CAMRA has revealed the four finalists for its Pub of the Year competition, one of the most respected and well-known pub awards in the UK.
Pubs are selected by CAMRA volunteers and judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, community focus and most importantly – quality of beer. The four finalists will now have a chance to win National Pub of the Year, which will be announced in February 2017.
Among the finalists for the first time is the George & Dragon in Hudswell, a previously closed Yorkshire pub which has been reopened by the local community. Not all pubs are protected under planning laws and many can be converted or redeveloped without planning permission. With 21 pubs closing every week, some communities are actually taking on running of their much-loved local to save it from closure, with great success.
The Stanford Arms in Lowestoft is also among the finalists for the first time after significant improvements to the free house once returned to local ownership. Other finalists include two previous CAMRA National Pub of the Year winners. The Salutation Inn in Ham and the Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton are now in the running to join the few pubs which have taken the award more than once.
Andrea Briers, CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year coordinator, praised the top four pubs, all of which featured in the Good Beer Guide 2017. “To finish in the top four is a fantastic achievement. Each of these pubs serves as an example of the best of what British pubs have to offer – a warm and welcoming atmosphere, excellent service and a fantastic range of beers.
“Pubs play a huge role in local communities and can help people make friends and build networks. The fact that two new entrants have made it into the final round this year following a change in ownership shows that in the right hands, many pubs can thrive. We need to see even greater protection afforded to pubs so that our locals cannot just be demolished or redeveloped without a say from the local community.”
Each of the four finalists will be presented with their Super Regional award at local events. The National Pub of the Year will be announced in February 2017.