A SELF-proclaimed director of wizardry has teamed up with a micro brewer to tempt customers back to his pint-sized shop.

Phil Pinder is reopening the Potions Cauldron in Shambles today, with the added appeal of being able to offer takeaway beer from York brewer Andy Herrington’s Ainsty Ales.

With its back-room cafe and range of drinks in store, the Potions Cauldron has an unrestricted alcohol licence.

Phil tested the water by pulling pints and selling through a shop hatch to passing customers last Saturday, and sold out of two barrels of Ainsty Ales’ Sorachi Samurai session IPA by 2pm.

Phil had previously joined forces with Andy to launch a Harry Potter-inspired Spellbound Butterscotch Beer in the shop.

York Press:

The Potions Cauldron will open from Thursday to Monday initially. Phil hopes to be back to normal by the end of the month.

“I am keen to get going and reopen but at the same time a bit nervous,” he said.

“It doesn’t take a lot to make it not profitable running a shop. Luckily we have one thing on our side - the weather. That is a huge factor. If you get some good sunshine for a few weeks that can make all the difference.

“We are classed as an off-licence and a cafe, with our coffee shop on the side, so we have been allowed to open for the last few weeks. We had a tester day last Saturday and it went really well.

“We will carry on with that until the pubs are allowed to reopen or more outlets are doing it, until Andy can get his beer trade back. We buy the Butterscotch Beer from him - we don’t want to him to disappear out of business.”

York Press:

Andy said small businesses working together was hugely important.

“I know how difficult it is to get a business up and running. It is important to support each other. It is easy in York as a lot of small businesses have the same mindset - we like to support each other, and local people like to look after their own. There’s a lot of breweries to choose from so it is nice Phil is supporting us.”

Andy is also hoping to team up with a local bread producer to use Ainsty Ales brewer’s yeast. “Sometimes we have a bit spare, so that’s one of my next plans.”

He said he had noticed even more local support since the pandemic struck. “If that’s the same for other small businesses, collaborating locally is definitely the way forward.”

The Press Love Local Business campaign launched on Monday to support shops and businesses as they reopen and highlight what makes York special.

Andy said: “There are so many businesses that make up a big percentage of the York economy. Supporting that workforce, even if they just employ three or four people like us, puts money straight back into the economy and supports jobs, mortgages.

“It means a lot to me to get the support from our local newspaper.”

*To share your business story as part of The Press Love Local Business campaign, email Business Editor Nadia Jefferson-Brown with details of what you have done to weather the storm, at nadia.jeffersonbrown@thepress.co.uk