BREWERY OF THE YEAR 2019
Tring Brewery was founded in 1992 by Richard Shardlow (an experienced brewer whose background included working for Greene King, Ruddles and Devenish) who was then joined in 2000 by Andrew Jackson from Whitbreads. Most of the staff working at the brewery live in the town so there’s a real sense of camararderie, and as a company they are proud of their location and surrounding countryside. The public, unsurprisingly, enjoyed their ales and as demand grew they moved to a bigger premises in 2010. They supply around 200 outlets and have a delivery radius of 60 miles.
The brewing process uses water filtered through the chalk of the surrounding Chiltern Hills, the best British barley and hops carefully sourced from all over the world, each one selected for the unique character it brings to a beer. And of course, yeast. There are ten core beers, a monthly special and 5 seasonal choices.
But apart from the first-class beers, it’s the unusual names that people recognise. And with every name there’s a connection to local wildlife, folklore events and local literature. A few of them include Brock, Coley’s Dog, Fanny Ebb’s Summer Ale, Moongazing, Santa’s Little Helper, Tea Kettle Stout and perhaps their most famous, Side Pocket for a Toad (a Hertfordshire saying for something that is useless).
They hold Saturday morning pre-booked brewery tours twice a month (11-12.30; 01442 890721) which costs £5 and includes samples to taste or a bottle to take home.
For their hard work and commitment – and for their excellent beers of course – Tring are Brewery of the Year 2019.
BEER PUB OF THE YEAR 2019
You’ll find our Top Ten Beer Pubs from all over the country and they include the Bhurtpore in Aston and Mill in Chester (both in Cheshire), Tom Cobley in Spreyton (Devon), Beer Hall at Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley (Cumbria), Malt Shovel in Northampton (Northamptonshire), Fat Cat in Norwich (Norfolk), Fat Cat in Ipswich (Suffolk), Halfway House at Pitney (Somerset) Nags Head in Malvern (Worcestershire), and Harp in Central London. All these pubs keep an exceptional number of real ales in tip top condition but it’s Colin Keatley’s collection of 32 beers at the Fat Cat in Norwich that is our Beer Pub of the Year 2019.
OWN BREW PUB OF THE YEAR 2019
You will typically save yourself 43p a pint if you drink at one of the own-brew pubs in this edition of the Good Pub Guide. Our Top Ten Own Brew pubs are the Brewery Tap in Peterborough (Cambridgeshire), Drunken Duck near Hawkshead, Watermill at Ings and Brown Horse in Winster (all Cumbria), Church Inn at Uppermill (Lancashire), Dipton Mill Inn at Diptonmill and Ship at Newton-by-the-Sea (Northumbria), Grainstore in Oakham (Leicestershire), Gribble Inn at Oving (Sussex), and Weighbridge Brewhouse in Swindon (Wiltshire). Our Own Brew Pub of the Year 2019 is the Grainstore in Oakham.
WINE PUB OF THE YEAR 2019
384 of the Main Entry pubs in this edition hold one of our Wine Awards meaning that they keep a very special and carefully chosen selection of wines. These include the Old Bridge Hotel in Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire), Acorn in Evershot (Dorset), Inn at Whitewell at Whitewell (Lancashire), Olive Branch in Clipsham (Leicestershire), Woods in Dulverton (Somerset), Duncombe Arms at Ellastone (Staffordshire), Crown in Stoke-by-Nayland and Unruly Pig in Bromeswell (Suffolk), The Inn West End in West End (Surrey) and Griffin in Felinfach (Wales). The charming and exceptionally knowledgeable Paddy Groves reckons he could put 1,000 wines up on the bar and will open any of them (with a value of up the £100) for just a glass – Woods in Dulverton is our Wine Pub of the Year 2019.
WHISKY PUB OF THE YEAR 2019
You’ll be sure to find an extraordinarily wide choice of malt whiskies in our Top Ten Whisky list: Bhurtpore in Aston (Cheshire), Acorn in Evershot (Dorset), Red Fox at Thornton Hough and Worsley Old Hall in Worsley (Lancashire), Black Jug in Horsham (Sussex), Pack Horse at Widdop (Yorkshire), Old Orchard on the outskirts of west London, and Bow Bar in Edinburgh, Bon Accord in Glasgow and Sligachan Hotel on the Island of Skye (Scotland). Now with over 400 malts to choose from, the Bon Accord in Glasgow is Whisky Pub of the Year 2019.
GIN PUB OF THE YEAR 2019
So many pubs are now stocking an incredible number of gins so we thought the time had come to mention them, too. They are the Bhurtpore in Aston, Architect in Chester and Cholmondeley Arms in Cholmondeley (Cheshire), Brown Horse in Winster (Cumbria), Mill House at North Warnborough (Hampshire), Red Fox in Thornton Hough (Lancashire), Maytime in Asthall (Oxfordshire), Fox at Chetwynd Aston (Shropshire), Oakley at Breewood (Staffordshire) and Falcon at Warmington Warwickshire). For an mind-boggling collection of 400 and counting the Cholmondeley Arms in Cholmondeley is our Gin Pub of the Year 2019.