It’s that time again to select and award the prestigious title of Branch Pub of the Year.
This year, you may have heard that the Pub of the Year award (abbreviated within CAMRA circles to POTY) went to the CITY ARMS in Quay Street, whilst the “Highly Commended” POTY award goes to the GWAELOD-Y-GARTH, on the northernmost City boundary.
So what does a Pub have to do to in order to win the award?
In summary, I like to think of it as the pub that has done most to further CAMRA’s aims.
Therefore, first and foremost it has to invariably offer a range of well kept Real Ales. As well as that, the
pub has to show all the criteria that make a great pub including atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, and customer mix. We even check the toilets.
The award is not one person’s decision; all members are invited to nominate a pub and a number of us score it for the criteria described above, which are then “weighted”. For example, we multiply beer range and quality by a factor of three, whilst toilets earn a factor of one.
Let’s take a look at the City Arms. Just two years ago, trade was not at its best, with just Brains Bitter and SA on offer. Then, following a makeover, Brains installed new dispense equipment, appointed a new Manager by the name of Chris Partridge, known for his love of good beer, allowed him freedom to buy in beers from far and wide in addition to the Brains range, and……there you have it. As Chris would say, it’s his team that make the pub – with him at the helm. And how right he is! Join the Beer Club and save money on your pints.
Now a look at the Gwaelod-Y-Garth. This is the only pub in the village, the name meaning “At the foothills of the Garth Mountain”. It really is the centre of the village and a focal point for villagers as well as ramblers and cyclists. Expect to find half a dozen well kept Real Ales, and a Real Cider, under the care of licensees Ritchie and Barbara Angell. For those feeing peckish, there’s an upstairs restaurant offering high quality meals. But, you are equally welcome to have a meal in the bar area. Ritchie’s commitment to Real Ale is evidenced by his constructing a micro-brewery at the rear of the pub. Before the end of next month, the first of his beers should be available in the pub.
I hope that these brief descriptions have whetted your appetite, and that you will have been encouraged to visit them very soon.