A MICRO pub in one of the county’s busiest tourist spots has banned electronic music and games in favour of good old-fashioned conversation.

The Hoptimist, situated on Market Street in Llangollen, is the latest venture by craft brewers Richard Green, owner of Denbigh’s Dovecote Brewery, and Cwrw Ial owner Doug McPherson from Mold. It is their third premises to open in this year in a brewing beer empire that includes branches in Abergele and Rhuddlan.

The River Dee pub was praised by AM for Clwyd South Ken Skates, the Welsh Government economy minister, who dropped in to sample some of the craft beers and ciders made from 90 per cent Welsh hops and barley.

Mr Skates said that craft beers “are all the rage”, adding: “Llangollen attracts visitors from around the world and it’s great to see a place like this offering a range of the very best craft ales, many of them produced here in North East Wales.”

Richard and Doug took over the corner building three months ago and are neighboured by a small bakery that sells a range of pies, pastries and the ‘oggie’ – considered Wales’s answer to the Cornish pasty. Richard, who lives in Tremeirchion with his wife Sue, said Llangollen is a “perfect town” for the pub because it is “busy all year round”.

The aim is to create a compact pub with a “unique atmosphere” that appeals to a wider demographic than the regular pub crowd.

“You won’t find electronic music or games here but you will find a warm welcome, an interesting range of beers, ciders and gins, board games and good conversation,” he said.

“Our pubs are smaller and more intimate than most pubs but here in Llangollen we have space upstairs for table football and darts and it’s a good venue for meetings as well.”

While Richard is a relative newcomer to the brewing industry, turning his lifelong hobby into full-time work just two years ago, Doug has 27 years of experience having grown up in New Zealand where he began home brewing due to a legal drinking age of 21.

He continues to use the highly aromatic hops of his native country, which have become popular on the craft beer scene in recent years.

“It can be difficult for micro-brewers like us to get their beer into pubs so we thought it would make sense to have our own pubs to sell our beer in,” he said.

“Although the craft beer market is still relatively small it’s growing all the time and we are looking at further openings in the future.”