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.”