The Jubilee Tap was officially opened by by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire on 5th January!
Tap Room opening times:
Thursday: 5.30pm to 9.30pm
Friday: 5.30pm to 9.30pm
Saturday: 5.30pm to 9.30pm
(Last orders 9.00pm.)
The Tap Room across the High Street from the brewhouse will give members of the public the chance to try the Gilbert White range of beers. It will also stock other local beers and produce. The Tap Room will initially be open for limited hours, serving snacks to accompany beer, wine and cocktails.
Pop-in for a pint and say hello to the team!
The Queens, or Compasses Inn as Gilbert White would have known it in the 18th Century, nestled in the heart of the village opposite Gilbert White’s House, has always played an important part in village life. In the 1830s it was part of the Selborne Riots, and in Gilbert White’s lifetime it was owned and run by White’s friend and neighbour Timothy Turner. Just like White, Turner brewed beer at home using hops and other ingredients from the local area.
‘Aug 26th, 1788
Mr Hale & Tim Turner begin to pick hops in the Foredown. Hale picked 350 bushels: his hops are large & fine.’
‘Aug 19th, 1789
Timothy Turner’s brew-house on fire: but much help coming in & pulling off the thatch, the fire was extinguished, without any farther damage than the loss of the roofing. The flames burst thro’ the thatch in many places.’
Brewing for the community today
With the hard work of both Gilbert White's House & Gardens and Derek Warwick Developments, the ground floor of the old Queen’s pub which closed in 2016 and lay empty for six years has been redeveloped into the Tap Room.
Chairman of Trustees, Khalid Aziz said ‘We have partnered with the Queen’s developer to help breathe new life into the Queens building. We want to celebrate its heritage in a way that is beneficial and sustainable for the village and to continue the local brewing tradition.'
The idea for the Tap Room was sparked by the re-opening of Gilbert White's onsite brewery, as it provided the perfect venue to allow members of the public to enjoy the craft beer brewed over the road.
Gilbert White’s Brewhouse - built by Gilbert in 1765 and in which he experimented with different brews right up until 13 days before his death in 1793 - was officially re-opened as a brewery in 2021 and has been brewing beer since early 2020, producing over 15 different beers for sale at the museum. The various brews have been well received at beer festivals, including the Alton beer festival and the ZigZag festival.
The bar was named the Jubilee Tap Room back in June to honour the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The royal name reflects the venue’s recent history having previously been called the Queen’s. The Brewery is preparing a special recipe for their 100th brew due this summer and it will be available on tap from the Jubilee Tap.
Achieving the museum's mission
The museum has a mission to tell the story of Gilbert White's life and work. Brewing was a part of White's life and something in which he took pleasure in. By opening the Tap Room visitors can now fully experience one of White's past times and step back into history by tasting brews made with his recipes.
White is most famous for being a pioneering naturalist and it's his message about the wonders of our natural world that the museum carries forwards today by encouraging environmentally sustainable practices. The Brewery and Tap Room contribute towards this in a number of ways, such as being an ambassador for reduced climate miles by sourcing the ingredients for the beer locally (including growing hops in the gardens), and brewing the beer a distance of less than 50 metres from where it is sold in the Jubilee Tap!
The brewery and Tap Room also contribute to the museum's community role. The brewery is currently run by volunteers from the Selborne area and they help to support the running of the Tap Room making it a welcoming space for all.