A NEW pub with on-site brewing has opened in Dorchester following a £1.8 million refurbishment.

Brewhouse and Kitchen purchased the old Station pub on Weymouth Avenue last year and has transformed the derelict building into a micro-brewery and public house, creating up to 20 jobs.

Brewhouse & Kitchen first bought the premises in March 2013 and after a lengthy planning process started work on the building in February.

The company ploughed nearly £2 million into the refurbishment, which has seen the importing of three copper brewery tanks from China to brew beer in at the pub.

The pub held five pre-opening nights from Wednesday until Sunday as it invited members of the local community to sample the pub, before the official opening on Monday afternoon.

Simon Bunn, director at Brewhouse and Kitchen, said “We are all buzzing with excitement and we have had a lot of encouragement from the local community.

“You can see that by the amount of likes we have had on Facebook and the numbers of people we have had coming through the door already.

“We averaged about 200 people a day for the five pre-opening events, which is an excellent start and shows the enthusiasm for a pub and business such as ours.”

The refurbishment is part of the Brewery Square development in the town and a new menu has also been created at the pub, which can accommodate more than 300 people at any one time. Mr Bunn added: “This is a remarkable development for a small company such as us.

“We are a great community pub, we welcome people of all ages and also families and couples that want somewhere to go to eat.

Pubs used to brew all the beer they sold and we are going back to that tradition.

“We are a traditional style pub with traditional values but we have given it a modern twist.”

Jeremy Pope, the former owner of the building and a shareholder at Eldridge Pope Brewery which brewed its ales there for more than 100 years, said: “More and more brewery pubs are opening now, and so are micro breweries so it just shows people have faith in the ale.

“Originally in the 18th Century when public houses first opened, there were no large breweries and the beer was brewed on the site where it was consumed – so we are going back to that.”