A small Welsh community pub has become the first-ever establishment from the country to win the Campaign for Real Ale's (Camra) National Pub of the Year award.
The Bridge End Inn, Ruabon, only reopened, having been revived by its current owners, in March 2009. The McGivern family chose the site for its microbrewery - McGivern Ales - overseen by son Matthew. Having reopened the pub five weeks after taking it on, the McGivern family were praised by Camra members for restoring the pub's interior, and for introducing an extensive real ale and cider range.
Now serving seven real ales and a selection of local ciders at any one time, the pub has stocked real ales from more than 100 breweries since opening, with a particular emphasis on local produce.
Peter McGivern, Bridge End Inn licensee, said: "We are a family business, and the pub has been a real labour of love. What we strived to do was create a pub not focused on food that we would enjoy visiting, putting the product first and offering a wide range of traditional beer styles. As a result we've built up a mixed trade of locals and beer-lovers from all over Britain."
"We are delighted with this national award, particularly as we were told when first taking on the pub that there was little demand for real ale in the area. Through a lot of passion and hard work, we've enjoyed great success in a short space of time, which couldn't have been achieved without the support of family, close friends, staff and customers."
Julian Hough, Camra pubs director, said: "The pub is an unbelievable success story, and is a perfect case study of a local outlet playing a pivotal role at the heart of a small community. By investing time into providing a quality beer range full of choice, the pub has, in a short space of time, become revered across Britain by many beer-lovers. I offer my personal congratulations to the Bridge End Inn for such rapid progression in taking Camra's national pub title."
The Bridge End Inn beat three other finalists this year to claim the crown. They were:
By Neil Gerrard
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