IT IS a traditional pub that attracts commuters for a pint on their way home as well as its loyal regulars.

But the Village Inn also tries to offer its customers the chance to try something new.

The pub in Park Gate regularly changes its cask ales to give its customers more than just the old favourites – a practice popular with customers.

Situated on the busy Botley Road, the pub relies on a mixture of regulars, passing trade but also from Swanwick Station almost directly across the road.

Some of the pub’s regulars have been coming 30 years and pub bosses say it is popular for its cask ales.

These are a key part of the pub’s business and although the pub keeps certain favourites it aims to change its ales as much as possible to bring in new ones for people to try and also bring in locally produced ales.

Customers can even get a sample before they buy.

“We get quite a range coming in,” said manager Dan Aitchison.

“Sometimes one barrel wouldn’t event last the day, people will come in one time and ask for it and it’s gone.”

And Dan hopes to bring in even more local ales in the future.

The pub, in Botley Road, has been under new management for the last six months with Dan, who has been parachuted in by chain Mitchells and Butlers to a number of its pubs as a temporary manager at Swindon, Gloucester, Banbury and most recently Reading, at the helm.

But this time he is hoping to stay on permanently, especially with his family so close by at Lee-on-Solent.

So far Dan said the pub is doing well with the recent nice weather helping to boost trade.

He believes the pub focuses equally on its drinking and restaurant trade – traditional pub food - where it has just introduced a new summer menu.

His plans for the future include reinvigorating live music events at the pub, which had been monthly before Christmas but are now roughly every three months.

Daily Echo:

An acoustic session is planned for May 12.

Beyond music the pub has plenty to keep people coming back with a grill night on Thursdays, quiz evenings on Wednesdays and Sundays, a wine club on Sundays as well reduced prices for cask ales on Mondays.

“It’s just a local pub that’s reasonably priced with good food, good drinks, good atmosphere and a nice big garden,” said Dan.

“It’s a friendly place.”

The cheapest beer is £2.80 and the cheapest wine is £3.30 for a 175ml glass.

  • The Village Inn, 67 Botley Road, Park Gate, SO31 1AZ Tel: 01489 573223.