Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Branch Pub of The Year Announcements

Members of the Norwich & Norfolk branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) have selected The Kings Head (Magdalen Street, Norwich) as their 2017 City Pub of the Year and also the Branch’s overall Pub of the Year.

Landlords Stephen and Lesley George took over the pub in 2013 and the couple are also owners of the Humpty Dumpty Brewery, based in Reedham.

Stephen said: "We are delighted the King’s Head has been named Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA branch pub of the year for the third time.

"The King’s Head is a special place – a showcase for Norfolk’s many microbreweries, wonderful regulars who are keen to try the ever-changing range of beers in a historic pub setting in the middle of Norwich’s antique and vintage shopping area.  It’s a place where people engage in the old art of conversation. 

"The award reflects the hard work and passion of Alison, Charlie and the whole team, who are all about serving up great real ales in a lovely old pub. We couldn’t be more proud." 

The Manager of the Kings Head, Alison White also commented that she is delighted to hear of the news. 

The Norfolk & Norfolk CAMRA 2017 Rural Pub of the Year has also been announced and has been won by The Star Inn in Lessingham.

Owners of the pub, Sue Winter and Mick Yaxley, are also former customers of the pub, so they know the pub inside and out! 

Mr. Yaxley said: "Sue and I are absolutely thrilled that we have won this award.  Firstly, we would like to say a huge thank you to the many CAMRA members who voted for us.  Secondly, a massive thank you to our lovely loyal customers who have supported us throughout the years.

"And thirdly, to our staff, thank you for all your hard work - team work really does pay off.  Thank you again everyone, we truly are overwhelmed!"

The Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Branch have also awarded the 2017 Cider Pub of the Year, won for the sixth time by The White Lion, Oak Street, Norwich.

Alex Waters, landlord of the pub which is run by Individual Pubs, the trading arm of Milton Brewery, said: "We are delighted to win this award again which demonstrates our commitment to providing a range of quality local and traditional ciders for our customers".

The White Lion now goes up against other Norfolk winners to find the overall Norfolk Cider Pub of the Year.

The runner up for the City Pub of the Year and the overall Pub of the Year 2017 has been won by the Fat Cat Brewery Tap, another real ale pub very popular with CAMRA members and is owned by Colin Keatley and managed by Mark and Laura White. 

The Norwich & Norfolk Pub of the Year is chosen from the winners of the Branch’s Rural and City Pubs of the Year.  The Kings Head pub now goes into a head-to-head in the next round with the West Norfolk and Mid Anglia’s winning pubs, if that pub is in South Norfolk, with the victor progressing to the Norfolk round and then on to the Regional – East Anglian - level of the competition – before entering the Super Regional finals and then the National stage of the competition.

The same rounds of the competition also apply to the Cider Pub of the Year, so the White Lion in Norwich will progress to the next stages.

Voting for the Pub of the Year awards was completed using a dedicated online scoring, allowing more members to vote than when voting was completed at branch meetings.  The voting uses the same scoring categories as the subsequent rounds of the competition to make sure our winner has the best chance of chance of progressing further.

Ian Stamp, the Norwich and Norfolk Branch Chairman, said: "Congratulations to the Kings Head on winning this year's Norwich City Pub and Branch Pub of the Year against very stiff competition!

"Stephen and Lesley, Ali and Charlie can be justly proud of the pub and the quality and range of beer they serve, which is obviously much appreciated by CAMRA members and all their regulars.

Ian continued: "The Kings Head is all about beer and conversation, as is the Star at Lessingham, where Mick and Sue took an isolated country pub and made it into the success it is today by concentrating on quality beer and a friendly welcome - congratulations to them on winning the Branch Rural Pub of the Year!

"Also our congratulations to Alex of the White Lion for winning the Cider Pub of the Year once again."

The winners will be presented with their award certificates at the respective pubs in the near future.