MEMBERS of the West Dorset branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have broken with tradition and picked – not one – but two Pubs of the Year.
CAMRA spokesman Michel Hooper-Immins said: “Members nominate their favourite pubs – then a panel of judges goes round individually to inspect each of them.
“This year our judges reported that The King’s Arms at Thornford and The Tiger Inn at Bridport were too close to separate, so we decided – exceptionally this year – to name both a Rural and a Town Pub of the Year.”
Members will, however, have to decide which pub to put forward for the title of Wessex Regional Pub of the Year against 10 other pubs from East Dorset, Hampshire, parts of Somerset and Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.
I wonder how they will do it? Name from a hat? Toss of a coin? They’re the classic tie-breaking methods but there could be so many others. Pause for a moment and let your imagination do its thing… Oh boy, could you have some fun.
The CAMRA West Dorset Town Pub of the Year 2012
The CAMRA West Dorset Town Pub of the Year 2012 is the Tiger Inn in Barrack Street, Bridport.
“This bright and cheerful Victorian ale house offers a frequently changing beer list,” says the 2012 CAMRA Good Beer Guide. “The Tiger is a well hidden secret, worth seeking out.”
Over the last week, seven real ales have been served from four hand pumps, including St. Austell Tribute from Cornwall, Jimmy Riddle from the Dorset Piddle brewery, Stargazer from Yeovil and Wickwar Brand Oak Bitter from Gloucestershire.
Londoners Graham and Jacqueline Taylor have been in the licensed trade for 22 years, coming to the Bridport free house five years ago, from a King & Barnes tenancy in Horsham.
“We’re a community pub and our customers are very fond of rugby,” said Graham Taylor. “I am gobsmacked to win this Town Pub award and we are both very pleased.”
The West Dorset 2012 Pub of the Year certificates were presented by CAMRA’s Rich Gabe at the Dorchester Beer Festival.
The CAMRA West Dorset Rural Pub of the Year 2012
The CAMRA West Dorset Rural Pub of the Year 2012 is the King’s Arms at Thornford, three miles south of Sherborne. A traditional free house in the centre of the village and built in 1905, it is owned by the Digby estate.
The 2012 CAMRA Good Beer Guide says: “The bar area is simple in decor, but offers a warm welcome to drinkers and diners alike.”
Over the last week This week, the three handpumps are dispensing Otter Bitter from Devon, Skinners Spriggan Ale from Cornwall and Fuller’s London Pride.
Licensees Andrew and Ann Evans took over the King’s Arms in 2008 and bought the lease from the former Hidden Brewery two years later. Born at Keswick in the Lake District, Andrew is a teetotaller – unusual in a licensee. Ann is from Wiltshire.
She said: “We are just building a new restaurant and we are naturally delighted and encouraged at winning this CAMRA accolade.”
WEST DORSET RURAL PUB OF THE YEAR 2012
The King’s Arms, Pound Road, Thornford. DT9 6QD. Tel. 01935 872294.
Licensees: Andrew and Ann Evans.
WEST DORSET TOWN PUB OF THE YEAR 2012
Tiger Inn, 14/16 Barrack Street, Bridport. DT6 3LY. Tel. 01308 427543.
Licensees: Graham and Jacqueline Taylor.