CAMRA says Bailey Head top West Shropshire Pub

The Shrewsbury and West Shropshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the organisation which fights for traditional beer, cider and pubs, today announced the winner of the 2018 Pub of the Year Competition for Shrewsbury and West Shropshire. The winner is:

Shrewsbury and West Shropshire Pub of the Year, and Market Town Pub of the Year –
The Bailey Head, Oswestry

The West Shropshire area has 284 pubs selling real ale. In the first stage of the Pub of the Year competition, Branch members visit pubs and score the beer quality. This produces a long-list of 45 pubs with beer judged as very good or excellent. Members then vote on the overall experience in these pubs to reduce the long-list to a shortlist of nine pubs – three in Shrewsbury, three in West Shropshire market towns and three from rural West Shropshire.
Shortlisted pubs are visited anonymously by experienced surveyors who mark the pub on beer, welcome, atmosphere, commitment to the community and value for money using a nationally agreed scheme. The surveyors’ independent scores are combined to find the winner in each category and the overall winner. The Branch overall winner will go on to compete with pubs across the country to win CAMRA’s Pub of the Year for the whole of the UK.

The Bailey Head in Oswestry is owned and managed by Grace Goodlad and Duncan Borrowman who previously ran the CAMRA award-winning Orpington Liberal Club, they bought and reopened the former Castle Tavern exactly two years ago. Since then, they have turned the pub into a hub of high quality ales and ciders, community activities, locally sourced food, and an excellent selection of artisan gins and spirits. Along the way, Grace and Duncan have won many awards and plaudits, including entry to CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide, Branch Market Town Pub of The Year and the most dog friendly pub in the West Midlands.

Dave Roll, Chair of Shrewsbury and West Shropshire CAMRA said “It’s great to see The Bailey Head as the heart of a revitalised real ale scene in Oswestry. Grace and Duncan have made a big difference to the pub and the town and are deserved winners of this award”.
Grace and Duncan said “We were stunned in our first year to be runners up for this prestigious award, to win in our second year is even more of a surprise and an honour; as there are many great pubs just in Oswestry, let alone the whole of West Shropshire. Hopefully as the first winners of this award in Oswestry it will help to attract people to come and find out what the town’s pubs have to offer. Our thanks go to the many local people who have supported the pub and are now an essential part of the warm and welcoming atmosphere, as well as CAMRA members both near and far who visit us.”

The Bailey Head will be holding an event for the presentation of the winner’s certificate on 14 April.

Oswestry Pub in Final for best UK Craft Beer Bar

Oswestry pub The Bailey Head, which celebrates its second birthday this week, has been named by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) as a finalist for the award of UK’s Best Independent Craft Beer Bar or Pub – Rural. This follows on from a number of other awards in the past year for the husband and wife run Freehouse.

Landlady Grace Goodlad, who will be attending the awards ceremony in Liverpool next week, said: “We have been delighted with the reception we have had from regulars and other local people to our endeavour to bring something different to Oswestry, but to make it to the final four nationally for this prestigious award has shocked us.”
The Bailey Head sells over 400 different cask and 70 other draught beers on tap in a year, mainly from small microbreweries. In addition it has a large range of craft beer in bottles and cans to drink in or takeaway, as well as a range of over 70 craft gins.
Other awards The Bailey Head has won in the last year are: Shrewsbury & West Shropshire CAMRA Market Towns Pub of the Year, Shrewsbury & West Shropshire CAMRA Overall Pub of the Year Runner Up, Dogbuddy Best Dog-friendly Pub in the West Midlands, Club Soda 5 Star Award for Soft Drinks Range, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Oakham Brewery Oakademy of Excellence 75 award for being one of the biggest seller of Oakham Beers in the UK.

Christmas and New Year Opening

Our Christmas and New Year opening times are:

21/12/17 Thursday 12.00 to 23.00
22/12/17 Friday 12.00 to 00.00
23/12/17 Saturday 12.00 to 00.00
24/12/17 Sunday 12.00 to 22.00
25/12/17 Monday 12.00 to 14.30, 19.00 to 22.00
26/12/17 Tuesday 16.00 to 23.00
27/12/17 Wednesday 12.00 to 23.00
28/12/17 Thursday 12.00 to 00.00
29/12/17 Friday 12.00 to 00.00
30/12/17 Saturday 12.00 to 00.00
31/12/17 Sunday 12.00 to 02:00 – Ticket only
01/01/18 Monday Closed
02/01/18 Tuesday Closed
03/01/18 Wednesday Closed

Oswestry Pub honoured at brewery awards

Oswestry pub The Bailey Head has been honoured by Peterborough based brewery Oakham Ales as one of 20 pubs in the country selling more than 75 or more brewers barrels, or 21,000 pints of Oakham products over the past year.

