Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Pub of the Year 2023

Each year CAMRA organises championship rounds to determine the best Pub of the Year. The rounds start with voting by branches for their nominations in each county they represent and these then go head to head with those pubs submitted by other CAMRA branches within that same county. These then go onto the regional finalists for West Midlands and then to the final Pub of the Year for the UK.

The Shakespeare CAMRA awards pubs the title of Branch Pub of the Year - one for Warwickshire branch area and one for the Worcestershire branch area.

Warwickshire County Pub of the Year 2023

Many congratulations to Thirst Edition, Shipston for being voted as Warwickshire County Pub of the Year for 2023.

A presentation by Lloyd Evans, Chair of Shakespeare CAMRA, took place on Wednesday 9th August 2023, well attended by locals and Shakespeare CAMRA members.

This was the second time this year that we have had the pleasure of awarding certificates to David, so Lloyd apologised as those at the branch POTY presentation had him again, this time representing the region. However, for those of you that were present you will be aware that on 25th April we had the pleasure of awarding David the certificate for being the Shakespeare CAMRA Warwickshire area POTY, which turned into a bit of a “double act” with regards to the support that was received that evening from David. Having won this accolade we were then pleased to say that Thirst Edition, by merit, was subsequently entered into the Warwickshire County round of judging.

This county round of judging requires scores to be awarded under eight nationally recognised criteria where the two main categories, which receive double scores, are –

The criteria used in judging for this category states that “Service should be welcoming, friendly, polite, and also prompt whenever possible. If it is busy, a friendly acknowledgement of your presence is desirable. Staff should enthusiastically promote real ale (real cider / perry if applicable) and be able to answer simple queries in relation to these products. Is there a friendly atmosphere?”

In addition, another criterion of note is-
There should be a sense of community that is inclusive and welcoming to all age groups and sectors of the community. Do regular customers interact well with strangers?

Which has led to this evening where we are pleased to say that having been judged by CAMRA Members representing the six other Warwickshire branches and compared to all their own Pubs of the Year, Thirst Edition came out as the clear winner when all these scores had been collated and analysed. With the Bird in Hand Austrey (Litchfield and Tamworth) being voted second and the New Inn, Norton Lindsey (Heart of Warwick) coming third.

To be voted by CAMRA as being a county Pub of the Year is a real achievement as we recognise the appreciation, beer knowledge and enthusiasm shown by everyone involved at the pub but especially David.

Congratulations were clearly in order and David was asked to accept the county POTY award presented by Lloyd on behalf of the West Midlands region of CAMRA.

David thanked CAMRA for the award and the customers of Thirst Edition for their support.

Shakespeare CAMRA Pub of the Year 2023 (Warwickshire)

Shakespeare CAMRA Pub of the Year (Warwickshire) 2023 was awarded to Thirst Edition, Shipston. A presentation was made by Lloyd Evans, Chair of Shakespeare CAMRA on 25th April 2023.

Just like a very famous person Dave had a dream but, in his case, it was to open a micro pub and to the benefit of everyone in Shipston he settled on opening Thirst Edition on Good Friday 2018.

Five years on what we now see is a ground floor level shop which has successfully been converted into a micro pub which can seat around twenty-four people comfortably and 15 - 20 standing. The lighting inside is described as “steam punk style” using copper pipework with Edison wall lights and LEDs in the ceiling with the added bonus of being of it being air conditioned.

The idea is to provide a place free from music, TVs, and food where people can come along, relax, meet like-minded people, and make new friends. The attention to detail, aimed at ensuring a pleasant customer experience, is worth noting. No music, no TV screens, no fruit machines and, no swearing.

Shipston's first micropub offers 4-5 changing real ales which are served straight from the cask and cover a wide range of drinking styles (265 in the first 14 months; 1409 to date), which are often local and where Dave tries to include one dark beer and a vegan option. There are brewery “takeover” evenings and what is really positive is the use of social media to advertise the current beers on offer.

With then an ever changing range of cask ales, traditional ciders, wines, spirits, (a wide range of Gins) craft beers in bottles (from around the world including saison and sours) and soft drinks, there is something for everyone and this popularity has been reflected in the Thursday night quiz which since its inception in late 2018 they have raised over £14,000 for various needy causes including donating £1,000 to the Shipston Town Band and £1,000 to the food bank.

Recognised by the branch when awarded the Summer Pub of the Season in 2019 it is now the fourth consecutive year that they have been selected to be included in the guide, which is especially significant this year as it is the 50th edition of the CAMRA “Good Beer Guide”.

Therefore, within the Warwickshire area of the branch there were a number of pubs worthy of being chosen this year as our POTY. But I am pleased to say that our branch members voted this year for the award to go to such a worthy pub.

Dave thanked Shakespeare CAMRA for the award and thanked the regulars for their support. Dave said that at the end of the day, it is the people who come into the pub who make it what it is – he couldn’t have done it without them.

Shakespeare CAMRA Pub of the Year 2023 (Worcestershire)

A large turnout of branch members gathered on the 21st March 2023 to celebrate the award of our Worcestershire area Pub of the Year to the Trumpet Inn in Evesham.

Presentation made by Lloyd Evans, Chair of Shakespeare CAMRA.

The Trumpet is a traditional pub with a great local support offering a friendly and welcoming atmosphere situated at what could be described as the “posh end” of town due to the opening of Waitrose. It offers many facilities including darts and monthly live music nights along with homemade cooked food, served daily, with many weekly specials advertised on Facebook and Sunday roasts. Further to this there is also a 10p a pint discount scheme for CAMRA members.

With three ales from the excellent Hooky range being consistently available (Off the Hook, Hooky and Old Hooky) and the fourth one being an interesting choice from their seasonal range it is, we believe, the most westerly Hook Norton tied house and we are very fortunate to have this pub in the centre of Evesham. Our branch members have been regularly impressed with the quality and consistency of the four real ales that are always on offer in the pub, and this is why it entered the national GBG for the first-time last year.

Les (Sid) and Lisa have worked hard since 2017 in making the Trumpet the pub that we see today, and this has been recognised with the award for best newcomers in May 2018 from Hooky and the certificate of excellence in 2022 from TripAdvisor before of course the POTY award being this evening. Further to this CAMRA would also like to congratulate them both on signing the lease for another five years in going forward.

Lloyd had great pleasure this in recognising the work of all the Staff who helped to make the Trumpet our POTY but especially to Sid and Lisa and they were asked to accept the award from the branch tonight and to offer them all our best wishes in the next round of judging which will be at county level.