The Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire pulled the first official pint of the Jubilee Tap on Thursday last week, marking the opening of the new Selborne tap room bar.
In a time of closures for many pubs and breweries, the Jubilee Tap is a success story of community spirit.
The Gilbert White Brewery, which brews craft beer coming straight from the 1765 brewery over the road at Gilbert White’s House, was formed in late 2019 and worked right through the pandemic, gaining local popularity.
It was opened officially in 2021 by the Lord Lieutenant Nigel Atkinson, going from strength to strength, and has now found a home at the newly-opened Jubilee Tap.
The Jubilee Tap Room consists of the redeveloped ground floor of the old Queen’s pub which closed in 2016 and has stood empty ever since.
To continue the tradition of the site being a space where local people and walkers can enjoy their evening tipple, it was important the project was community led.
The Lord Lieutenant in his opening speech reminisced about visiting the pub in the early 1970s during his career in brewing.
“I remember it extremely well – and I’ve watched this pub gradually go downhill. When I heard from the chairman that you were going to be reopening it, I thought that was really wonderful for Selborne and, indeed, this great old building.”
The bar was named the Jubilee Tap Room back in June to honour the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The royal name reflects the venue’s recent history having previously been called the Queen’s.
Going further back in time to Gilbert White’s day, the pub was called The Compasses. In addition to being a naturalist, Gilbert White was a man who enjoyed his beer, and The Compasses is a place he would no doubt have frequented.
White even kept a regular diary of his own brewing exploits and just 13 days before his death in 1793, he had been bottling up beer in his brewhouse, as well as references to pub’s landlord Timothy Turner.
The opening of the Jubilee Tap marks another milestone in the history of Gilbert White’s House & Gardens and provides a new outlet for the beer brewed in the historic 1765 brewhouse.
The Lord Lieutenant commented: “We are carrying on and very old tradition in Selborne.”
The Lord Lieutenant finished his speech with his delight in being invited to pull the first pint: “It is everyone’s dream to pull the first pint at a pub and to open a brewery.
“Well, I’ve only ever opened one brewery and that was over the road, but I haven’t pulled a pint for many years so I really enjoy doing it.”
The Jubilee Tap will be open to the public Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 5.30pm and 8.30pm.
As well as a selection of Gilbert White beers brewed just across the road, there will be other beverages as well as locally-sourced snacks and mezze boards.
The tap room will soon be announcing events taking place, and the space is available to hire for functions and meetings.