Members of the Norwich & Norfolk branch of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) have selected The Fat Cat (West End Street, Norwich) as their 2014 City Pub of the Year and also the Branch’s overall Pub of the Year.
It is the fourth time that landlord Colin Keatley has been awarded the Norwich & Norfolk branch’s title and said he was “absolutely delighted”.
The Norwich & Norfolk Pub of the Year is chosen from the winners of the Branch’s Rural and City Pubs of the Year.
The 2014 Rural Pub of the Year was won by The Green Dragon in Church Street, Wymondham, which they also won in 2012.
The Fat Cat pub now goes into a head-to-head with the West Norfolk branch’s winner, The Coach and Horses in Dersingham, and also Mid Anglia’s winning pub, if that pub is in South
Norfolk, with the victor progressing to the Regional level of the competition.
Voting for the Pub of the Year awards was extended to an online facility for the first time for members, in addition to during the Branch meeting held in February, and also used CAMRA’s National Beer Scoring System (NBSS) for the first time which helped to double the numbers of members voting. The system encourages the scoring of pubs and real ale all year round judging for quality on a scale between 0-5.
Warren Wordsworth, the Norwich and Norfolk Branch Chairman said “I would like to congratulate The Fat Cat for winning Norwich City Pub of the Year and overall Branch Pub of the Year and The Green Dragon in Wymondham for winning the Norwich & Norfolk Branch County Pub of the Year.
"The Fat Cat is always a very popular pub with real ale drinkers, having won CAMRA National Pub of the Year twice in recent years (1998 and 2004). I wish The Fat Cat luck in the future rounds of the competition. The Green Dragon, situated in the historic market town of Wymondham, is a very atmospheric pub”.
The Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Branch have also awarded the 2014 Cider Pub of the Year, won for the third time by The White Lion, Oak Street, Norwich.
Ben Ackers, landlord of the Milton Brewery pub, said "It's wonderful to win any award three years in a row, especially in a city with so many great pubs.
"In the last couple of years it has been fantastic to see more pubs trying out cider and perry, particularly in terms of stocking local cider, giving customers the opportunity to try something new and local.
"Our staff do an excellent job keeping up with all the weird and wonderful products we are sourcing, meaning our customers can always be recommended something new and exciting. I hear last year's apple crop was very good and I'm sure many pubs will take advantage of this; I know we will be!".
The White Lion now goes up against The Railway Arms in Downham Market which was West Norfolk’s winner, and also the Banham Barrel, Mid-Anglia’s cider pub of the year in the vote to find the overall Norfolk Cider Pub of the Year.