THE new landlords of a Herefordshire pub that was closed in a drugs raid by police have revealed their plans ahead of its re-opening.

Mike and Christine Ree will be taking over the Crown and Sceptre in Ross-on-Wye in April.

They already run the Tap House, another pub in the town, and are the owners of local company Motley Hog Brewery.

Four men were arrested for drugs offences at the Crown and Sceptre in December, forcing the historic pub to close as its alcohol licence was revoked.

Mr Ree said: "We saw that the Crown and Sceptre was empty over Christmas and approached the company that owns it.

"We will be taking over the lease of the Crown and Sceptre. Our vision for this is a traditional pub offering real ales and keg beers, and pub fayre with a twist.

"We are aiming to open at the end of April as a community pub with darts, pool and other community events. We will be selling our own ales as well as guest ales, a total of eight cask beers and 12 keg offerings. We are renting the kitchen out to provide good quality pub grub with a carvery on Sundays."

Hereford Times: Mike, Nigel and Christine Ree with their dog HenryMike, Nigel and Christine Ree with their dog Henry (Image: Rob Davies)

Motley Hog Brewery is a family operation, run by the Rees and their son Nigel.

Mr Ree said: "We returned from working in the United Arab Emirates for seven years in 2017 and ran a mobile bar service for 18 months before seeing the building now known as the Tap House, which we converted in just five weeks.

"We commenced brewing 18 months ago as Motley Hog Brewery with our son joining us. He has now progressed to brewing director in charge of brewing."

Hereford Times: Nigel Ree behind the bar at the Tap HouseNigel Ree behind the bar at the Tap House (Image: Rob Davies)


The Crown and Sceptre's licence was revoked by Herefordshire Council on December 21, with minutes of a licensing meeting showing councillors heard representations from police licensing officer PC Dean Wall, James Noble of Stankerr Pubs, and council officers. The council was concerned that Michael Hudson, the previous landlord, remained in occupation of the pub and decided it should lose its licence. 

Stankerr Pubs has since re-applied for the licence.

Dating from the 17th century, the pub near the town's marketplace was previously well-known for its live music, DJ sets and open mic nights.