Husband and wife owners of The Bailey Head, Grace Goodlad and Duncan Borrowman collected a trophy and certificate from Oakham’s Managing Director Adrian Posnett and Head Brewer Alex Kean at an awards dinner at the Brewery Tap in Peterborough, where they were the only new recipient of the award this year.

Grace said; “Duncan and I would like to thank all of our loyal customers who have put The Bailey Head on the map since we opened. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here to collect this, it is a shame we couldn’t get them all along to receive this with us! We will be proudly displaying the certificate and trophy in the pub, alongside our awards from the Shrewsbury and West Shropshire Campaign for Real Ale”.

Oakham Ales Managing Director Adrian Posnett said; “It was wonderful to catch up with a number of pubs across the country who have supported Oakham over the years as well as meeting pubs who qualified for this event for the first time.

“This is my favourite event of the year. It’s always an incredibly special evening where we get to say a big thank you to those who have, and continue to, support us by putting Oakham Ales in pride of place in their pubs.”

More about our presentation night

This Saturday is our presentation night for the Shrewsbury and West Shropshire CAMRA Market Towns Pub of the Year and overall Pub of the Year Runner up.

We recommend you arrive by 7.30 As we expect to be busy.

So what have we got lined up? Of course there will be presentation itself. Also we will have a tap takeover and Meet the Brewer with Chapel Brewery, Dudleston Heath. This will include the unveiling of our collaboration brew, Bailey Head Black. The line up of beers is:

Angel’s Share 4.0% A blonde session beer, using two German hops. A delicate, floral nose and a herbal spicy taste.A tasty session beer.

Miracle 4.4%  A blonde beer using three American hops. Nicely balanced and full of flavour. Floral, Grapefruit, Lychees and pine.

Silver Chalice 4.7% A light blonde beer. Full of flavour with 5 different American hops with a more maltier background to compliment the hops using the wonderful Vienna malt.

Holy Grail 5.0% American IPA with 0.5kg of hops in every cask!

Bailey Head Black 5.0% Hoppy IPA with a small amount of special dark malt, which makes it black without being too roasty or chocolaty. Unfined and vegan friendly.


We will be giving out free food: Radford’s Pork Pie, Radford’s Stilton Pork Pie, Radford’s Sausage Roll, Radford’s Vegetarian Sausage Roll. Weird and Wonderful Cheeses with crackers. Cake!


We will continue the night with some live music from Mave McMahon


A Big Piece of News

We have a big piece of news to announce, and we have to say we are delighted!

Shrewsbury and West Shropshire CAMRA have voted us Market Towns Pub of the Year and also Runner up for overall Pub of the Year. To say that we are stunned to win these awards in our first year is an understatement. We had won a number of CAMRA awards at the members club we were involved with before we moved to Oswestry, up to National Club of the Year runner up twice, but winning these awards in the far more competitive arena of pubs caps them all.  We always hoped we would get some CAMRA recognition but we never expected this much or so quickly, and we are extremely humbled and grateful.

But this is should be about our customers, if they didn’t drink the beer and vote for us this wouldn’t have happened, and we are extremely grateful for the support our customers have shown us in the 13 months since we opened the Bailey Head.

So rather than just quietly getting a certificate presented and sticking it on the wall, we want to make sure our customers are able to join in the celebration too. On Saturday, 13 May we will not only receive our awards, but also:

  • Have a tap takeover of beers from Chapel Brewery in Duddleston Heath, including a special beer we have brewed with Ken King the brewer at Chapel.
  • Have a Meet the Brewer with Ken.
  • An evening of celebration with a few more surprises.

We are currently sorting out a running order for the evening, and exact timings, but for now please save the date and make sure you keep the evening of 13th May free to come and join the party.

Thank you all!

Grace and Duncan

Brewing with Ken King of Chapel Brewery.

Oswestry Mayor cuts our first birthday cake

Oswestry Mayor Paul Milner has cut the first birthday cake for The Bailey Head Pub, one year on from when his predecessor Peter Cherrington cut the ribbon to open the pub.

