The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has named the four finalists in its national Pub of the Year 2017 competition. The overall winner will be announced in February.
Among the finalists is the Weavers Real Ale House, in Kidderminster, a relatively new one-room micropub. It serves eight real ales and four ciders and perries on handpump, and has six craft beers on tap. A short walk from the railway station, it’s the perfect place for a pint and a chat on the way into town.
Also in the running for the second year in a row is the Stanford Arms, in Lowestoft, East Anglia. A thriving traditional back-street pub, it serves mainly local beers and ciders, and boasts live music at the weekends.
Finally two rival pubs from the North West have made the list. Wigan Central boasts a unique railway-themed interior and sources real ale from all over, with continental bottled beers displayed in a ‘beer library’. The Cricketers, in St Helens, is a friendly local community pub saved from closure just four years ago which boasts 13 handpumps on the bar and which runs beer festivals and jam nights throughout the year.
All of the pubs in the competition are selected by CAMRA volunteers and judged on their atmosphere, décor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix and, most importantly, quality of beer.
Competition co-ordinator, Andrea Briers, said: “All of these pubs should be very proud of themselves for reaching this stage in the competition. It is a huge honour to be considered one of the top four pubs across the country.
“While each of these pubs offers something unique to their visitors, they all share the foundation of what makes a great pub — a warm and welcoming atmosphere, excellent service and a fantastic range of beers.”