spread it out and enjoy more variety, but there’s just
something about the feel of a pint in your hand…and we aren’t exactly
suffering when that pint is full of Townsend’s No.9 (top stout in the 2008 NZ International
Beer Awards
) or Twisted Hop’s
Twisted Ankle. It’s so nice that they never make us feel bad about only
buying what we can afford. Eelco seemed rather bemused by the guy who
asked if it was okay to order just a half- why wouldn’t it be?
Apparently some bartenders will try to make a guy feel a bit sissy, but
not here.

And thankfully we aren’t the only ones emptying our penny jars to help
make this venture work. Eelco says the real ales have been a huge
success, selling as much as three times as fast as the ‘brights.’ As
winter seeps into our bones, we increasingly crave the warming comforts
of a thick, creamy, dark something which only the Free House can
provide. And every evening we’ve spent there we’ve enjoyed fantastic
conversations with friends, friendly staff or strangers which just adds
to our compulsion to return.

If you haven’t been to their website
yet, or even if you have, you
should check out the latest clever addition- digital snaps of the
current menu boards! Now we can get a sneak peek of what’s pouring plus
review a list of what’s coming. Thanks, Mic! I guess we need to hurry
in to try the spruce beer…

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