by Jan Jerabek
It’s been six years since David Coles and Andrew Melbourne decided to open the Flute and Tankard, an independent pub in Cardiff.
Now they have decided the secret to attracting the customers is to give customers the biggest possible selection of beer – and to offer them something different every time they come.
Their previous experience with leasing a pub from a big company was disappointing:
“We used to have another pub called the Rummer Tavern, but it was leased from an enterprise.
“We were a tied company, so you have to buy beer from them or pay a really large fee not to buy beer… But they will still tie you to anything that is in the barrel, whereas here because its independent you can buy from any brewer, anybody. It’s a completely different game,” says David.
The Flute and Tankard now offers a huge number of ciders and beers from both the local and foreign breweries.
David and Andrew sometimes change the selection as many as three times a week.
“From the customer point of view, being independent gives a wider choice of products they can buy, more beers, more ciders, more products from all around the country. We buy Welsh, we buy English, Scottish, products from all around the UK and Europe,” says Andrew.
The pub has regular customers and the owners say they try to create a cozy, informal and unique atmosphere that is supposed to make the everyone feel welcome and refreshed. “As long as the people coming to our pub remain happy, we are as well,” they both say.