There was a nip in the New York air as Chris McGarrigle stepped out with his uncle Sherman one evening in late 1977. The fifteen-year-old from Crewe was in the states visiting relatives. He’d seen the sights, eaten in local delicatessens and taken yellow cabs across the city. But time with his uncle was special, as there was always something unusual on the agenda.
“Let’s take a walk to the Beer Dock,” was his uncle’s suggestion as they strode through Brooklyn, heading past tempting food vendors and listening to music that came from the many bars in basements and down side streets.
To any young man this would have been exciting, dipping into the city night-life that would otherwise be out of reach. Alongside his uncle he could get in anywhere. And the locals loved Sherman, he was an old-school kinda New York cop by day, and he was well known and respected around the neighbourhood.
What greeted Chris when they arrived at the Beer Dock was unexpected. It was a simple bar, nothing flash, with only a handful of bottles and pumps on offer. Instead, it was the room at the back where the magic happened. Even there, it was sparse, little effort made to dazzle customers with fancy décor or quirky fittings. It was effectively a warehouse. Pallets of bottles and cans stacked high. Groups of men huddled around small tables, drinking, chatting and enjoying the get-together.
The experience stayed with Chris for over 40 years. By then life had taken many twists and turns. His own son, Sam, had grown up, travelled extensively and gone to university. It was there, during his studies in Nottingham, that a love of craft beer took hold. He worked with several experienced industry professionals at some prominent venues. It wasn't long before the old stories about New York formed the basis for a great father-son business plan.
And so Beer Dock in Cheshire was born. The summer of 2013 was the perfect time, with a burgeoning UK beer scene coupled with Sam’s encyclopedic product knowledge and a wide array of business experience that Chris brought to the table.
Since Beer Dock opened its doors on Crewe’s Nantwich Road, over 3,000 types of craft beer, cider, lager and real ales have flown off the shelves. The boutique bottle shop is one of a kind, selling products produced by breweries from all four corners of the UK, but also from across the globe.
However, the shop is much more than that. As well as boasting beers aplenty to take home with you or order online, you can also visit the shop and enjoy a drink with like-minded ale aficionados, and swap notes with very knowledgeable staff. In 2014, the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce “Start-Up of the Year” to further enhance the bar’s reputation on the Crewe social circuit.
Thankfully, the Crewe vision didn't copy the appealing but rather basic New York establishment that sowed seeds so many years earlier. Beer Dock Crewe is sleek, rustic and very inviting. There are floor-to-ceiling shelves laden with colourful bottles, asking to be explored and sipped onsite. The pumps and casks draw those of the pint persuasion to a chalk board that shouts out the daily IPA, stout, Wheat Beer and other tempting specials.
Upstairs (oh yes, there is an upper floor) wooden floorboards, stripped-back brick walls and soft lighting offer an intimate area for chat, groups of friends, business meetings and live acoustic music. We also have a discreet drop-down screen when those must-see sporting events make enjoying a few beers even more pleasurable.
There are no blaring TVs dotted all over the bar, fruit machines or fancy gimmicks, just great craft beer and conversation aplenty. Beer Dock is quirky bar, micro pub, bottle boutique and more. It stocks and supplies the finest craft beer that the UK, America, Germany, Belgium and other countries have to offer.
Join the revolution. Come to Crewe’s Beer Dock for fabulous beers, warm chat, and a welcoming environment with a New York state of mind…