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Five Bells at Wickham, Berks

The Five Bells at Wickham has been named Pub of the Year 2014 by the West Berkshire branch of CAMRA. Licensee Mark Genders, who also runs the John O’Gaunt pub in Hungerford, said: “We constantly change the ales and ciders that we offer and pride ourselves on not repeating either within six months.

“It is important to us to offer as wide a variety as possible to make every visit a fresh experience.”

This local award is part of CAMRA’s national Pub of the Year judging process to find the UK’s best pub and serving good quality cask ale is central to the success of any winning pub. The Five Bells now goes forward to the Central Southern Region stage of this process.

The Five Bells is featured in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2014, and offers a range of nine real ales and eight real ciders on draught. This free house pub even boasts its own brewery, soon to be in commercial production. It is also Cask Marque accredited, the winner of  the West Berkshire Business Award for Best Independent Restaurant or Pub 2013 and licensee Mark is a member of the British Institute of Innkeeping.

West Berkshire CAMRA chairman Richard Scullion said: “For the Five Bells to be awarded our Pub of the Year and Cider Pub of the Year is not only recognition of Mark’s passion for good ale and cider, but a credit to his entrepreneurial skills in transforming the pub into a thriving enterprise.

“With one third pint tasting glasses available, visitors can realistically explore the range of flavours across the range on offer.”

The licensee has set himself the mission “to provide a combination of very unusual ales as well as some old favourites, but we will only serve the best that Britain’s finest brewers have to offer, making us THE destination Real Ale pub in West Berkshire and beyond.”

Twitter, Facebook and the more traditional pub blackboard are all used to keep customers up to date with information on beers and events at the pub.