A Hertfordshire pub has won brewer and pub company Fuller Smith & Turner's Master Cellarman of the Year award for the second time.
The Harpenden Arms, run by manager Bryan Walsh, received the award after excelling in every area of quality control from cellar to glass, and impressing judges, including Fuller's head brewer John Keeling and beer writer Des de Moor.
The Harpenden Arms also won the title in 2008.
"It's an amazing honour to receive one of these awards, but two in four years is something special," said Walsh, who has been with Fuller's since 1998.
During the quality checks, carried out by the Fuller's Beer Quality Team, cellar hygiene and dispense equipment are thoroughly inspected, and samples of beer are taken away for analysis.
The Master Cellarman of the Year award recognises consistently outstanding cellar quality in Fuller's pubs, with managers and tenants needing to sustain a score of at least 96% across four visits from Fuller's Beer Quality Team throughout the year to be named as finalists for the overall award.
Fuller's offers cellar training courses to its pub teams throughout the year, as well as to on-trade national account customers.
To date, 209 Fuller's pubs hold the Master Cellarman badge of distinction (42 added since August 2011), which is displayed in all the certified pubs as a gong on top of the London Pride pump handle.
The second place Master Cellarman of the Year award went to Jason and Karen Tinklin of the Star Tavern, Belgravia (winners in 2010), while Angus McKean & Claire Morgan of the Red Lion, Barnes (winners in 2007), were named in third place.
Two other Fuller's pubs also received special recognition at the prize-giving; Rachel and Robert Burrows of the Pointer Inn, on the Isle of Wight, were named Best Newcomers, and Julian Peters of the Fox & Goose, Ealing (runner-up last year), received the Pride and Passion award for absolute dedication to cask ale.
The six other Master Cellarman finalists were: Kim Bibby from the Fox & Pelican, Hindhead, Tom Hayden from the Partridge, Bromley, Mark Crane from the Five Bells, Leighton Buzzard, Jill Cameron from the Mawson Arms, Chiswick, Steve Williams from the Holly Bush, St Albans, and Shaun Patterson from the Hind's Head, Berkshire.
By Neil Gerrard
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