A CRAFT beer and gin, “fiercely independent” lounge has opened in Taunton town centre last week.

Ninkasi opened last Saturday (September 24) on Riverside Place, in Taunton’s Independent Quarter, to provide residents with a big range of locally sourced craft beers and gins.

The bar is named after the Mesopotamian goddess of beer and features six permanent beers and five others that will change regularly.

Ninkasi offers a selection of both local and international drinks, with some beers coming from breweries based in Chard and Shepton Mallet, and West Country gins.

The menus showcase the different gins and include suggestions on how to drink them.

Robin Pendleton, who runs the bar with his partner Paula Robinson, said he had been thinking about opening a pub focused on craft beers for some time, but his plans were delayed by Covid.

He also said: “I am a very enthusiastic craft beer fan and I have a fair knowledge. We are not an old-fashioned pub. We have beers sourced locally and beers that come from further afield.

“I think Taunton needed a different place, people need to go to Bristol or Exeter for craft beers. Hopefully, there will be a good support to keep it going.”

Robin has a background in construction and built the pub himself.

He added: “Craft beer is a passion of mine. I am a carpenter by trade and then I worked in construction management, which I didn’t enjoy, and I wanted to do this [opening a craft beer pub] for some time.

“I looked at this place two years ago, but everything was delayed because of Covid.

“We just want to provide the people of Taunton with that kind of experience, so they don’t have to get the train to Bristol or Exeter.

“We have a very good range of beers and gins. We don’t do anything mass-produced.

“We will deal with craft beers, and gins from the West Country, and we like to think you won’t find these gins anywhere in town.

“We are fiercely independent, we are not tied to anybody, and we do what we want.

“It’s all about people meeting one another and being a good place to socialise.”

The unit was previously occupied by the haberdashery And Sew To Knit.

Ninkasi will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The photo gallery above shows the bar’s interiors.