Pub forced to make changes to 'self-serve wall'

Self-service: Thirsty Souls will still allow customers to pour their own pints

A pub that allows customers to pour their own pints was forced to make changes after being told it was in violation of licensing laws.

The Thirsty Souls pub in Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, is now only allowed to sell beer in three measurements.

Customers at the pub had previously been allowed to purchase beer and cider in whatever quantity they desired using a top-up card.

However, in order to meet national licensing laws, the pub has been forced to scale this back to pints, halves and thirds.

Experience is 'no different'

According to the gov.uk website, pubs can only serve draught beer and cider in servings of a third, a half, two thirds and multiples of half a pint.

Owner John Taylor said that the changes would make no difference to the customer experience.

“We are keen to work with Stockton Council and trading standards,” he told Gazette Live. “With it being such a new concept in the area, we were trying to get our heads around how it works.

“Then we spent a day with Tees Valley Measurement and they ensure the measurements are all calibrated. In terms of the customer experience, it’s no different.”

Cutting-edge technology

The pub has also removed its signature Prosecco tap after being informed that the drink can only be called such if it is served from a bottle. The drink can still be ordered, but must be done so from the bar.

Stockton Council’s cabinet member for access, communities and community safety Councillor Steve Nelson said: “Thirsty Souls is one of a number of great new bars in Stockton town centre and its self-serve drinks taps concept is proving to be big hit on the town centre’s fast-growing pub circuit.

“The dispensing technology the bar is using is really cutting-edge and we’ve been more than happy to help John set the systems up in a way that meets national licensing laws.”

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