Summer 2013 - The Gate Inn, Brailes
The Pub of the Season award for Summer 2013 was presented on Tue 17th September.
Congratulations to Ian Merivale and Anne Simpkins who, after just 18 months at The Gate Inn, Upper Brailes, have been voted Shakespeare CAMRA's Summer 2013 Pub of the Season. An award certificate was presented by CAMRA's Julian Stobinski in front of an appreciative gathering of branch members, locals and a few passing cyclists who celebrated in style by drinking plenty of Old Hooky, straight from a cask on the bar, (and Weston's Old Rosie Cider).
Its sometimes difficult to put your finger on exactly what elevates a pub from 'good' to 'something special'. Great beer is an obvious must and presents no problem as Ian and Anne have plenty of experience running other pubs in the area and Ian has previously brewed commercially, (and still runs a brewing 'master class' for anyone interested). Add to good beer and food, a genuinely warm and friendly welcome, traditional pub games, community services like a 'book swap' and a wealth of local information for walkers and cyclists, (no doubt a result of Ian's years as 'footpaths officer' for Warwickshire) and you're starting to get there. For the final ingredients add a lovely 18th Century local stone building, with timber beams, a real fire set in a stone hearth, set it in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and put it all just 6 miles from where its beers are brewed.