HORSHAM’s discerning drinkers were shocked by the sudden closure of the Malt Shovel pub this week.
A message on the Springfield Road pub’s website, dated Tuesday, said: “We are now closed! Sadly, its true. Malt Shovel has closed.
“Due to greedy breweries, high costs and low margins I’m afraid they’ve killed us. Thanks to everyone who has supported us for the last 6 six years, especially the amazing musicians in and around Horsham, we have had many ‘WOW’ evenings.
“Hopefully, the pub will re-open shortly and with new people and they will continue with what we started. Lyn Jenny Mike and Lenka xxxx”
Yesterday landlady Lyn Williams told the County Times that she was ‘devastated’ that the pub has had to close.
“We’re all devastated here, that it’s come to this,” she said.
“I just think it’s really sad for the town, and the music scene in Horsham because of all the bands we had here every week.”
Mark Kelly, a fan of the pub, emailed the County Times to say: “I would like to record my sadness at hearing today of the closure of the Malt Shovel pub on Springfield Road.
“The Malt Shovel was a fine pub with a wonderful selection of well-kept beers and ciders, friendly staff, locals of all ages and from all walks of life, great live music and a wonderful atmosphere.
“It was also the only pub in the town in the 2012 CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Most importantly, it was independent and it was a PUB.
“It wasn’t pretending to be a restaurant or a wine bar, it was a pub.
“A public house in the truest sense of the term, a place where the public met and interacted in a convivial manner.
“Now it would appear that this establishment is lost to Horsham.
“According to the pub’s website this is as a result of ‘greedy breweries, high costs and low margins’.
“Surely it must be possible for this well-situated pub to be run at a profit without fundamentally changing the character of the place?
“It is noteworthy that none of the breweries in Horsham have a dedicated outlet for their beers.
“Perhaps one of them (or perhaps a consortium of all three) would like to take over the Malt Shovel?”