One of the best things about a trip to the United Kingdom is enjoying beer at one of its many pubs. It is beer tourism at its best and can lead to an almost soulful drinking experience.
Every year, one of England’s most respected industry voices, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) holds a ‘Pub of the Year’ competition and they’ve just announced four drinking destinations that are not to be missed next time you’re in the UK!
“All of the pubs in the competition are selected by CAMRA volunteers and judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix and quality of beer,” according to the Drinks Business.
Those four finalists are all being presented with regional awards, before they battle it out next year for the title of National Pub of the Year, which will be announced in February 2020.
Now on to 2019’s Best in Show…
The Swan with Two Necks – Pendleton, Lancashire
Located in Lancashire, England, The Swan with Two Necks is the stuff that pub legends are made of. Housed in a historical building, this cozy northern pub, was CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year for 2014. And five years later it is in the running again.
Reknowned for its constantly changing line of local real ales and regional favorites like haddock and chips, The Swan with Two Necks also features impressive amount of outdoor seating and roaring fires for when the weather cools down.
The George & Dragon – Hudswell, Yorkshire
CAMRA judges are big on pubs that are embraced and nurtured by their local communities, and the George & Dragon is no exception.
Rescued by local residents in 2010 and authentically refurbished, The George & Dragon now boasts its own library, shop, and other community facilities as well as brilliant artisan cuisine and serious drink.
And like The Swan with Two Necks, this pub is already legend having been named CAMRA Yorkshire Pub of the Year for the last four consecutive years and winning the CAMRA National Pub of the Year in 2016.
The Bell, – Aldworth, Berkshire
Ancient, cramped and above all authentic, The Bell is located geographically in the tiny Berkshire hollow of Aldworth. But the experience is more like drinking in a village pub in the 1930s.
The Bell’s narrow corridors lead to hobbit-like alcoves. And its serving area, which is barely bigger than a telephone box is always crowded with beer lovers who go the distance just to drink there.
The Red Lion – Preston, Hertfordshire
The Red Lion is a newcomer to this year’s Best Pub shortlist and it holds the rare distinction of being the first community-owned pub in Great Britain in the 1980s.
The origins of the Red Lion as a pub go back to about 1844, where there is documentation of beer being sold in the separate cottages that then made up what is now know as the Red Lion. As well as serving Young’s and Fuller’s, there is an ever-rotating list of cask ales, many of which come from small producers.
All Image credits: CAMRA
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