The top four best pubs in Britain have been announced by CAMRA. These four supreme regional finalists of CAMRA’s Pub of the Year competition will have a chance to win the National Pub of the Year competition, won last year by The Salutation Inn in Gloucestershire. The pubs are judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, but most importantly – quality of beer.
A micropub from Kent has made it into the top four; this year has seen the number of micropubs soar in the UK from having none to almost 200 micropubs across the country.
The Good Beer Guide’s Editor, Roger Protz, praised the top four pubs, all featured in the Good Beer Guide 2016. “Being named as one of the super region pubs in Britain is no easy task, and these pubs have worked hard to maintain a high level of calibre that other pubs around the country should look to. These four pubs will now be judged against each other to be crowned the best pub in Britain.”
Monkhill, Carlisle, CA5 6DB
Having been named the number one pub in the West Pennines region earlier this year, on making the top four, Sandy Williamson, Manager of the Drovers Rest said: “We are so stunned and proud of getting to the top 16 pubs in the country and now to the top 4, it’s almost unbelievable. We bought the Drover’s from a brewery two and a half years ago in a basically closed state. So to get to this point in such a short time means so much to us, our community and our local CAMRA branch. We’re just a small family run country pub who loves doing what we do. Thank you to everyone.”
Inside the pub is designed to make customers feel like they’re in three completely different rooms. There’s a games area at the back with a pool table, the bar area is cosy and welcoming with a roaring fire in winter and there is a separate dining area. The Drovers is very much a pub at the heart of its community and has a well-deserved reputation for excellent food and as an oasis for lots of different real ales.
Kelham Island Tavern:
62 Russell Street, Kelham Island, Sheffield, S3 8RW
The Kelham Island Tavern is in with a chance of winning National Pub of the Year for a third time, having won the prestigious award in both 2008 and 2009. Having been in this position previously, Trevor Wraith, Manager at the Kelham Island Tavern said: “Following on from coverage that Sheffield has the best selection of real ales in the country and the recent announcement that we were judged as CAMRA’s ’Yorkshire Pub of the year 2015′, it is an honour to have reached the supreme pubs part of the top 16 in the national part of the competition again. All we can do is carry on stocking a wide range and variety of well kept cask beers, in a clean, friendly and welcoming atmosphere and that seems to be the key”.
This two-room freehouse has an impressive garden showcasing rare and local microbrewery beers, stouts and porters.
61 Church Street, St Peter’s, Broadstairs, CT10 2TU, Kent
After being named as the best pub in Kent, the Yard of Ale has now made it into the top supreme pubs in the country. Owner, Ian Nobel said “This is amazing. Shawn, myself and the Yard of Ale team would like to thank all our customers, also those from CAMRA who voted for us to get to this stage.”
Yard of Ale is a micropub in a 19th century stable in the village of St Peter’s, that serves cask ales, real ciders and locally produced wines along with tea and coffee, handmade pork pies and Kent crisps and cheese.
Sandford Park Ale House:
This popular Cheltenham pub which has glowing reviews on Trip Advisor is now one of CAMRA’s top best pubs in the country. Grant Cook, General Manager at the Sandford Park Ale House commented: “We were absolutely delighted to win the South West regional section of CAMRA’s Pub of the Year. We try to bring a fresh approach to the 21st Century pub and are greatly encouraged by the award. To now hear that we are in the final four is amazing news! It will give us a platform to put on new and interesting quality beer events and also keeps a healthy pressure on us to always live up to our standards of quality, service, atmosphere and value”
Opened in April 2014, this is a smart new alehouse at the far eastern end of the High Street, backing on to Sandford Park. The main bar area wraps around a new timber staircase with bar billiards table at the far end and a large room facing beer garden. They have up to seven guest ales with a good selection of ciders and foreign beers as well as a good range of food.
The National Pub of the Year for 2015 (chosen from the above four finalists) will be announced in February 2016.