The Ale Taster, in Russell Street, officially opened its doors on February 24 after an extensive refurbishment and is run by Paul Greenwood and Karen Conolly. Paul, an electrician, and Karen, a former delivery driver, said they wanted to create a cosy and friendly community pub. The concept is to promote the way pubs used to be when people talked to one another, which means no loud music, only background music, and no amusement machines or television, explained Karen. We wanted a comfortable place to enjoy a drink in a relaxed and friendly environment. The Ale Taster is not just about conversation, taking centre stage are the real ales and ciders along with two craft ales on tap and the collections of gin, vodka and whisky. The pub will showcase producers from around the UK and the couple plan to organise taster nights from local suppliers to introduce customers to lesser-known ales and they are also selling soft drinks and tea and coffee. These hand-crafted brews are produced in smaller quantities, which mean they have greater quality and diversity of flavour, added Paul. Customers are also being encouraged to make recommendations and can purchase items to take home. Opening times are 4pm till 10pm from Monday to Thursday; 12pm till 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday and 12pm till 4pm on Sunday.