IT might look as though it has been there since Victorian times, but Poole Hill Brewery is a 21st homage to the best traditions of the British pub.

The Bournemouth venue is home to a microbrewery as well as a pub serving real ales and hosting live entertainment.

The building was originally Bayley & Sons ironmongers, with the upper flows devoted to a School of Art, Science and Technology.

In more recent times, it had been a Rolls-Royce car showroom, but had been empty for 20 years and had no shopfront when Jennifer Tingay and her team took it on four years ago as the home to her Southbourne Ales business.

Sheldon Young, who drove the design and building project, created a Victorian-style timber shopfront from scratch. The work was funded through crowdfunding, attracting local and national investors.

Southbourne Ales was designed as a complete range of traditional ales with something for everyone’s taste, from Cliff Riser, a 4.5 per cent pale ale, to Stroller, a 4.6 per cent oatmeal stout.

The brewery has also recently launched a second brand, Tingay’s, producing canned beers that are “more modern and new to the UK spectrum”. So far, there is launched Digies, an American-style pale ale, and Armed With Flowers, a 4.5 per cent floral infusion ale which can be served straight or mixed with lemonade, or with Lychee juice balls added to make a bubble beer.

Visitors can sit at one of the internal picture windows and watch the brewing process.

As well as the craft beers and a variety of other drinks, the venue is known for its live entertainment.

“Right the way through the pandemic, when everybody decided they couldn’t afford to put on live music, we continued. We had live music from August 2020,” says Jennifer.

“It’s a proper party house.”

Wednesdays feature jazz, Fridays have live acoustic music, while Saturdays feature a full band for a “full-on party”.

Sunday afternoons feature blues, folk or R&B, while the evening sees an open mic night, where anyone can bring an instrument – or even take one off the wall and play it.

Thursdays feature vinyl nights, where anyone can bring along their favourite sounds and play them on the pub’s turntable.

Despite all the entertainment going on, it’s always possible to sit and have a conversation.

Visitors can tour the brewery to see the process, with anything up to 40 people on one four. A ticket makes an ideal Christmas or birthday gift.

“Every brewery has got its own story. We do a bit of the history of beer and we get the personal story as well. It’s a good laugh, good fun, and you get a sample of beer at the end,” says Jennifer.

The venue also its own cinema, in a function room that can be hired for parties or special events for as little as £50.

As it begins its fifth year, Poole Hill Brewery is fulfilling Jennifer’s ambition for it to be a “proper community bar”.

n Poole Hill Brewery is at 41-43 Poole Hill, at and can also be found on on Facebook, and Instagram (@poolehillbrewery) and on Twitter (@southbourneales).