...as good as a rest.

"For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past, or the present, are certain to miss the future."

John F Kennedy

Crikey, BottleCraft starting a blog with an inspirational quote! Our apologies, we thought we’d do something a bit different as we've got big news to tell you all.

As some of you may already have heard, we have plans afoot to open a second premises in Hanley during 2017, and now our planning permission is in progress we want to tell you what we’re intending to do and why we’re hoping to do it.

We’ve been open at 54 Marsh Street now for just over 20 months, and thanks to all of you that time has exceeded all of our wildest expectations for what BottleCraft would achieve. We’ve sold more beer, run more events and made more friends than we ever expected when we put our business plans together back in 2014 and we’re truly grateful. And we could carry on as we are for the foreseeable future and probably do just fine, BUT, we've reached the limit of our ability to change in our current premises, and we have so much more we want to do. We’ve tried to constantly improve our offering since we opened, and to expand the range of things we do beyond just being a bottle shop, and we think we’ve gone as far as we can at 54 Marsh Street in that regard.

With that in mind we’ve spent the past few months looking for a new place in Hanley that will allow us to continue to grow and develop in the way we’d like, and also allow to us to continue to contribute to the exciting and rapid development of the Cultural Quarter. In 33 Piccadilly we think we’ve found it.

Some of you will know 33 Piccadilly as the former ‘Gemini’ menswear next to the Regent Theatre, which was run by Paul Magee from 1975 until his passing in 2014. It’s a great premises with lots of character and history (it was long ago the site of Hanley’s first Marks and Spencer for example) and it gives us a real opportunity to take the next step in the evolution of BottleCraft. We should say at this point that we’re hugely grateful to Paul’s family for their support of these plans, and for the enthusiasm they’ve shown for our ideas for the property.

New BottleCraft, coming soon!

Details of the planning application including the plans can be found here, but in short what we’re hoping to do is to expand and improve our retail offering, our draft capacity and our ‘drinking in’ space dramatically, while at the same time maintaining the atmosphere and environment that we hope you think makes BottleCraft special. Specifically we’re planning to:

  • Increase the number of keg lines from 4/5 to 10/12

  • Expand the standard range of beers and ciders from around 300 to 400+

  • Significantly increase the amount of chilled beer we have available for sale

  • Increase our ‘drink in’ capacity from 25 to over 50 at any one time

  • Create an upstairs seating area while keeping seating in the shop/bar

  • Improve the ability for us to offer private hire functions/meet the brewer/art/DJs

  • Have more and better toilets (and have them on the ground floor!)

For the time being of course nothing will change, we’re at the early stages of this process, but we’re hopeful we’ll be able to have the new place ready in time for our second birthday celebrations in May. Until then we’ll continue to operate from 54 Marsh Street as normal.

Now the eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that we’ve referred to 33 Piccadilly as a ‘second premises’. The reason for this is that once we have it up and running we also have new (beer related) plans for 54 Marsh Street, where we’ll be maintaining a presence. We’ll give you all the details on that second phase of our 2017 changes closer to the time, but we hope when you hear them you’ll be as excited as we are.

In the meantime if you have any questions about what we’re up to feel free to pop into the shop and ask, or collar us at the bar in the Hopinn, The Greyhound, The Hopwater Cellar, or wherever else you see us drinking ‘off duty’. You should know by now that we all love talking about ourselves almost as much as we like talking about beer! And of course, if you want to comment in support of the planning application we’d be very grateful.

Our utmost thanks again for your fantastic support and friendship,

Chris, Rich and Tom