The Field

CAMRA winner bans mobile phones

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The Firkin Shed in Bournemout­h, Dorset, has been declared the 2018 National Cider Pub of the Year by the Campaign for Real

Ale (CAMRA). Set up by ex-decorator Paul Gray and his wife, Lisa, three years ago, it is Bournemout­h’s first micropub. Customers can chose from six constantly changing cask ales and around 20 ciders. Beers are served straight from the cellar, which can be viewed through the window in a rear corridor.

Praised for its cosy atmosphere, the micropub has a strict no mobile phone policy, with offenders fined £1, money donated to Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance.

“This year’s winner has only been open for three years, which is a great achievemen­t. Paul Gray and his team have done brilliantl­y to convert a former video shop into a national award-winning and very popular micropub in such a short time,” said awards organiser Sarah Newson.

“The Firkin Shed is about people coming together in a safe, happy environmen­t, with a friendly atmosphere and, of course, a decent pint,” said Paul Gray.

Cider is bought from traditiona­l makers, many of whom have cultivated their own orchards. “We hope our success has shown there is a place for real cider in all pubs,” added Gray.

Judging is currently in progress for the CAMRA National Pub of the Year title, the winner of which will be announced in February. The 16 regional contenders range from micropubs to community-run breweries, all selected by CAMRA volunteers.

One contender is the George & Dragon, a tiny pub in Hudswell, North Yorkshire. Rescued and refurbishe­d in 2010 after a community buyout, the two-roomed pub is run by Stuart and Melissa Miller. Attached to the pub is a village shop, there is a shelf of library books and community allotments and bee hives at the end of the garden.

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