Every year CAMRA announces their Pub of the Year after a long process of judging. First of all the CAMRA Branch selects its pub, then the CAMRA Region and finally, the winner is chosen from all the regional winners. It is the supreme accolade for a pub in the UK. As I write this the result is embargoed until a minute past midnight, but through the wonders of blogger, this post will be legally published just a minute afterwards. Can you tell what it is yet?
You may have heard me bang on about the Baum in Rochdale, both on this blog and on twitter. It is in my CAMRA Branch area and is our Pub of the Year and the Greater Manchester Pub of the Year and now, it is the National Pub of the Year. I am delighted. More soon, as there is a formal presentation tomorrow, but I wanted you, Dear Readers, to be among the first to know.
In the meantime, here are a few words about it:
The Baum, Rochdale, Lancashire has been crowned the best pub in Britain by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.
CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year competition recognises all the criteria that make a great pub, including atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, but most importantly, the quality of the beer.
The building, which sits next door to the Pioneers Museum, which is the original Co-op store, has only been a pub for around 30 years and was converted from Morris’s Hardware Store in the 1980’s.
Simon Crompton, one of the owners, started work in The Baum in 1993 and became manager in 1994. In 2005, Simon and his wife Heidi, who co-owns the business, bought the pub just two days after having their first child.
On hearing the news, Heidi Crompton said, “We were ecstatic to hear that we had been voted CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year. We are very proud of the team that have played an important role in The Baum’s success and it is a testament to their hard work that the consumers have recognised our pub with this prestigious award.”
Heidi continued, “We are a family run pub with our values influencing every aspect of the business in relationships with our staff and suppliers. We are dedicated to the ‘buy local, shop local’ initiative, always willing to support independent businesses. The support from the regular customers and local CAMRA members is valued and we would like to thank everyone for their continued support.”
CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2013 describes the pub as “A split-level hostelry with old world charm next door to the world’s first co-operative store. The Baum has eight handpumps, one dedicated to cider, and a large variety of continental bottled beers. Excellent food includes vegetarian dishes, with a tapas menu available at weekends. There is an upstairs dining / function room. The large rear garden, over looked by a conservatory, contains two full-size pétanque pistes.”
CAMRA’s Pubs Director, Julian Hough was delighted with this year’s winner and said, “I would like to congratulate Simon, Heidi and all of the staff at The Baum on winning CAMRA’s national award. It is great to see a pub that offers consumers a fantastic range of quality drinks and also supports local businesses crowned National Pub of the Year. I would urge all pub lovers to visit The Baum and experience what a brilliant pub it is.”
I don't know who the last guy is, but he seems to know what's what!
I took the photo too!