BEER lovers have already been flocking to the recently opened Ale House in Chelmsford and as soon as you set foot inside you can see why.
There's a vast array of different types of beer available at the Viaduct Road bar which has the feel of a German "bierkeller" and offers a lot more to the beer connoisseur than the average pub.
The Ale House is the brainchild of business partners Dave Gentry and Chris Prile, who both have vast experience in the pub business.
Dave is the landlord of The Woolpack in Chelmsford, winner of numerous CAMRA awards while Chris used to be landlord at The Original Plough, a pub renowned for its selection of ales, and still has the Wheatsheaf and Hot House in Chelmsford and the Hole In The Wall in Colchester.
The two of them have been working on opening a place like the Ale House for a couple of years and they've been amazed with the response they've had.
"It's something we've both wanted to do for a while," says Dave. "We're both big real ale fans. We've had an amazing turnover already in the first couple of weeks. There's been a great reaction from people. We've got through a lot more beer than we thought we would."
Dave and Chris drew on their extensive knowledge of the brewing industry but also from their travels, visiting pubs, bars and hostelries around the world, getting inspiration from lots of different places.
The Ale House really is a great place for beer lovers with a superb mixture of real ales and ciders, German lagers and bottled beers from around the world.
Each week there'll be a selection of 12 real ales (of varying types) rising to 18 at the weekend, a number of ciders, a selection of German lagers on tap and a wide range of imported bottled brews from the USA, Belgium, France, Spain and around the world.
The Ale House has a distinctive look too, housed in two of the railway arches by the mainline station, its panelled walls, wooden tables and long main bar (specially built by Chris's son) make it feel different to anywhere else in Chelmsford.
"There's nothing like this in Essex really," said Chris. "The bar is nine metres long and it's all open so you can see exactly what's going on."
With barrels for tables, eight pint beer dispensing tubes you can order for your table and cheese and ham platters coming to the menu soon, there's plenty that makes Ale House stand out from the crowd. Later this year, they'll also be brewing on the premises in the third arch – in the Brew House – you'll only be able to get that beer in the Ale House.
So all in all, a unique venture and one that's already captured the imagination of the many beer lovers of Chelmsford and beyond.
The Ale House, 24-viaduct 26 Road, Chelmsford.