Owners Grace Goodlad and Duncan Borrowman have enjoyed a  busy year of bringing a community centred pub to the town.
Grace Goodlad said: “We promised a pub that would attract use by community groups. Among others in our first year we have hosted regular meetings of Border Visual Arts, the formative meeting of the new Oswestry Round Table, the Women’s Institute, church organised charity quizzes for CHALK C.I.C., Osestry Jazz Orchestra, Clerical Error Morris Dancers, a stitch and bitch group and a scifi book club.”
Duncan Borrowman said: “We have focused on local and quality products, including over 300 different real ales and craft beers on tap, a menu of 32 gins. Welsh and Shropshire cheeses and charcuterie, pork pies and scotch eggs made here in Oswestry and during the cold months casserole of local venison as well as vegan options.”

Three new wines

We have added three new wines to our range which give us vegan and low sulphite options. Supplied to us by Twelve Green Bottles, these three wines are available only by the bottle.

Pure Nero D’Avola From the famous Casa Girelli wine making family. An easy drinking vegan friendly fruity red from Italy with cranberry and black cherry notes. Extremely moreish. £17

Vessieres White Rhone 2015 A beautifully made low Sulphite, organic and vegan friendly white from the Rhône Valley. A blend of Rousanne and White Grenache grapes is used by a family of wine makers with seven generations of experience to create this absolutely delicious wine with floral and citrus notes. £19

Portazgo Monastrel Syrah 2014 A delicious, organic and low sulphite red wine from Spain. Made from a blend of Monastrell and Syrah grapes. Bursting with blackcurrant, black cherry, violet, black pepper and woody flavours. £17


Ten More Gins!

Today sees our Gin Menu grow by ten, to thirty two!

The new additions are:

Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger
Tangy spring rhubarb is macerated in oriental ginger and a twist of lemon zest before being infused with pure Edinburgh Gin. This provides a glorious depth of flavour.

Exquisite London Dry Gin made with actual geranium, a fantastically aromatic plant. Very unusual, distinctive and utterly delicious.

New York Spirit Co Dorothy Parker
All the botanicals play their part in this gin. The palate of hibiscus petals appear prominent, but not at the expense of juniper. This is still very much a proper gin. The spiciness of cinnamon spiciness develops wonderfully.

Gabriel Boudier Saffron
The result of an alliance between Great Britain for its London Dry Gin, India for its spice and French know-how. This original product with exotic notes is manufactured entirely in Dijon.

A medley of natural and ethically sourced ingredients including coconut, grapefruit, juniper, iris, tarragon and ginger. These are macerated for five days before a single distillation in 150 year old copper pot stills to obtain the perfect concentration to then be blended with grain spirit. Made by Gabriel Boudier in Dijon.

Jinzu is a Scottish made gin with a Japanese flavour. Cherry blossom and yuzu are used as botanical ingredients and then Junmai sake is blended with the finished gin.

Portobello Road No 171
A classical botanical selection with cassia bark and nutmeg contrives a London Dry Gin with a big depth of flavour.

Rock Rose
This very northerly gin from Caithness features an alluring botanical selection including locally harvested rhodiola rosea, rowan berries, sea blackthorn, blueberries, verbena, coriander seed, cardamom and juniper.

This triple distilled Spanish gin is a great mixer and is made from nine botanicals and added herbs, thus exhibits the aromas and flavors of juniper, coriander, cucumber, rose petals, cardamom, mandarin peel, orange blossom, lemon peel, liquorice and raspberry.

Gin Lane Pink
A pink gin which harks back to the Victorian era with its style and flavour. Made by infusing the gin with bitters, giving it a good kick of spice.

The full Gin Menu can be found here

Christmas and New Year opening times

Our opening times over the coming days are (closing time indicates the last time we serve, we close 30 minutes later):

Friday 23 December Noon to Midnight
Saturday 24 December Noon to Midnight
Christmas Day Noon to 2.30pm and 7pm to 10pm
Boxing Day Noon to 10pm
Tuesday 27 December Noon to 11pm
Wednesday 28 December Noon to 11pm
Thursday 29 December Noon to 11pm
Friday 30 December Noon to Midnight
New Year’s Eve Noon to 2am
New Year’s Day CLOSED
Monday 2 January CLOSED