Eight pubs with real pulling power

Wilmslow Express - - LAUGHING BADGER -

FROM cool city retreat to edge of coun­try­side booz­ers - they are all pubs of the year in Greater Manch­ester.

CAMRA has un­veiled the best wa­ter­ing holes in the county, one of which will be crowned over­all win­ner and go for­ward to a na­tional fi­nal.

The lo­cal win­ners have been cho­sen by lo­cal branches of CAMRA for their qual­ity of ale, value for money, cus­tomer ser­vice, and decor.

The eight best pubs in the re­gion are:

Traf­ford & Hulme branch: Knott Bar, Manch­ester.

Bolton - Vic­to­ria and Al­bert, Hor­wich.

Wi­gan - John Bull Chop­house.

North Manch­ester - Crown & Ket­tle, An­coats, Manch­ester.

South East Lancs - Pen­dle Witch, Ather­ton.

Stock­port and South Manch­ester - The Mag­net, Stock­port.

High peak and North East Cheshire - Hare­wood Arms, Broad­bot­tom.

Rochdale Old­ham and Bury - The Baum, Rochdale.

April is CAMRA’s com­mu­nity pubs month this year.

Tom Stainer, CAMRA Head of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said: “It is about high­light­ing the im­por­tant role pubs play in com­mu­nity life and no pubs are bet­ter ex­am­ples of fan­tas­tic lo­cals than CAMRA branch win­ners.

“Each one of them has been judged the best in their re­spec­tive area and are well worth seek­ing out for any would-be ale lovers.

“Re­cent CAMRA re­search showed 75 per cent of pub-go­ers be­lieve a well-run com­mu­nity pub is as im­por­tant to com­mu­nity life as a post of­fice, lo­cal shop or com­mu­nity cen­tre – but de­spite this 29 pubs are still be­ing lost in the UK ev­ery week.

“Pubs play an es­sen­tial role in our com­mu­ni­ties and are clearly very highly val­ued, but de­spite this are still be­ing lost at an alarm­ing rate across the UK.

“The best way peo­ple can pro­tect their lo­cal’s fu­ture is by get­ting down there and sup­port­ing it – which is why through­out April CAMRA will be call­ing on peo­ple to visit their lo­cal pub and sup­port an im­por­tant Bri­tish in­dus­try.”

Simon Cromp­ton, 42, has been at The Baum in Rochdale for 22 years, as bar­man, manager, and now land­lord with wife Heidi.

Three years ago the popular ale­house won na­tional pub of the year, and it has picked up a raft of other ac­co­lades.

Simon said: “You learn some­thing new ev­ery week when you run a pub. We’ve been here 22 years but it’s com­pletely changed since then. It looks to­tally dif­fer­ent and a lot of peo­ple won’t ex­pect this, but the smok­ing ban has re­ally helped.

“With it, lots more peo­ple will now come into our pub, fam­i­lies, women - and now if you don’t do food in your pub, you’re los­ing a lot of your cus­tomers.”

“We have seven hand pumps for real ale and one real cider pump. We prob­a­bly go through about 20 per week, the ales are al­ways chang­ing.

“The pub has wooden floors, a beer gar­den, and dif­fer­ent ar­eas to the pub. There’s some­thing for ev­ery­one here.

“The se­cret to suc­cess is stan­dards and con­ti­nu­ity. Great staff, too. We don’t want con­tin­ual chang­ing staff, we want to keep hold of them and look af­ter them. We sup­port lo­cal ales.”

Phil and Yvonne Wild have only been at the Hare­wood Arms for 18 months and are al­ready mak­ing an im­pres­sion.

Phil, 61, said: “We sell five real ales and the best sell­ing one is prob­a­bly the Green­mill Gold Ale. It’s our weak­est so that al­ways sells well.

“We came fourth in the coun­try last year, so it’s good to be named again.

“We’re quite a tra­di­tional pub here, with open fires, ales. But we sell all the nor­mal stuff as well. Your Car­lings and ciders. We have the old­est beer in the world here as well, from Ger­many.”

“The se­cret to our suc­cess is hard work. Hard work and good beer!

“We’ve had a brew­ery for about eight years now, my son and my­self. but there’s been a mas­sive in­crease in brew­eries in the last cou­ple of years, I think there’s in ex­cess of about 50 in Greater Manch­ester now.

“So we wanted to get our own pub and sell them there. So we moved to Broad­bot­tom.”

The Knott Bar, un­der rail­way arches at the bot­tom of Manch­ester’s Deans­gate, is a mag­net for real ale hun­ters and stu­dents.

It has eight craft beers and won best bar for re­gion in 2010.

Simon Car­roll, 31, Manager, said: “It’s a lovely place to work here, great at­mos­phere. We have ev­ery­thing from trendy young kids to 60-year-old guys com­ing in be­cause they love ale.

“We have lots of dif­fer­ent ales, from lo­cal to na­tional. We’re try­ing to find the best ever ale. We only sell the best. We know about beer here.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.