The Fat Cat Brewery Tap, on Lawson Road in Norwich, has been voted Norwich & Norfok CAMRA branch's 2018 Pub Of The Year.
The pub has been awarded both the 2018 City Pub of the Year and the Branch’s overall Pub of the Year by the members of the Norwich and Norfolk branch of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale).
Landlords Mark White and Laura Hedley-White have received the news of the win. Mark said: ‘We are thrilled and very proud of what we have achieved and very thankful to our amazing team and to the support of our customers.
‘Our aim has always been simple; seek out the best and most innovative beers the UK has to offer, then serve them in the most fun environment we can create.’
Laura also commented that she is delighted to hear that they have once again received both awards, having also won back in 2016 and added: ‘We believe good music goes hand in hand with good beer, so we select some of the finest bands we can find for you to listen to whilst exploring our extensive ale and cider menu.’
The Fat Cat Brewery Tap is a characterful real ale hotspot serving its own Fat Cat beer and a selection of around 20 other real ales, plus 12 keg beers, around 10 traditional ciders and perries plus bottled and canned beer and a range of wines.
Described as a ‘year-round beer festival with live music and the most enthusiastic managers you could wish to find’ the venue also offers a popular range of mother chips and sharing cheese platters in colourful, original, rustic surroundings.
The Norfolk Lurcher, in Colton, has scooped the Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA 2018 Rural Pub of the Year.
Purchased a little over 10 years ago by Alison and John Lainchbury, who run the pub and restaurant with the help of their son Daniel and his wife Penny, The Norfolk Lurcher is the country place to visit for a great drink and good local food.
Home to the Ugly Bug Restaurant offering quality, fresh local food, the pub itself changed its name to the Norfolk Lurcher, named after the family dog, Alfie, a Norfolk Lurcher.
Daniel commented: ‘John, Alison, Penny, myself, and not forgetting Alfie, were all absolutely thrilled to hear that we had won this year. It was completely unexpected! We would like to thank our fantastic regulars, locals and CAMRA members who nominated and voted for us, without whom we would not be in this situation.
‘We would also like to thank our local brewers for making such amazing beers that everyone loves so much! We would equally like to thank our staff, who have worked so hard all year round to help us achieve this great award.’
The Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Branch have also awarded the 2018 Cider Pub of the Year, won for the seventh time by The White Lion, Oak Street, Norwich.
Russell Corke, manager 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 continued commitment to providing a range of quality local and traditional ciders for our customers.’
The runner-up in the City Pub of the Year is the Beehive, and the Rural Pub runner-up was the White Horse at Neatishead, both former winners.
Ian Stamp, the Norwich and Norfolk Branch Chairman said: ‘As always, the competition for Branch Pub of the Year was very tight, with only a couple of points (out of 40) separating the top ten pubs.
‘The Fat Cat Brewery Tap, a previous winner in 2016, well deserves the prize, as a well-managed pub with something for everyone - a fantastic range of both traditional and modern real ales and keg beers, a great list of ciders and perries, regular live music and great food, but also a "real pub" atmosphere. Congratulations to Mark and Laura and all their staff!
‘I would also like to congratulate Alison and John Lainchbury, owners of the Norfolk Lurcher, a new winner of our Rural Pub of the Year. They've worked very hard since buying the pub over ten years ago, and from my visits over the years I can vouch for the quality of the beer - we must visit the pub to sample the food, which I'm told is also excellent!’
The winners will be presented with their award certificates at the respective pubs in the near future. Details will be announced on the branch Facebook page and website calendar.
The overall winner, the Fat Cat Brewery Tap, will now go on to the Norfolk Pub Of The Year competition and will be judged against the King's Arms, of Shouldham, West Norfolk Branch; Tombstone Saloon, of Great Yarmouth, East Norfolk Sub-Branch; and the Old King's Head, Brockdish, Mid Anglia Branch, to find the overall Norfolk Pub Of The Year.
The White Lion will also go head to head with other cider pub winners to find the overall Cider Pub Of The Year.