A micropub owned by six beer-loving friends in New Cross has garnered quite the reputation with its affordable pints and “anti-gastro pub” atmosphere.

The Shirker's Rest, a micropub located at 9 Lewisham Way, has quickly become a hub of community life since its opening in June 2022.

Ben, Graham, Dave, Dunc, and two Andys are the names behind The Shirker's Rest - all with a mutual love for beer and socialising.

The venue consists of a cosy two-roomed setting in a former solicitor's office as well as a small outdoor space which they humorously have nicknamed "A20 Lounge".

Andrew Grumbridge told the News Shopper: “In the wilds of Kent, where the micropub tradition began, you may once have had your mobile phone nailed to the wall if you dared to use it instead of chat.

“We're not like that - we even play music - but the size of the pub does mean that at quieter times, if they want to, anyone can join in the conversation.

“We've seen the pub described as ‘anti-gastropub’ and ‘that place where people talk to each other’, which made us happy.

News Shopper: Inside the Shirker's RestInside the Shirker's Rest (Image: SR)

“We like the idea of the pub as a place not just to chat to friends, but also to meet new people, get to know them, perhaps make new friends.”

Downstairs in the pub you can find a bar adorned with pictures promoting relaxation and self-care, paying homage to the pub's name as a shirker is defined as “someone who avoids something, especially work”.

This is not just a venue for casual meetups and drinks, events like book clubs, open mic nights, talks, and launches are held upstairs, and the room is offered out for free for these kinds of special occasions.

Andrew explained that whilst the vision was conceptualised by the group of friends, the personality of the pub is thanks to general manager and New Cross native James and his staff, Rosie, Pippa, Molly and newly departed Meg.

News Shopper: The team at the venueThe team at the venue (Image: SR)

The Shirker's Rest has an impressive selection of local and independently produced national beers, with prices for a pint of Shirker’s Best bitter starting at a very comfortable £3.80.

The pub serves lagers, traditional-style bitters, pales, IPAs, to sours and wheat beers, ensuring patrons can enjoy an extensive variety.

There are also hand-picked ciders, wines, spirits, and a range of crisps including SLABS which are “probably the greatest crisps available on the market as they are the size of a baked potato and thick as a pound coin”.

Andrew added: “Our aim was to create a friendly, safe space for people to enjoy, one that fostered and served a local community - and to make sure they had excellent drinks while they did so.”

A popular event of The Shirker's Rest is the “Tap Takeovers” which showcases a brewery’s range in the pub, allowing customers to experience a rotating variety of different brews.

News Shopper: The micropub has seven keg lines and four cask pumps offering a wide range of beers from local and selected national independent breweriesThe micropub has seven keg lines and four cask pumps offering a wide range of beers from local and selected national independent breweries (Image: SR)

The “Free 'N' Easy Open Mic Night”, which held monthly, has also quickly become a community favourite, pulling in amateur singers, musicians and spoken word artists.

The small but mightily Shirker's Rest is firmly establishing its place not only as a hub for beer-lovers but also in the heart of the New Cross community.

One Google Review reads: “Excellent micro pub with great local beer selection which changes often. Large selection of low alcohol beers too.

“Crisp selection is the stuff of legend.

“Owners have put a lot of thought into creating the right atmosphere - like drinking in your living room with your mates, only better.”